Branch Selection

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Clarkfarm, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Clarkfarm

    Clarkfarm New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is the information available as to where the various branches went out last week at the Firsties' branch selection?
     
  2. lotrjedi13

    lotrjedi13 _

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    2
    Posting data has not been posted yet. When it is (no ETA, I'm afraid), I'll pass it on as able.

    Below are some statistics we have been provided:

    - Approximately 80% of 2014 received their #1 choice
    - Approximately 98% of 2014 received one of their top 5 choices
    - Infantry, Aviation, and Engineers, and M.I. were the most popular branches

    As far as the last bullet, it is not clear what is meant by "most popular." It could mean:
    - How many listed ___ branch as first pick
    - How many included it in their top five picks
    - How many actually branched it
    - The order in which those branches went out (questionable, as I know folks who branched infantry in the comma club).
     
  3. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm waiting to see the explanation of this year's branching system - from what I have seen, some high ranking cadets didn't get their top choice while cadets with worse class ranks got that same branch.
     
  4. another13mom

    another13mom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    2
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    1,009
    I think that was, in part, the goal - To spread the OML rankings more evenly throughout the services.
     
  6. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    11
    The more interesting piece is that the new system attempts to match cadets' talents to branches. The testing that the article refers to, and the interview process would theoretically, for example, steer the introverted computer geek to a lab in Signal Corps and away from commanding an infantry platoon. But tough on those highly ranked who didn't get their choices.
     
  7. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    461
    Sounds a bit like USMC out of TBS. They ensure that "prized" slots go to grads in each third of the class by allocating a certain number of such slots for each third of the class. Thus, someone in the bottom third could get a "more desirable" warfare specialty than someone in the top third. The theory is to ensure that the "best" officers don't all end up in the same MOS.
     
  8. Stevewar2

    Stevewar2 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    OML

    I read the related article. I think this is a terrible idea! The OML was a fair and honest method to determine branch and assignment. Did they have some data that showed that OML was bad? Doubtful. I was around 900 out of 1000 graduates. I got a Branch that I was okay with and did well. It would have been totally unfair for me to have gotten aviation ahead of a higher ranked cadet. It will take 4-5 years to see if the new system works? Really? Sounds like someone wanted bullets for their OER and really did not think this through. Also, we were forced to do a straw poll for Branch. This way people would put more realistic chooses on their Branch selection forms (made the numbers look better for the process also). I know ROTC does the 1/3 distribution. However, those people knew the rules going into the process and are not going head to head as easily as WP people.
     
  9. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    8
    I know some may be wary of the new branching process. The new system definitely has its advantages.

    I participated in the pilot program a couple of years ago. Senior Company grade and Field Grade officers from each branch on the faculty and staff were able to evaluate each Cadet's file (and some were able to interview cadets) who wanted to go their branch and the officer was able to give them a rating. These ratings were combined across all of the officers in that branch and that produced the new OML.

    Class Rank, while important, was combined with other factors the branches felt were also important.

    The new system actually lets the "branches" have a part in selecting their officers.

    It was either this or the army would have made USMA use a forced distribution model.
     
  10. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,276
    Likes Received:
    609
    How was it fair? It was actually quite unfair. Under the pure OML model, cadets were systematically rewarded for easier course loads because an A was an A was an A, whether in organic chemistry, environmental engineering, or business administration.
     
  11. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    1
    Scout,
    I don't have numbers to confirm this, but the OML does not seem to be striated by major. There is a healthy mix of engineers at the top and plenty of management majors in the comma club. I don't see how this system is any more fair, especially when a top-100 ranked engineering major doesn't get engineers (1st branch choice).
     
  12. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0
    What branch did this person get?
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    1,009
    Well, no they didn't know going in 3 years ago as the system is new this year - so that would seem to be incorrect, and

    I'm not even sure what this means. This is a national ranking right? They may never meet each other but they're still competing head to head. Perhaps not face to face though. Am I missing something? What did you mean?
     
  14. Stevewar2

    Stevewar2 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Clarification

    When my son started ROTC 4.5 years ago, he knew that the branches would be distributed by OML (1/3rd rule) with a broken distribution based on how a cadet did in his third of the group. When a WP Cadet started 3.5 years ago they knew that the higher on the OML the greater chance of getting their branch. Head to Head? A West Pointer is going through the same system (free will on picking your major) and is placed in the OML based on how they do based on a measurable standard. ROTC people come from a wide variety of colleges and the only common standard is LDAC.
     
  15. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    So no one should major Chemistry since a good chance of getting Chemical Corps?

    Or my branch detail to Infantry was a mistake as a "geek" I shouldn't have made it through Ranger school or earn my EIB. For me desire is most important than "talent." Seen plenty of "infantry" talking and looking cadets being bad infantry officers.
     
  16. mmb5

    mmb5 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    11
    The article refers to aptitude testing, not necessarily a major field of study - we heard that it was more to try to measure leadership skills and other aspects of personality rather than skill.
     
  17. AROTC Parent

    AROTC Parent Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    83
    Stevewar2----Did your son know 4.5 years ago that the ROTC OML would not be the deciding factor for Active Duty? That is the key missing piece for ROTC YG14 that was not known to most cadets. Additionally, the "common standard LDAC", OML impact was lowered for YG14. It is clear why they do not intend to publish the ROTC OML. We should take this discussion over to the ROTC area.
     
  18. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,276
    Likes Received:
    609
    That's irrelevant. The issue is whether any one cadet has a better chance of getting the branch he wants if he chooses an easy major like EV or Dirt over a tough major like Aero or Juice. The answer is a resounding "yes" under the old system. Easy classes = easy grades = higher OML. My best friend had great GPA. He was a systems major. I was an econ major with a mech track. We both got the branches we wanted, but he didn't have to do near as much work. This new system, while imperfect, removes that gamesmanship component.

    Regardless, basic branch will be the least of these cadets' concerns going forward.
     
  19. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    Not sure picking an "easier" major to get the branch you want, under the old system, would have been a smart decision as for some folks transitioning to civilian career their undergrad degree mattered.
     
  20. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    699
    Likes Received:
    1
    She got Field Artillery

    I would like to see the numbers on this. It seems to me that regardless of major, smart people get better grades than not-so smart people. A smart mech major will have a higher class rank than a dumb management major. Regardless, I don't see how the new system is an improvement if highly ranked engineers are getting force branched FA - that seems to be the opposite of matching branch to skills
     

Share This Page