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Things to Consider When Choosing to Join the Army

Enlisted Commissioning Programs

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The Army has three programs that enlisted members can use to become commissioned officers. Unmarried enlisted members can apply to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. However, the selection process is very, very rigid, and only the very best are accepted (this applies to civilian applicants, as well as enlisted applicants).

Enlisted members who have or attain 90 or more college credits can apply for Army Officer Candidate School (OCS), once they have completed AIT (Army job school). Again, selection is competitive. There are only so-many openings at OCS each year, and periodically throughout the year, a selection board meets to consider the applicants for selection. The Army is the only service which allows enlisted members without a bachelor's degree to apply for their OCS program.

Finally, enlisted applicants with more than two years of active duty service can apply for the Army's " Green to Gold " program. If selected, Soldiers are discharged from active duty, and attend Army ROTC. Once they earn their college degree, and complete the ROTC program, they are commissioned on active duty as an officer. Once again, this is a competitive program, with a limited number of openings each year, so selection boards make the decision as to who can participate.

Enlisted Soldiers who meet certain prerequisits can also apply to be commissioned as Warrant Officers.

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