Does commissioning source matter?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by robertj96, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. robertj96

    robertj96 Member

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    Once you're an Officer in the military, does it matter how you were commissioned? For example, are your chances at promotion, certain commands, etc. affected by how you were commissioned (like an Academy graduate being chosen over an OCS graduate)?
     
  2. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Nope. While academy grads have the advantage of just having lived military full time for four years, after that it's all about performance. Keep in mind that the
    First promotion that isnt "automatic" is major. At that point your commissioning source means nothing and your performance means everything.
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Commissioning source DOES help in a life after your service.... each academy alumni network is close knit. That extends in part, across academy lines to other academy alums, but it especially strong for your specific academy.
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Concur in points above. There are several discussions about this on SAF.

    IMHO, it's performance, performance, performance. SA grads have the benefit of a full-immersion military culture/lifestyle, daily exposure to officers and don't have quite as steep a hill to acclimate to their first duty assignment as ROTC, and other OCS/OTS paths. SA grads do have to figure out how to live on their own, thus the other paths have some edge there.

    I never cared where the officers I served under, with and over got their commission - just how they did their job.

    As LITS says, having that tight-knit network of peers and those a few years ahead, comes in handy along the way. Built-in basis for conversation and professional mentoring. Good officers mentor and assess all officers who report to them, without favoring one commissioning source over another.
     
  5. jagabiti

    jagabiti Member

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    Great post and as a Mom, its nice to see them on a day when the TWE are all coming out for AFA. DS is in AROTC and loves it but always wanted the higher brass ring and didn't get it as of 2 hours ago! Thanks for the posts....
     
  6. navyasw02

    navyasw02 Member

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    Every time someone asks me this question I reply with "Do you want to be a career Officer or do you want to be an Academy graduate?" If you want that ring and want to be an Academy grad, there's only one way to do it. Unfortunately, gone are the days where there are any advantages for your military career for going to the Academy. In fact, sometimes going to an Academy can be a hindrance, as many commissioning sources pay you a stipend or continue towards your time in service and retirement years for prior enlisted students. It really comes down to what you want.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think the SA's have one other edge over the "traditional" ROTC/OCS commission.

    I say "traditional" because most do not attend Ivy level colleges, and SA's are Ivy. Thus, if you want to go ED and have the branch pay for it, theoretically from an academia perspective they have an edge regarding getting into a grad school or a fellowship right out the gate.

    The decision to select will be like any thing else in the military... a board. Boards look at the Whole person. A 4.0 gpa from an SA because it is on par with traditional IVY colleges, will be an edge to the applicant since it is an SA.

    I am not saying you can't go ED as a ROTC commission, you can. I am saying that there is an edge to the SA applicant.
     
  8. navyasw02

    navyasw02 Member

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    Pima - I disagree for two reasons:

    1. As an ED, there is no advantage to being USNA vs whatever else. All you need is an engineering degree undergrad and you're no more or less selective to lateral transfer into the community as anyone else.

    2. Unless there's some medical issue, you cannot direct commission as an ED. You will have to either lateral transfer or get an ED option, which again does not have any bias towards commissioning sources.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Out of 10 4 star generals in the Army right now, I believe 6 or 7 are West Point grads.
     
  10. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Out of the last 20 4 star generals, 9 were West Point Grads.

    Out of the last 10 4 stars, 6 were West Point Grads.

    Out of 3 4 star generals to become Secretary of State, 1 was a West Point Grad.

    Sorry, Couldn't resist.

    Keep your nose clean, work hard, learn from all those around you, and respect the men and women under your command and you'll do just fine.
     
  11. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    I must disagree a bit, here. This year, at least, there were 10 slots for subs-ED option direct from USNA. My Mid is one of them, even though completely medically qualified for line service. Also, it does not appear that an engineering degree, per se, is required, as mine is a chemistry major. Granted, the USNA "chemistry" degree is much more closer to an engineering degree than a standard chemistry degree from another college.
     
  12. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Also, as of last summer, on the order of 80% of the commanders of our ballistic missile subs were NA grads.

    Question: Subs-ED = Engineering Division???
     
  13. navyasw02

    navyasw02 Member

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    ED option is just that, it's an option. You still have to do a division officer tour on a submarine and then for subs, do a department head tour before exercising your option to transfer to ED. For sub guys, all it means is that you can transfer into the ED community without a lateral transfer board. They can also decline the option and stay subs. This ED option program is different from a direct commission straight into the ED community which is extremely rare. The only two guys I know about both had medical issues and couldn't serve onboard a ship.

    Regarding degrees, I think you are correct. It has to be a "technical major" and I think the hard sciences fall into that category. I know another ED Chem major as well.

    Yes
     
  14. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    I think y'all may be talking about different things. If I'm correct (and I don't mean to assume, PIMA) she is talking about ED (Educational Delay?). Atleast for AROTC, you can still try and apply for a GRADSO. Basically, you agree to serve X number of years in addition to your basic service requirement and the service will pay for your Masters. There are 3 cadets from my BN who have been granted this.

    If I'm wrong PIMA, my bad, but I think this is what you're talking about, not the Navy's engineering field.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    -Bull- Is correct.

    Now to clarify even further, I was talking about AF, not Army, not Navy and not CG.

    The issue about SA compared to traditional colleges, goes back to the fact that SA's are comparable to a Ivy education.

    Let's take an AFROTC cadet from University of Timbucktoo, and the AFA cadet, same cgpa, same major, both wanting to go to AFIT or a fellowship as an ED right after commissioning. AF will make the decision, there are limited slots, the AFA cadet will most likely have a higher chance over the Timbucktoo AFROTC cadet because they are an AFA cadet.

    AF allows ED directly after commissioning as -Bull- explained. The cadet (AFA or AFROTC) applies for it and the AF either gives a :thumb: or a :thumbdown:

    The ED program runs concurrent with the commitment owed from commissioning. It is not on top of time owed. I.E. owe 5 yrs as an SA, and if you owe 3 for ED, you don't owe 8.

    For the AF the only ED that I know of regarding doing AD life is, is if you want to go JAG. If you want the AF to pay for Law school, you must serve 2 yrs AD and compete for a slot as an AD member.

    Every branch has their unique programs. I know of at least 3 posters here that are AF and doing ED or selected for ED as their 1st assignment. Hornet, Eagle, CC's DS.
     
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    And here I thought you were all talking about Ed, the hyena from Disney's The Lion King.
     
  17. navyasw02

    navyasw02 Member

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    Too many acronyms, the ED I was talking about is Navy Engineering Duty. Sorry if there was any confusion.
     

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