USMA lengthens service obligation to 6 yrs??

CatC

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Dec 25, 2019
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I was wondering if this had something to do with the Cyber unit. Curious if the recent appointees who received the notification of 6 years had indicated he/she would be pursuing a CS or technology major either in their app or in the interview with their FFR (which is now required)?
I know DS expressed cyber/computer science/electronic warfare as his chosen field of study so perhaps that's why 6 years? He will pose that question to his FFR shortly.
 

billyb

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I have no idea, but I really doubt it had anything to do with intended major. I'm sure there's a method to the madness. I am just speculating but maybe they gave the 6 year commitment to the candidates that had another on their slate that was very close in WCS, so if the turndowns are higher with those then they go to the next in line on the slate that was very similar WCS.
 

parentalunit2

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Not likely - there is no need to get the extra commitment upfront. There is no shortage of cadets willing to commit to the additional obligation for Cyber or even Aviation.

This year Cyber allocations were 40 slots. It's a long way from admissions to branching and impossible for admissions to identify the small number of cadets who might qualify and be selected for Cyber.
Yes, my first thought on the Cyber suggestion too. Only 40 slots, so a very small percentage of the graduating class. But as @VelveteenR stated, there was a last minute addition of one year of AD service. What can you do? You're in the army now. USMA is experimenting to see what outcomes they will yield for Big Army. Big thinkers at the Pentagon are like, let's try this next!

I guess with class of 2024 there will always be the discussion point of, "So are you a 5-er or a 6-er?" And meanwhile everyone on SAF gets spun up about the why behind it all. The army never needs to explain what they do.
 

Impulsive

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Read 10 USC Section 7448(d).....PLAINLY states "In this section, the term “commissioned service obligation”, with respect to an officer who is a graduate of the Academy, means the period beginning on the date of the officer’s appointment as a commissioned officer and ending on the sixth anniversary of such appointment or, at the discretion of the Secretary of Defense, any later date up to the eighth anniversary of such appointment." 8 years commitment folks.....any combination of AD and Reserve as determined by the Secretary.

Even if you have a five year "Letter" as stated by @cptenca, it is entirely up to the needs of the service! Your are committing for eight years!
 

Aellison

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My DS’s letter said 6 years. He inquired with his FFR and was told his total commitment is 8 years with 6 years active duty. He asked way it is not consistent for all and got this reply:

“During the admissions process, I believe in the initial questionnaire, you responded favorably to a question regarding active duty time. This made you eligible for a pilot program that was designed to measure the relationship between an increased ADSO (active duty service obligation) and acceptance rates. You were randomly chosen out of those candidates that responded favorably to that question as part of this study.”
 

USMA 1994

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My DS’s letter said 6 years. He inquired with his FFR and was told his total commitment is 8 years with 6 years active duty. He asked way it is not consistent for all and got this reply:

“During the admissions process, I believe in the initial questionnaire, you responded favorably to a question regarding active duty time. This made you eligible for a pilot program that was designed to measure the relationship between an increased ADSO (active duty service obligation) and acceptance rates. You were randomly chosen out of those candidates that responded favorably to that question as part of this study.”
That is the official message from Admissions
 

Humey

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My DS got his appointment letter yesterday too and it said 6 years active duty. He also got one to USAFA and it said 5 unless he goes pilot and then it is 8. All in all, the 8 year requirement is correct, but it doesn't all have to be active duty, only the portion you agree to by accepting the offer (and future job if it incurs additional AD service). Not sure why some say 5 and some 6. My DS did have an LOA from WP, but not from USAFA.
If you become a pilot in the Air Force, then you are in for ten years (not 8 years) and the clock starts running once you get your wings. That means that the time you are at UPT (pilot training) which last about 1 year, is not counted in those ten years. Additionally, most student pilots spend somwhere between 1 month to 1 year in casual duty waiting for the UPT class to start. That too does not count in the ten years either. Most AF pilots are in around 11-12 years because of this.
 

s-xuer

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I communicated with my FFR, and the people who posted above are right. The academy is doing an experiment to see if candidates will decline their appointments if the duty obligation is increased to 6 years.

The academy has actually sentenced people with this letter to six years, and there appears to be no way to opt out of this experiment.
I'm all in tho Hooah!

I'm still suspicious about how official this is since the method of informing seems quite casual and unsystematic. We will have to wait and see if USMA will commute this to 5 yrs, or if they will follow through even after the class is filled and the experiment is over.
 

USMAGRAD1988

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Per the USMA Director of Admissions, candidates who accept an appointment with an Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) of 6 years will not have their obligation changed to 5 years later on. It is what it is 😁...Hooyaah!
 

USMA 1994

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I communicated with my FFR, and the people who posted above are right. The academy is doing an experiment to see if candidates will decline their appointments if the duty obligation is increased to 6 years.

The academy has actually sentenced people with this letter to six years, and there appears to be no way to opt out of this experiment.
I'm all in tho Hooah!

I'm still suspicious about how official this is since the method of informing seems quite casual and unsystematic. We will have to wait and see if USMA will commute this to 5 yrs, or if they will follow through even after the class is filled and the experiment is over.
You do realize that there are a few FFRs here on the forum right?
 

iprefer2024

Cadet Candidate c/o 2024
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The academy/army is already taking the best years of my life. What's one more year? lol also I heard that aviators have to stay AD for the full 8 years. Can anyone confirm?
 

USMA 1994

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The academy/army is already taking the best years of my life. What's one more year? lol also I heard that aviators have to stay AD for the full 8 years. Can anyone confirm?
Advanced training in the service always incurs an additional service obligation. Flight school would be considered advanced training but these additional obligations are added and do not run concurrently.
 

secondtry

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Just one mans opinion.
If you are whining about how long your AD term is and/or how things are changed without your knowledge, probably a good idea to decline your appointment because you are not going to like military life. Let your appointment go to someone who already plans on making the military their career and not just getting a free education without paying your dues.
 

SkepticalDoc

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Nov 25, 2019
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Just one mans opinion.
If you are whining about how long your AD term is and/or how things are changed without your knowledge, probably a good idea to decline your appointment because you are not going to like military life. Let your appointment go to someone who already plans on making the military their career and not just getting a free education without paying your dues.
As a West Point grad, I totally disagree. There should be ONE standard. If there is a problem retaining junior officers, then that points to a systemic problem which the Army leadership is responsible for. This is from a 1993 grad whose classmates were allowed to leave after 2.5 years because of a drawdown, but chose to stay for 20 years.
 

shock-n-awe

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Just one mans opinion.
If you are whining about how long your AD term is and/or how things are changed without your knowledge, probably a good idea to decline your appointment because you are not going to like military life. Let your appointment go to someone who already plans on making the military their career and not just getting a free education without paying your dues.
Accepting an appointment to an SA does not mean the candidate must commit to a career in the service. The past obligation was an 8 year overall commitment made up of active duty and IRR. In the past it was 5 years active and 3 IRR, a five and dive was the option for those not choosing the military as a career (or a term longer than 5 years act duty). That was the upfront understanding of obligation for all candidates seeking the “free” education. This years cycle is different because some offers are being made with a spelled out 6 year AD obligation instead of 5. Regardless the overall obligation is 8 years of service plus 4 years at the SA. 12 total years for these kids to commit to upfront. It seems fair to most everyone who accepts their appointment, and my hats off to them.
No one can be criticized for wanting to have a clear understanding of what they are agreeing to. If the requirement for an SA education is 20 years AD service, then that should be in the contract, but it is not.

If PVT Benjamin would’ve only known what she signed up for....
 
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