Grad classes have me writing papers and submitting case studies like crazy, so it’s been a while since I posted. Here is a run down on what you need to submit an officer packet. There are several paths that can lead to becoming an officer in the military. Note this list may not be comprehensive. 

  1. Military academy like West Point, which are very competitive to get into.
  2. Complete an ROTC program at a participating college.
  3. Direct Commission for things like law or medicine.
  4. Officer candidate school for BA/BS degree holders 
  5. Earn the ability to be a Warrant Officer

I will speak to the fact that I know very little about number 1,2, 3, and 5 due to my lack of exposure to them. If you are interested in becoming an officer and option four above, it requires some effort on your behalf and is a typically a longer process than enlisting.

For the army you must do the following:

  • Obtain 3-6 reference letters from people of authority (Officers, Professors, Bosses)
  • Transcripts of all schools you have attended (min. 2.5 gpa, preferred 3.0)
  • Pass an AFPT test (Prefer scores above 260)
  • Type a 1 page essay on “Why I want to be an Officer”
  • Handwrite same essay
  • Medically Clear at MEPS
  • Take the ASVAB and make at least a 110 GT score
  • Fill out a ten year job, living, and education history
  • Submit professional photo
  • Officer Preference sheet for active/selection for reserve
  • Interview with a board of 3 commissioned officers after all above is turned in for final decision

If you are a civilian with a four year degree  be prepared that your recruiting station may not be experienced on processing a packet. The board meets every couple of months, so your timeline can be longer or rushed. I came to the recruiting office two days after a deadline passed and had about 3 months to prepare (thankfully, I had to get into better shape) The only main difference from my understanding for this process between active and reserve is that 2nd to last bullet point I mentioned. Active Duty rank their officer job selection in terms of preference, reserves find an open spot in a unit and submit their packet for that role only. This piece is what might hold up your time frame if submitting for the reserves, you can’t go to the boards until a slot is found. I also got one big piece of advice while submitting too, you can control certain aspects of your packet and don’t want too many weak spots. Did you barely qualify with your undergrad GPA? You can make up for it in the present with really awesome ASVAB scores and PFT scores. You can’t change the past, but you can affect the future. I may be forgetting a piece or two and will update this post if I remember something else.