Army ROTC question


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jan 31, 2008
How do they decide which core/ branch of the army you will be in ?

Please understand that my ROTC experience is 1) dated (graduated and commisioned through ROTC 20+ years ago (again, sigh, I'm getting old), and 2) through another branch in the service (AF ROTC).

But when I went through the AFROTC program, cadets would request the type of career field they would like to enter (flight officer, engineer, security forces, etc. (i.e. the multitude of others careers available)) between your Sophomore and Junior years. You would fill out a "dream sheet", stating which career field was your first choice, which was your second, and down the line. The service would then match you to the one field that best fits you and best matches their needs. They look at your desires, performance in school, aptitudes (i.e. standardized tests, cadets in AFROTC took something called the AF Officer Qualification test (AFOQT), which is basically like the SAT, but a little heavier in math and also with sections that tested your skills in reading maps and aircraft instruments (looking for capabilities as a future flyer). Again, dated information, so I would research if this is still the case, or even close to how it is done in Army ROTC), and recommendations from your ROTC commander.

Please remember, if your on a ROTC scholoarship before this point, you have already told the service you will enter the career field they are paying your education for. (Again: dated info. There may be "general" scholarships available. Current information for this young person anyone?) In my day, the AF was not offering pilot scholarships to freshmen and sophomores(career field was over-manned), only ones for navigators, thus my choice was made for me at an early time. But I can't complain how it turned out for me! :smile:

Basically, you're competing on a national level for the career field you want. The performance factors I mention above are used to give you a score, then they just go down the line matching cadet's desires until the pool of requirements is filled. Score high, and you will most likely get your first choice. Score poorly, and you may end up in your second, third, or even fourth choice. Please remember that no matter what, you are competing first and foremost to be an OFFICER, which is the most important title for all those newly commisioned. (And, in rare cases, you can compete later in your career to transfer to another. It does happen, but I find many Officers fall in love with the career their given and choose to stay (again, my case)).

Again, I remind you that this data I'm presenting is old and from another service. My ultimate advise to you would be to research all the branches and career field options available. Talk to the officers and NCOs in your ROTC unit and ask them thier opinions (what do they love about their career field, what do they hate). Ask similar questions on forums like this (but please be careful to filter out bravado and pride in some of the answers). Lastly, I am sure your ROTC unit will provide oportunities for you to get information on each career field either through presentations from presentations or classroom discussions. Research, my boy, research. This is you life we're talkig about, and only you can decide what you'll be happiest in.

If there are any individuals with greater resources and more accurate, timely information available for this young individual, please feel free to add to the discussion. Someone currently in (or recently commisioned from) an Army ROTC program would be a tremendously valuable resource here. :thumb:

sorry I completely missed your post yesterday....

Army ROTC - your branch is assigned basically by order of merit. Your GPA in college is a big factor and also your score at LDAC. You get to make 3 choices of the sixteen or so Army branches.

LDAC is the summer between your junior and senior year and your performance there counts a lot.
You basically make 3 branch choices and find out in about Nov of your senior year.
A good webiste to go to to learn about different branches is:
Last year I heard the most popular choices were Infantry, Armor and Aviation. Aviation being the only branch open to females.

talk to the PMS or cadre at your ROTC unit - they can provide real help and guidance.
I just check out that website, it is awesome. everything you always wanted to know, kind of thing.... Just_A_Mom, i do not understand what you mean with aviation being the only branch open to female:confused:
My daughter is interested in Military Intelligence. Anyone can give us some input, experience etc.. She is going to AU on a 4 year ROTC scholarship to study criminal justice. Please let me know!
sorry - of Infantry, Armor and aviation only aviation is open to females.
Infantry and Armor are - at this time - closed to females.

Military Intelligence is open to females.
Note - college major is generally not a factor in branch selection.
Last edited:

Mostly the same today as in the stone ages haha. OM ranking the is in a chart with these instructions that give the ranking matrix.

Son's Det. had 30 plus officers come and talk about their career fields. Son loved the CROs and if he doesn't get a pilot training slot that is what he would like to do.

Best of luck to your son. No matter the career field he ends up in, always remember he will become an OFFICER first, something both he and you can take great pride in. Reading the messages posted by the wonderful young men and women here, and their parents, I can go to bed each night in comfort knowing that the torch will be passed to a strong new generation of professionals dedicated to protecting this country's freedoms. You kids (and you parents) make me proud! :thumb:

My daughter is interested in Military Intelligence. Anyone can give us some input, experience etc.. She is going to AU on a 4 year ROTC scholarship to study criminal justice. Please let me know!


You did not mention which branch of service your daughter is intending to go into, and it makes a huge difference in the intelligence career field. I say up front, I AM NOT an intelligence officer (again, just a WSO), but I have worked with intelligence personnel from every branch of service (outside of the CG, sorry LITS) during my career from the tactical to strategic level (unit intel officers, Intel Cell at the Operational level (Joint Air Operations Center), and the Intel staff at the strategic level both at the Pentagon and the Joint Coalition HQ in Baghdad). Not Mastery-level information, but enough that I can comfortably provide information at the "stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night" level.

Give me some parameters on what you're looking for, and I can provide more detailed information.

The Intel community continues to make amazing and important contributions to our country and to the current Global War on Terrorism, despite how the popular media currently portrays their work due to the current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. She will have a fine career that she will look back on in pride.

Again, if there are any individuals here at the forums who are currently in, or were once a part of, the intelligence professional career field I defer to your expertise. Your help on these forums would prove invaluable.
Last edited:
Well, I am not looking for something specific. My daughter found the website extremely usefull. I believe Military Intelligence is one of the branches she could chose to go into once she completes ROTC.
Thanks for your reply!