Officer Candidates to be assigned according to the needs of the Army


May 28, 2016
Hello, my name is Bob. I will be attending ROTC this fall and would like some idea of how Officer MOS selection will work upon commissioning.

I am a 26 year old Journeyman plumber, had a 3.83 high school GPA, was concert master violin, and received awards such as best musician. I did not participate in Athletics in high school, but I am competitive and in good shape. I can run a 13 minute 2-mile. I will be majoring in mechanical engineering. I bring with me an excellent never quit work ethic and a hands-on approach. I already embrace Army values in my daily life and would be honored to set a positive example as an Officer and make a difference in the lives of my future fellow soldiers.

I understand the Army allows Officer Candidates a dream list of 5 choices, that you are more likely receive if you are top 10% of your class. My ideal role would involve working in the field.

These are the ones that interest me:

!. US Armor Officer- I heard that being trained as an Armor Officer allows you to be put in command of both armored and infantry units, allowing essentially for more career flexibility. I find mechanized tactics very interesting.

2. Infantry Officer

3. Combat Engineer Officer/Sapper Officer - I have construction related experience and will have a mechanical engineering degree. I will most likely be more qualified for this occupation compared to my other choices.

I have some experience with Search and Rescue, including navigation, communications, outdoor/survival and medical skills, so I have a realistic understanding of what it takes to conduct field operations. I know that being an Officer means being a generalist in many cases and not a specialist. I also understand the differences between the tactical, operational and strategic levels of command. However, I will be 31 by the time I commission and at that point I might not be the most physically qualified for some of the these active leadership roles. I am not sure if this will be taken into account when assigned an MOS. At what age/rank do Officers graduate from active field roles? Is there any chance of me becoming a Ranger Officer? And would age be more of a factor with them?

I would appreciate ideas of what MOS's I should put on my wishlist and strive towards, taking my background into consideration.

Realistically, what will the Army perceive me to be most qualified for? What does the Army mostly look at? Performance in ROTC, GPA and at LDAC and so on?

Thank you for your assistance.
Couple of things - you rank all of the branches in order of preference, not just 5. And, unless something has changed, top 10% in the OML get their first choice branch. Be there.
I recommend you come to Army ROTC without any pre conceived notions about the best career field. You will have three years to learn about the different branches (career fields) and how you may fit into them. With a mechanical engineer background signal or ordinance branches may be a better fit. The Army is also implementing some self evaluation tools that will help you and them determine where you best fit. And no matter what branch you are assigned to you will not hold a job for more than a couple years and you will always be striving for the next level of responsibility, which often means doing something that is outside your comfort zone.