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Army National Guard Officer OCS & Direct Commission Question

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  • Army National Guard Officer OCS & Direct Commission Question

    [FONT="Georgia"][SIZE="3"]Hello everyone, first time poster here on the National Guard forums. I have a question about my particular situation. I am a university graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and History with a minor in German. I am 23 years old and in excellent physical condition. I was a cadet in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Program while in college from 2003 to 2006 and have three years of AFROTC experience. I am contemplating a commission in the Army National Guard, preferably under a pilot MOS but I would be flexible if there was a possibility I could direct commission. While I was in AFROTC I qualified on my AFOQT for Navigator and Pilot, passed my DODMERB, and I scored among the top in my Detachment in terms of physical fitness on the PFT. Is there a possibility that I could direct commission or would I have to go through OCS for sure? Thanks for your assistance in advance. [/SIZE][/FONT]

  • #2
    Just my somewhat educated guess .... but unless your an ordained minister, a doctor/nurse, a dentist, or a lawyer - you'll be heading to the 18-mo OCS with the rest of us. With your AFROTC, however, you "may" be able to get in AOCS.

    Comment


    • #3
      You can go for a direct commission, but I would suggest the Accelerated OCS option. Approx 8 weeks, then you are done. We had people with no prior service do well in AOCS, so no worries that you don't have Army experience.

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      • #4
        There are two categories of direct appointment: special branch (e.g., chaplain, medical, JAG; that's not what you're after, obviously), and basic branch (e.g., all the warfighting branches). Basic branch direct appointment isn't a realistic option, because in your situation it would take longer than OCS, and would be much more dicey. I recommend OCS in your case. PM me if you want to pursue this further.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would like to pursue this further, Major Ritchie. I'll send you a PM. Thanks.

          Comment


          • #6
            For the benefit of the other readers of this thread, please note that direct commissioning in basic branch (i.e., [U]not[/U] chaplain, JAG, medical) is designed for the experienced and proven NCO (usually, but not required, with battlefield leadership experience), not for non-prior service applicants.

            Comment


            • #7
              Army Accelerated Officer Candidate School?

              Alright Major Ritchie. I gathered this information about Accelerated OCS and I was just wondering if you think that I will have to go to basic before I would attend AOCS based on my qualifications. Thank you.

              [QUOTE]NGB ACCELERATED OCS
              COURSE OVERVIEW:

              National Guard Bureau (NGB) conducts an eight-week accelerated OCS program for qualified personnel, in both winter and summer months. Qualified personnel will be identified by OPM (Office of Personnel Management) or OSM (Officer Strength Manager) and enrolled in the course. The candidates will report for screening and indoctrination sessions during OCS IDT drills in the March-May period each year. The course is conducted over eight weeks, from June to August each year. (The three phases of training are conducted at region-specific locations throughout the continental United States, with Phase 3 at Ft. Lewis, VA and Ft. McClellan, AL.) Candidates are eligible for commissioning upon course completion pending federal recognition.

              ENROLLMENT PREREQUISITES:
              Applicants must meet appointment standards as prescribed in NGR (AR) 600-100. In addition to the State OCS enrollment prerequisites, an applicant must satisfy the following:

              Civilian Education: Candidates must possess a minimum of 90 college credit hours from an accredited college or university annotated on an official college transcript.

              Medical: Chapter II commissioning physical must be complete and approved. (Coordinated by OSM Office).

              Citizenship: Must be a US citizen for enrollment.

              Waiver Requests: Same as State OCS. (All waivers must be granted by time of application. Applicants must have no waivers pending.)

              [/QUOTE]

              Comment


              • #8
                [QUOTE=Rockstar]Alright Major Ritchie. I gathered this information about Accelerated OCS and I was just wondering if you think that I will have to go to basic before I would attend AOCS based on my qualifications. Thank you.[/QUOTE]

                If you have not already completed Basic Training from the Army or a sister service (and your previous post indicates that you did not), then you'll complete the Army's Basic Training prior to attending OCS. Your ROTC training prior to commissioning has no value outside of ROTC-land.

                Be advised that we will not write the accelerated OCS into your contract. If you are qualified for OCS, you can enlist with an OCS contract, but if you want to attend the accelerated course, you'll need to demonstrate that you have the capacity to succeed at that program. It does neither you nor your State any good to send you unprepared and have you fail. If you do fail OCS, your next stop is AIT, to serve the rest of your contract as an E4. It's better to walk to success than run to failure.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Major Ritchie,
                  I am a little confused by this statement:

                  [QUOTE]Be advised that we will not write the accelerated OCS into your contract. If you are qualified for OCS, you can enlist with an OCS contract[/QUOTE]

