Branch Differences

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Classof2018, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Classof2018

    Classof2018 Member

    Jan 22, 2014
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    Hello all, I have not received a BFE to West Point or USNA as of yet, but as I plan to serve in the military in some form (reapplying if a TWE is received, or pursuing NROTC or ROTC), I have a question that revolves primarily around the differences between certain branches that I am interested in.

    I was wondering if someone could explain the difference between being an officer in Army infantry as opposed to being an officer in Marine infantry. I have done some research but most of it has gotten me "broad" answers, such as the primary focuses of the Army & Marines. I want something a bit more personal, and just want to know of any major differences that drastically affect the role/life of an officer in said branch.

    I have no problem attending either USNA or USMA, as both are wonderful schools. I do however want to make sure that I end up pursuing a career path that is best suited for me.

    Thanks, and good luck to all you fellow applicants out there.
  2. Stevewar2

    Stevewar2 Member

    Oct 7, 2013
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    Army Infantry

    I can give you the Army side of the equation (from ancient history). You go to Ft. Benning GA for @3 months of IOBC (Infantry Officer Basic Course). You may attend other schools while there (Bradley/Ranger/Airborne/Pathfinder etc.). Then you go to you first assignment in an Infantry Battalion (@700 Soldiers commanded by a LTC). You lead from 12-25 men. You spends a lot of your time doing PT, in the motor pool, road marching, and in the field practicing attack and defend type missions. You also spend a lot of time in weapons ranges shooting stuff. After a year or so, you will get to be a specialty platoon leader (scouts/mortars), become a company executive officer, or serve as a Battalion Staff Officer. Some LTs go to the Ranger BN and get a PLT there. After @3 years you then go to IOAC (advanced course) (at Ft. Benning or if selected other branches advanced courses). After IOAC, you go to another Infantry Battalion and serve as a primary staff officer and then hopefully get a company command (85-150 Soldiers). After @3 years, you go to advanced civil schooling or some other utilization tour (to include USMA/ROTC). Then you go to the Command and General Staff College (Ft. Leavenworth, KS) and try to become a BN Opns Office and XO in an Infantry Battalion. Then usually another utilization tour and a Battalion Command. Then you strive for a Joint Assignment/Pentagon and War College (Carlisle Barracks, PA) and a Brigade Command. Then you retire happily as a COL. This is the boilerplate for a straight infantry officer. Very few follow this scenario. Very few battalions and Brigades but lots of smart guys needed on Army and Joint Staffs. I was lucky to get two company commands and a Battalion, so I got 6 years in command. Some of my knowledge is probably dated and I left out all the deployments, short tours, and other things that come up. Generally, most infantry leaders end up doing other things before Battalion command.

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