What branches are least desired

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by 1991, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. 1991

    1991 New Member

    Jan 28, 2010
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    When firsties choose their branches what are the ones that are normally picked towards the end?
  2. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

    Mar 14, 2009
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    Off the collegeboard website:

    Branch Night for the Class of 2009

    This past Sunday evening, 2 November 2008, the West Point Class of 2009 received their eagerly-awaited branch assignments. Although the procedure now is completely computerized, the uncertainty for many was not diminished. The current process is a far cry from that of the past, when the number of slots available in each branch was displayed on an overhead projector (earlier, it had been a blackboard) and the names of the cadets were called one by one in order of merit. As each cadet proclaimed his choice, the number adjacent to a given branch (only five were available then) was diminished by one until it reached zero. As each branch filled, many cadets still awaiting their turn had to adjust their expectations accordingly. In days of yore, the Corps of Engineers almost always reached capacity first, while the limited slots available in the Air Force before Colorado Springs was running at full capacity caused much consternation as well.

    This past Sunday, the first member of the Class of 2009 in order of general merit chose Aviation, but the second chose the Queen of Battle, followed by 199 other men, including 50 who opted to incur an additional active duty service obligation (ADSO) in return for the honor of being called a “Grunt” and earning a Combat Infantryman Badge. Another 141 chose the King of Battle, the Field Artillery, including three women and five ADSO, while 130 selected the Corps of Engineers (which closed out 11th), including 22 women and 26 ADSO. Many of those selecting the latter two branches may find themselves spending more time than was common in the past on Infantry-type missions.

    The Combat Arm of Decision, Armor, drew 94 men, including 24 ADSO, while Aviation, closing out second (Finance was first, attracting six, including one woman and one ADSO) drew 85, including 13 women and 21 ADSO. Military Intelligence was next in sheer numbers, with 79, including 14 women and 19 ADSO, while Air Defense Artillery followed with 57, including five women.

    In Combat Support/Combat Service Support, the Signal Corps appealed to the most, 52, with 10 women and 10 ADSO, while the Medical Service Corps, closing out third, accounted for 25, with 17 women and six ADSO. (Infantry closed out fourth). The Quartermaster Corps attracted 15 women and eight men, while the Ordnance Corps and the Adjutant General’s Corps each attracted 20, including nine women choosing the former and 14 women and three ADSO opting for the latter. The class provided 17 potential future doctors, including three women; ten Transportation Corps, including two women; and eight Chemical Corps, including one woman. Finally, one woman and two men opted for an inter-service transfer, two to the Navy and one to the Marine Corps. Overall, the Class of 2009 soon will provide 988 commissioned leaders of character to assist in the Global War on Terror, including 169 who accepted an additional active duty obligation in order to receive their branch of choice.

    The ceremony differed in two significant ways this year. First, upon entering the Eisenhower Hall auditorium, each member of the Class of 2009 was presented a personal copy of a book written expressly for them by members of the 50-Year Affiliate Class of 1959. The volume is Leadership: Combat Leaders and Lessons and was published by Stand Up America, USA. A number of the graduates who provided essays for the book were on hand, including GEN (Ret.) Fred Franks (originally commissioned in Armor) and BG (Ret.) Pete Dawkins (originally commissioned in the Infantry), who spoke during the ceremony. Seven other members of the Class of 1959, representing Field Artillery, Engineers, Military Intelligence, and Logistics also attended.

    When BG Dawkins approached the lectern, the Class of 2009 greeted him with an enthusiastic, standing ovation. Then he spoke to them in conversational tones about the significance of Branch Night in their overall development as officers and as human beings. He began by noting that his reflections on life had made him realize that our sense of who we are—our lives—are really a sequence of experiences that become “knit together” into what we think of as the fabric of our lives. The more meaningful of those experiences are the passages—the periodic transformations we undergo at formative times. In a military career, branching is one of those passages, setting an officer onto a path to the field of his profession. Pinning their branch insignia onto their uniforms gave them, in effect, a new identity. BG Dawkins concluded with brief remarks on the centrality of leadership to their profession and the absolute, unwavering commitment the cadets had made to being leaders of character. This commitment to character seemed the core bond, tying them all together as Army officers and defining their professional stance.

    The second major difference this year concerned the envelope that each member of the class received. This year, it did not contain a branch insignia gift from the 50-Year Affiliate Class. Instead, the sealed envelope, opened at a specific point in the ceremony, merely indicated the assigned branch. The actual brass was located at various tables throughout Ike Hall, where formations and official brass pinning ceremonies were held with branch representatives from the Department of Military Instruction, the Class of 1959, and elsewhere before the cadets enjoyed refreshments and received various mementoes from the branch representatives in attendance to accompany their “First Brass,” courtesy of the Class of 1959.

    Your humble servant, J. Phoenix, Esquire
  3. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

    Dec 14, 2009
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