They have don a lot over the past couple years to lessen the impact of the GPA from previous years. This year the academic portion of the OML has dropped from 50% to 40% with only 26% toward GPA. Changing the way they calculate the GPA score has really lowered it's impact. Gone is the old system where the score was out of a total of 40 points, if you got a 3.6 you received 36 points. With that old system a good GPA gave you a real boost.
With the new system they take the average GPA for the year, if that's 3.3 then that is the medium and that would score a 13 out of 26. Now if you get that 3.6 you may get just 16 points for the GPA score, far less then you would have gotten with the old system. The rest of the academics are made up of the CLA, Language/Cultural, and ADM (a nice way to try and level the field between majors)
I agree in someways that they should have evaluations at Advance Camp, the seem to have brought that back, although I have a feeling it will still be as subjective as it used to be with grading standards all over the place, but that's another thread for another time.
I think the days of just needing a great GPA and APFT score to get what you want are gone, which I agree is not a bad thing, The PMS has more juice now then they have had in years past.
As far as GPA goes, I would agree 100% that a great GPA doesn't automatically mean they'll be a great leader, but the study habits needed to get that GPA can be of great benefit for many areas in the military. Both by sons went Aviation, Flight School was like getting an engineering degree in 14 months. Without those study habits it would have been a long 14 months, and there were plenty that struggled to keep up because this school made college feel like Kindergarten. These Aviation officers never stop studying, they are tested all the time and have to study to keep up throughout their career.
My older son switched from Aviation to Civil Affairs, during the SOF Captain's Career Course 20% failed out and had to go back to their original branches, my son told me he was positive it was because they did not study enough or efficiently and that hurt them. He is now deep into Russian language training and the studying is even more intense. Once completed he will then start the main CA course for nearly a year and that will be again like college on steroids.
Don't get me wrong, I still agree that the old system of awarding so many points for GPA did not give enough weight to the other aspects of leadership and I am happy the new system has toned that back. I do think that doing well in college academically still has a place in the over all evaluation since the learning doesn't stop once they pin on their bars.
The new system of awarding branches now that they have got rid of that dreaded dead zone has helped spread out the branching process giving more the opportunity to branch in all branches. The ability of the PMS to have more say in the leadership quality of the cadets is also a good step forward.
I'm sure the system will never be perfect and good leaders will sometimes fall through the cracks, but at least they have made some, if only a few, moves in the right direction.