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  • Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

    I'm swearing in tomorrow (July 18th) as 09S. I was told by others that I would have an option to go to the federal OCS if a slot is available, but my recruiter is saying that's not going to happen. I haven't even gone to BCT yet, so how can I increase my chances of getting a slot in the Federal Side? Sidenote: My main reason for wanting Federal is because I want to make sure my commission will carry over if I ever wanted to go active (I heard that when some officers went active they had to switch over as E-5's instead of 0-1's or 0-2's) I have no plans to go active at this time, but I just want the option.

  • #2
    Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

    Originally posted by EdWelch View Post
    I'm swearing in tomorrow (July 18th) as 09S. I was told by others that I would have an option to go to the federal OCS if a slot is available, but my recruiter is saying that's not going to happen. I haven't even gone to BCT yet, so how can I increase my chances of getting a slot in the Federal Side? Sidenote: My main reason for wanting Federal is because I want to make sure my commission will carry over if I ever wanted to go active (I heard that when some officers went active they had to switch over as E-5's instead of 0-1's or 0-2's) I have no plans to go active at this time, but I just want the option.
    One commision is the same as the next, is the same as the next. Once you commission, it doesn't matter how you got there. Those examples of reverting to E-5 had nothing to do with the type of OCS attended, it had to do with Army end strentgh and other recruiting variables.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

      Ed,

      I'm still in RSP and this is all anecdotal, so take this with a grain of salt---but this was my experience getting a FOCS seat:

      Before you go to swear in, you need to obtain a "federal control number" through the NGB to get a seat at FOCS, or you will only have the option of state OCS. I was told AOCS is never written into a contract and attendance will depend a variety of factors. After months of trying, I was able to get a seat at FOCS only after telling my recruiter I was leaning towards joining the Guard in a neighboring state which had promised to send me to FOCS.

      I'm guessing the ability to obtain a "federal control number" is state/individual dependant---I had to have a conversation with my state's OSM OIC before my recruiter got state approval and contacted the NGB to get this number. Perhaps those with more knowledge could shed some light on the vetting process to get this number.

      Long story short, I do not believe you'll be given the option for FOCS at MEPS tomorrow. If you really want FOCS, delay your trip to MEPS, engage your state, and see what can happen.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told by my OSM that after graduation from OCS, the reason we won't commission until the next month is because it has to be approved by the fed-rec board and when it is, that is what makes our commissions federally recognized (for a deployment, for example).

        I have never heard of the E-5 scenerio.....

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

          Your commission is valid if you could switch to active duty. The course program is standard among all of the regions and is subject to inspection by active duty. If someone resigns their commission to go active duty, it’s because the active duty isn’t taking officers.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

            Originally posted by Chris36 View Post
            Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told by my OSM that after graduation from OCS, the reason we won't commission until the next month is because it has to be approved by the fed-rec board and when it is, that is what makes our commissions federally recognized (for a deployment, for example).

            I have never heard of the E-5 scenerio.....
            I'm not sure if that is the exact reason. I've seen people FedRec'd very soon after of graduation from OCS. However, I think what your OSM said is "best practice".

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

              Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
              I'm not sure if that is the exact reason. I've seen people FedRec'd very soon after of graduation from OCS. However, I think what your OSM said is "best practice".


              Oh, I know it can happen pretty fast but I meant the process itself is what makes a National Guard commission federally recognized as opposed to only state-wide. In Michigan, commissions occur every third Thursday of each month, regardless of when you graduate from your respective OCS.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

                Obtaining a control number for Federal OCS is absolutely correct! You have to be under 33, and have your undergraduate degree completed. I think I many of us have mentioned this about a dozen times on here. If your goal is to go onto Active Duty as an officer, do NOT mess around with a Commission in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard. The Active Component also has the O9S program. Go acess with them! Trying to transition after the fact is highly improbable, and the CPT is right, it has nothing to do with what OCS you go to. Frankly, AOCS is markedly more difficult that Federal with an attrition rate about 4 times higher. But it's inconsequential.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

                  Chris, the Fedrec board (in your case in Michigan) can take place prior to your graudation date...or not. Your DOR should be the day you graduated OCS, regardless. If Michigan's OSM is on the ball, your FedRec will be done a months before you're even out of school. Again...or not.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

                    Originally posted by Mongoose772 View Post
                    Obtaining a control number for Federal OCS is absolutely correct! You have to be under 33, and have your undergraduate degree completed. I think I many of us have mentioned this about a dozen times on here. If your goal is to go onto Active Duty as an officer, do NOT mess around with a Commission in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard. The Active Component also has the O9S program. Go acess with them! Trying to transition after the fact is highly improbable, and the CPT is right, it has nothing to do with what OCS you go to. Frankly, AOCS is markedly more difficult that Federal with an attrition rate about 4 times higher. But it's inconsequential.
                    As a AOCS graduate and having spent some time down at Benning in 2011, I'm not sure if AOCS is that much more difficult than Federal. Obviously SD AOCS doesn't have the same reputation as AL AOCS, but there's some needless stuff that happens in FOCS. It's definitely a different environment compared to pre-2010 and I don't think it's for the better.

