Thank you for your service. I would be grateful for any informed opinions you can provide.
My questions are:
Would I be a good candidate for Army Officer Candidate School?
What are my chances of being accepted?
I read somewhere that the Army is in 'hiring mode' for officers at the moment. What is the outlook?
-34 years old (Age waiver required)
-B.A. in Music (4 year degree, 3.5 GPA approx., 120+ college credits)
-Scored 75 on the practice ASVAB (should score a bit higher after reviewing math)
-Within weight limit, good cardio/running/endurance, working on the crunches/push-ups/pull-ups.
-No criminal convictions, no traffic tickets/moving violations.
-Motivated, honest and serious.
-Self-employed for past 10 years, experience leading in business setting, experience leading outdoor/wilderness trips, experience teaching kids, young adults and adults.
-Married, no kids.
I am not doing this for financial reasons, I would ultimately be taking a pay-cut to enlist. I am interested in joining out of a sense of responsibility to my family, country and a desire to fight for good.
Yes. armyocs.com would have the best info for your questions.
Just my $.02. With the economy in the crapper, the military isn't quite so hard up anymore. Frankly, on paper you aren't necessarily a stellar candidate. No offense but you require an age waiver, your degree is pretty much good for only one thing (Army Band) and your ASVAB needs improvement.
The Army is still in need of officers. Although you do need to improve your ASVAB score, your degree major has no bearing on what job you can do in the Army. All they need to see is that you have a 4 year degree it doesn't matter what it is in. Shardik clearly has no idea what hes talking about because if your major mattered then what are Infantry and Armor officers supposed get their degree in? A B.A. in Combat Tactics? Give me a break.
|Boot Camp and Army Forums Moderator|
Your degree does have a certain amount of influence on what you can do in the Army.
I received a direct commission as a Nurse because of my degree. Doctors, Nurses, Lawyers, and a few other specialists can direct commission, rather than go through OCS, or ROTC.
So, maybe you should not be so quick with the "no idea what hes talking about " stuff.
The best advice I can give is to go see a recruiter and see what happens.
Thank you for the perspectives. I am going to give it my best shot. While on paper I look a bit dull, my real-life leadership experiences may tip the scales. We'll see.
I'm reviewing my math (week point on the ASVAB practice test). I've always done well in math classes, it has just been a LONG time since I've done math without a calculator. I was too slow on one portion of the test. With a little practice I should be able to bump my score up.
Thanks again for the advice!
That's true. However, Andrew didn't ask about being direct commissioned he asked about OCS. Just because he has a degree in music does not mean his only option is the Army Band. That's why Shardik has no idea what he's talking about.
Armyocs.com is the best resource on OCS.
You have a degree that is really all that matters. My degree is in US History and I am a Signal officer. On the ASVAB you need a 110 GT score, which isn't that hard and you may already have.
|Boot Camp and Army Forums Moderator|
Putting aside who is right and wrong here, it's generally not a good idea to have your first post stirring up trouble with that "you don't know what you're talking about" stuff. Not good for your second post either.
Numbers, perhaps you need to think twice and post once?
For those who need things explained in words of fewer syllables, degrees do matter in regard to shortage career fields. Professional degrees (MD, DDS, JD, DD, etc...) will still get you a direct commission. Having a degree in computer science, physics, chemistry, engineering, etc.. will make you more competitive and get you accepted into shortage career fields. Having a degree in "soft studies" e.g. music, social science, arts, etc... are interchangeable and only meet the minimum standard.
Yes, the OP meets the minimum standard. He also has a number of things that make him somewhat less competitive in this very competitive economy.
P.S. Numbers, did you know you can click on a member's name and see their profile? Have one of your Senior ROTC friends explain to you what an O-4 is sometime.
|Highly Experienced Member|
^^^ He is also a Special Forces O-4.
Try to do some research first, so that Special Forces Majors don't have to break it down Teletubbie style for you.
|Boot Camp and Army Forums Moderator|
Numbers is right. The degree has no bearing on what the OP can do in the Army. OCS only commissions into the basic branches, and the degree is not a factor in branching. Branching is determined by the Order of Merit list, all based on events during OCS.