                  According to these requirements, I would be qualified for OCS pending a letter of recommendation from the NG commander. Again, I'm 23 years old, I have a Bachelor's Degree, I have no disqualifying character issues, I'm certain that I can pass the APFT (Done the AFPFT a million times) and I've already passed the DODMERB. I understand that you have to have a minimum of 60 credit hours to enter traditional state OCS which I have. So, that being said, if I were to get the letter from the commander and everything would check out like I said and I passed the PFT and I enlisted with an OCS contract, what would be my pay grade during basic training? Also, what would an abridged approximation of the wording of the contract be for a traditional state OCS contract? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm a very particular person and I don't like to have any surprises when I'm dealing with what could quite possibly be the most important decision I make in my life. Thank you for your assistance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Major Ritchie,
                    I am a little confused by this statement:

                    [QUOTE]Be advised that we will not write the accelerated OCS into your contract. If you are qualified for OCS, you can enlist with an OCS contract[/QUOTE]

                    According to these requirements, I would be qualified for OCS pending a letter of recommendation from the NG commander. Again, I'm 23 years old, I have a Bachelor's Degree, I have no disqualifying character issues, I'm certain that I can pass the APFT (Done the AFPFT a million times) and I've already passed the DODMERB. I understand that you have to have a minimum of 60 credit hours to enter traditional state OCS which I have. So, that being said, if I were to get the letter from the commander and everything would check out like I said and I passed the PFT and I enlisted with an OCS contract, what would be my pay grade during basic training? Also, what would an abridged approximation of the wording of the contract be for a traditional state OCS contract? Also, can they guarantee a pilot MOS slot after they verify my eligibility for traditional state OCS on the contract or is this not possible? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm a very particular person and I don't like to have any surprises when I'm dealing with what could quite possibly be the most important decision I make in my life. Thank you for your assistance.
                    Last edited by Rockstar; June 18th, 2008, 12:23 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=Rockstar]Major Ritchie,
                      I am a little confused by this statement:



                      According to these requirements, I would be qualified for OCS pending a letter of recommendation from the NG commander. Again, I'm 23 years old, I have a Bachelor's Degree, I have no disqualifying character issues, I'm certain that I can pass the APFT (Done the AFPFT a million times) and I've already passed the DODMERB. I understand that you have to have a minimum of 60 credit hours to enter traditional state OCS which I have. So, that being said, if I were to get the letter from the commander and everything would check out like I said and I passed the PFT and I enlisted with an OCS contract, what would be my pay grade during basic training? Also, what would an abridged approximation of the wording of the contract be for a traditional state OCS contract? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm a very particular person and I don't like to have any surprises when I'm dealing with what could quite possibly be the most important decision I make in my life. Thank you for your assistance.[/QUOTE]

                      Your recruiter will obtain the recommendation letter from a local unit commander. Your pay grade at enlistment will be the highest enlistment grade for which you are eligible (if you have 60 credits, then that's E3). When the OCS class formally starts, you'll be administratively advanced to grade E6 (that may be weeks or months after your return from Basic, depending on the calendar).

                      What do you mean by "wording of the contract?" I don't think it's feasable to post the DA1966 and DA4 documents on this forum, owing to size limitations. If you're concerned that the OCS enlistment is a bait-and-switch, I can assure you that it's not. The Army National Guard needs lieutenants as well as privates, and the population of people qualified for OCS is far smaller than that which is qualified for enlistment in general. The Guard wants you to succeed in OCS, since that fills an ongoing need that we have.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I meant what would my pay grade be during basic, not OCS, with my Bachelor's Degree? Wouldn't it be an E-4 during Basic Training?

                        [QUOTE]
                        The Guard wants you to succeed in OCS, since that fills an ongoing need that we have.[/QUOTE]

                        I heard the Army National Guard is down 5% under their goal for 2007 and down 11,000 Captains this year. That's pretty staggering.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Rockstar]I meant what would my pay grade be during basic, not OCS, with my Bachelor's Degree? Wouldn't it be an E-4 during Basic Training? [/QUOTE]

                          Your pay grade at Basic will be whatever your enlistment pay grade is, as determined by education and a few other factors. E4 is the highest enlistment grade, and would require a BA degree.


                          [QUOTE=Rockstar]I heard the Army National Guard is down 5% under their goal for 2007 and down 11,000 Captains this year. That's pretty staggering. [/QUOTE]

                          Where is this information coming from? The Guard as a whole is busting at the seams. We've had to accelerate some pending discharges in order to keep below the maximum legal cap set by Congress, and last month our recruiters were basically ordered to stop recruiting for a week so we wouldn't have too many people. Overall, we're doing very well. In certain categories, we're not doing as well as we want.

                          As for captains, the ARNG is authorized 14,500 captains, and we have about 8200. That's not good, but it's not nearly as bad as what you had thought. Overall, for officer grades O1-O5, we have 77% of authorization. Thus, you can see how we want our OCS candidates to succeed.

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