                    Originally posted by Mongoose772 View Post
                    Chris, the Fedrec board (in your case in Michigan) can take place prior to your graudation date...or not. Your DOR should be the day you graduated OCS, regardless. If Michigan's OSM is on the ball, your FedRec will be done a months before you're even out of school. Again...or not.
                    Well said! This is the best explanation so far.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

                      Originally posted by refcorp View Post
                      Ed,

                      I'm still in RSP and this is all anecdotal, so take this with a grain of salt---but this was my experience getting a FOCS seat:

                      Before you go to swear in, you need to obtain a "federal control number" through the NGB to get a seat at FOCS, or you will only have the option of state OCS. I was told AOCS is never written into a contract and attendance will depend a variety of factors. After months of trying, I was able to get a seat at FOCS only after telling my recruiter I was leaning towards joining the Guard in a neighboring state which had promised to send me to FOCS.

                      I'm guessing the ability to obtain a "federal control number" is state/individual dependant---I had to have a conversation with my state's OSM OIC before my recruiter got state approval and contacted the NGB to get this number. Perhaps those with more knowledge could shed some light on the vetting process to get this number.

                      Long story short, I do not believe you'll be given the option for FOCS at MEPS tomorrow. If you really want FOCS, delay your trip to MEPS, engage your state, and see what can happen.
                      FYI to the OP, the Control Number is obtained by MEPS, not your OSM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

                        Originally posted by Mongoose772 View Post
                        FYI to the OP, the Control Number is obtained by MEPS, not your OSM.
                        Roger, sir. The impression I got was that the OSM had to first give his approval that I was a candidate my state was willing to pay for to send to FOCS, then the administrative process of obtaining the Control Number was initiated.

                        But from what I recall at MEPS, my recruiter was the one who was in contact with the NGB, and he obtained and brought the Control Number to the liaison's office, who then simply plugged it into his computer to reserve my seat.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

                          Wow! Thank you all for the info. Since going active is not in the plans (at all) right now, I think I'll be fine either way. But I appreciate everyone's comments. It is definitely helpful. I guess my next step is figuring out where I will be going for OCS. :-D But that's not until next year. I have a friend that went to Alabama and he stressed how difficult it is. Whatever the challenge, I'll make sure I'm ready. Failure is not an option.
                          Thanks again!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

                            It's my experience and through research in various forums, every state plays it different. A lot of states don't send candidates to Federal for one of many reasons, usually they say it costs too much or they are really proud of their own RTI. This makes sense though because if the state puts you through their own program, they know what kind of product (2LT) they will get on the other end.

                            The same for Accelerated OCS (AOCS). It's becoming more common for states NOT to send candidates this route because of the high attrition rate, and the same reason of breeding their 2LTs in house. Heck in my state, you had to meet some very high standards just to qualify to go Accelerated (be an NCO, have deployment experience, make 270+ on the APFT, and pass a board interview). As an example, we sent 23 candidates to AMA in June but only 3 of those were for AOCS. When we left Phase I, quite a few candidates (mix of all states) that were scheduled for the entire 8 weeks raised their hands and opted to go home and go back to Traditional.

                            If you do choose the Traditional route, have fun at AMA if you're lucky enough to go there for Phase I and/or III! I just got back from Phase I last month and begin my Traditional drills this weekend. It's definitely not a place for the faint of heart. I've got a friend who stayed for AOCS and is set to graduate on 3 August. I'm sure he'll have some stories! From speaking with those who've gone before me, and our current Senior Class ahead of me the Traditional route gives you more time to absorb the material, heal or prevent injuries, and of course you get ample networking opportunities within your own state, something that's lost at either Federal OCS or AOCS.

                            But don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Federal. I was selected to go for Active Duty until I got sidelined and then had some family changes that opted me to choose the National Guard. A few of my fellow candidates in Phase I from GA had actually been to Federal, made it almost all the way through, but fell out due to medical reasons. They say that it's a lot less mental stress than you'll get in NG OCS options, but the physical is twice as demanding and getting injured in any way is basically a one way ticket home (at least in the current environment).
                            Last edited by eqmcclure; July 19th, 2012, 01:46 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Federal OCS vs. Accelerated

                              Originally posted by Chris36 View Post
                              Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was told by my OSM that after graduation from OCS, the reason we won't commission until the next month is because it has to be approved by the fed-rec board and when it is, that is what makes our commissions federally recognized (for a deployment, for example).

                              I have never heard of the E-5 scenerio.....
                              You usually commission the next month because your state is not going to go to AMA (or Phase 3 of your RTI) and commission you. So you finish, go "home" and the state has a month to tie up all loose ends for the fancy ceremony that may include the governor, general, family, friends, etc... You are recognized as a 2LT in your state by the power and authority of the governor from that day forward. Your completed packets with everything are then sent up the chain of command ending up with the final federal recognition. This may take a month or more. They also fedrec in alphabetical order, so the lists are released or rec'd by last name groupings.

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