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Choosing your Branch at OCS (When and How)

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  • Choosing your Branch at OCS (When and How)

    I swore in yesterday as an 09S Officer Candidate. I got my ship date for BCT and learned what base it would be at. However, I was not asked once which Branch(s) I was interested in at any point during my meps processing.

    Today, I asked the "Hero-on-call" on the website about it and was told I will select 3 branches during OCS. Then the Guard will then place me in one of those 3 depending on my class standing/ranking.

    I am wondering about two things...
    1. At what point in time do I make this 3 branch selection?

    2. How do they decide which of the 3 you get?
    From asking around I can't find the method they use to assigning branches.

    Do they take all the OCS students, give them a combined "class ranking" (#1 in-class , #2 , #3 , etc...)? Then give them their top pick if there are vacancies/need for that officer. example: If there was only X number of vacancies left for that officer branch and the student(s) before you picked them, you will be put in your second or third choice instead. Is this how it works?

    Or do they mostly use a standard for how you must perform in different areas (Physical, military tactics, organization, etc.)? then decide if you will be qualified (and good at) your #1 choice. If not... then how about your #2 choice?

    I am curious how the selection process works because I wonder if they give you the branch you want if they think you're capable of fulfilling the duties OR do they place each student into a branch based on his performance in certain categories relative to the other students.

  • #2
    Re: Choosing your Branch at OCS (When and How)

    The armoury you have on your current contract may not be where you end up after you commission. If your contract is like mine it is your unit of assignment for the enlisted MOS you selected to be used in the event you do not complete OCS. As for branching, it depends on how your state does it. My state gave me a list of all the LT vacancies and told me to contac the commander of the unit I wanted, so i essentially got to pick my branch. Other state use follow a ranking similar to what you described. It is usually called an Order of Merit List. You need to contact your state Officer Strength Manager or officer recruiter to find out. The three choice thing the Hero-on-Call described is the system used at Federal OCS for active duty soldiers.


    • #3
      Re: Choosing your Branch at OCS (When and How)

      Each State will vary slightly, but expect to make a wish list about six months prior to commissioning, and learning the results about three months prior.

      Your State can only give you what they have to give. Not all States have all branches. In a simplified manner, whoever makes the assignments will look at current/projected vacancies, your preferences, geography, and the State's priorities.


      • #4
        Re: Choosing your Branch at OCS (When and How)

        We were told well beforehand what was available in the state and where the vacancies were. Then we turned in our forms about 6 months out. Downside, we didn't find out our branch until about 5 -7 days before we commissioned. We were still in the field for phase 3 OCS when they told us. Came out of the field, went home, came back the next day and got pinned.