Job Within MOS After Commissioning

CadetDreamer

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When you get assigned your branch, how much choice do you have over what specifically you'll be doing? For instance, if you branch Armor, how can you choose whether you're in a tank platoon or cavalry? Or for Engineering, how can you choose combat vs non-combat engineering?
 

kinnem

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I don't know if it makes a difference but which service? It might work differently with each service.
I know for the Corps you put in preferences as to base etc (I think) but within that there is no further choice and you may not get your first choice of base. I imagine the other services work that way but I really don't know. I'm sure others who actually went through this will chime in.

The needs of the service are always paramount.
 

AROTC-dad

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The OP is a rising MS-III in Army ROTC based on prior posts.

The summer after your MS-III year is a critical one for your branching future. Your OML is greatly affected by both GPA and your performance in Advanced Camp. Once your OML evaluation is completed, you will be asked to submit a list ranked by your preference for your branch choices. The higher you rank on the OML, the more likely you are to get your first choice.
For instance, if you branch Armor, how can you choose whether you're in a tank platoon or cavalry?

I will speak to Armor as my DS is about to enter Armor BOLC.

The correct terminology in Armor is "Heavy" (for tanks) and "Light" (for scout cavalry - Bradleys and Strykers). You won't know until you are partially through Armor BOLC. Your performance ranking in BOLC will dictate if you get a choice or not. They will decide "Heavy" versus "light" armor midway through BOLC by your performance.

This is why Armor 2LT's don't know their permanent duty station until they are done with BOLC.
 

Jcleppe

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When you get assigned your branch, how much choice do you have over what specifically you'll be doing? For instance, if you branch Armor, how can you choose whether you're in a tank platoon or cavalry? Or for Engineering, how can you choose combat vs non-combat engineering?

A lot will depend on your branch and how many different units and job descriptions the branch has. Just remember that you're an Army Officer first and foremost. Once you complete BOLC and head to your first unit, they may not have a PL slot for you right away, you could be in a staff job for a while. An AV Officer may find themselves in a Maintenance platoon, heck, your first major job could be planning the Brigade Golf Tournament (Happened to my older son). Realize that as a junior officer you could be wearing a lot of different hats, PL time can be as short as one year sometimes and then you're off to staff for a while. One thing you'll learn quick is that the saying "The needs of the Army" is very true.
 

clarksonarmy

Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army
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As an officer you won’t always be doing what you think you will be doing. It will also be up to you to “politic” for your next job. You will always be angling for the next level of responsibility.

Let’s use infantry for an example. As a young lieutenant you will want to lead a platoon. If you arrive at a unit that has open PL slots you may be lucky enough to be put in one of those. If not you will work on staff until one opens and you are chosen. Once you get done you will either return to staff, or if you are high speed you may be given responsibility for a specialty platoon like the mortars or the scouts. Once you complete that you are probably getting close to Captain, so time to get to school (Captain’s Career Course). Once you complete CCC it time to start lining yourself up for a company command. While you are waiting for Command it may be as the S1 or S4 or Battle Captain in the S3 shop.

The point here is you shouldn’t get hung up on a particular job or area. You may have some sway with you Branch on where they send you, so if you like light you might want to ask for Bragg or Campbell, and if you like heavy Hood or Riley. Just know that you will do lots of different things and hopefully lead lots of soldiers some day. Keep an open mind and do your best no matter where you go and doors will open and you will retain more control over what you do.
 
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