Matt- You should know this, you are in OCS. Does the OML branching make a distinction between candidates with a degree in physics or in music.
OCS has a very high selection rate, and has surpassed ROTC in the number of graduates. The OP is qualified for OCS and commission into any of the basic branches. Actual selection is determined by a board of officers from the local recruiting battalion.
As a 1990 graduate of the Benning School for Boys, I am quite familiar with the Federal OCS process. I think you are getting the cart before the horse here. To reiterate; the OP's question was;
The OP is indeed minimally qualified to apply for OCS. He is also not a very competitive candidate. That "board of officers from the local recruiting battalion" are going to be comparing him to many, many others (possibly more competitive) for a very limited number of slots.
Bottom line, yes there is no reason a Music major can't get into OCS. Once accepted there is no restriction to what branch he can be assigned. People seem to be confusing "can" be selected with "will" be selected. All things being equal, a Music Major with an age waiver and low GT score is not likely to be the most competitive candidate. The only thing he will possibly be able to change between now and the board is his GT and PT scores.
I am a 2006 OCS graduate. Many things have changed for OCS selection since 1990. The selection is left up to a local board rather than going to DA. The selection rates are also very high, over the last few years nearly every qualified applicant has been accepted. The OP is qualified to apply, and with the trend in selections has a very high chance of being selected.
The branching process has changed even since I went through. The branch is selected based on the OML at OCS, and that is detemined by events there not a degree.
The age limit for OCS is 41. I was 30 when I went, and many of the candidates were older than that.
Currently, College-Op Candidates (which includes those right out of college and BCT, those transferring from sister services, and those who are prior service with a break in service) are branched according to the OML. The initial APFT sets the tone for the OML, as it is here that you either start off ahead of the pack, in the pack, or behind it. Better to start ahead than anywhere lower.
Those who are Active Duty are branched at the time they are selected by DA. We have been told that very soon, however, everyone will be on the OML. No hard date for that yet.
The only people whose collegiate degrees have any bearing are: those with verifiable medical experience and want to branch Medical Service; Engineering students who want to branch Engineers; and those with verifiable flight experience (as well as a passed AFAST and approved Flight Physical) who want to branch Aviation. The aforementioned people submit a 4187 with the appropriate documentation and hope for the best. Engineer hopefuls have the best chance at success. We have been told that there are very few MS and AV slots available and that it's more likely to NOT get those branches than to get them.
The local recruitment officer said acceptance is unlikely due to the current economic situation. He is willing to give me a shot. To what degree is the selection based on life experience and personality?
Here are my practice test results:
--------: WK : AR : PC : MK : VE
AFQT = 75
GT = 113?
Looks like a barely passing GT. I picked up an Arco ASVAB study guide and I'm refreshing my memory with old college math textbooks. I am doing the maximum possible PT without overtraining.
Although a degree in music seems inapplicable, musicianship is all about working with a team, under pressure, within an exact set of guidelines. A band leader needs to be able to build morale, recognize strengths and address weaknesses. He needs to be able to fix potential train-wrecks on the fly, work 16 hour days, deal with higher-ups (corporate clients), delegate responsibilities, hire independent contractors, draft accurate contracts, etc.
I have a deep respect for military personnel and leadership. I have zero combat experience. I am humble and willing to learn. I believe my life experiences as a band-leader, climbing guide, business owner and teacher may be of use in the military. If not directly applicable, these experiences have strengthened leadership and organizational abilities that can be applied to new skills learned in the military. Lastly, I have a strong desire to serve, and my reasons are true. If I fail, no loss, if I don't try... I will always wish I did.
You will be fine. The selection is made by a local board of three officers. You will sit down with them face to face and your selection is up to them. Part of the application is an essay on why you want to be an Army officer, you will have to opportunity to make your case in that and in front of the board.
I don't care that he's an O4 Special Forces officer. I wouldnt care if he was General, his statement that this guy's only possible career field in the Army is the Army Band just because he has a degree in Music is wrong and idiotic. I am not trying to stir up trouble with my post but I don't want this possible OCS candidate to not go through with the process just because someone who graduated from OCS almost two decades ago says something thats not true.
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