Just to add clarity on this thread, the purpose of the direct commission program is to take very specialized talent and provide it a way into the service to utilize its purpose. A basic CS degree or programmer isn't going to be competitive for this program. However, someone who worked in a major tech company and demonstrated a special skill that could be used would be eligible. There is a lot of discussion about lateral appointments at the field grade level but most of the talk I have heard on that is using that as a mechanism for folks who leave the service as a junior officer go work in the private sector and then want to reenter the service at a rank commiserate with their peers. That will work again for narrow technical niches. It will probably not make them immediately eligible to be a brigade or battalion commander as those are still centrally selected by boards and would be based on OERs as a S3, XO or Team Leader.