USMA lengthens service obligation to 6 yrs??

Soldiergriz

Husband, Dad, Soldier
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
355
I want to add some perspective for parents and future cadets reading this thread.

I am an active duty Infantry Army officer approaching 30 years of service. I have commanded at the battalion and brigade level. I am not a WP graduate, but have a son there now.

I have led hundreds of young officers during my career, and provided the following advice to every one of them:

The decision to serve stands alone as noteworthy. Service as a Lieutenant platoon leader and battalion staff officer is worthy of a hearty thank you from a grateful nation. It is important work.

But, giving yourself an opportunity to command a company and develop Lieutenants is the epitome of leadership. Being responsible for up to 150 of America's sons and daughters is enormous. It gives you the opportunity to deeply understand logistics, manage an arms room, develop a maintenance program, develop and execute a training strategy, administer discipline through the Uniform Code of Military Justice, contribute to the fulfillment of the Battalion commander's mission and intent...among others.

These are meaningful things you should experience before deciding to leave the Army. There is a HUGE difference between leading a platoon and commanding a company.

I always encouraged officers to command a company before they depart.

I don't know anything about the change in service obligation...but 6 years means a couple of duty stations....and an opportunity to command.

An additional year...and an exponentially increased leadership experience.

Click the accept button.
 

HSP

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
16
What I heard.... Is that candidates with 6yr obligation were given xtra points which obviously increased their overall total cadet score to improve admission possibility. This was afforded to candidates that were sent a survey that was prior to completing their application and it basically asked " if your AD commitment was extended from 5 to 6 which would the select". Those who selected 6 and completed their application and qualified were granted admission but were given a 6 yr AD tenure as they were awarded xtra points. I'm sure admissions is using to test how many actual "accept" based upon their response to survey and i'm sure will track how many stay 6yrs or longer.
 

HSP

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
16
I want to add some perspective for parents and future cadets reading this thread.

I am an active duty Infantry Army officer approaching 30 years of service. I have commanded at the battalion and brigade level. I am not a WP graduate, but have a son there now.

I have led hundreds of young officers during my career, and provided the following advice to every one of them:

The decision to serve stands alone as noteworthy. Service as a Lieutenant platoon leader and battalion staff officer is worthy of a hearty thank you from a grateful nation. It is important work.

But, giving yourself an opportunity to command a company and develop Lieutenants is the epitome of leadership. Being responsible for up to 150 of America's sons and daughters is enormous. It gives you the opportunity to deeply understand logistics, manage an arms room, develop a maintenance program, develop and execute a training strategy, administer discipline through the Uniform Code of Military Justice, contribute to the fulfillment of the Battalion commander's mission and intent...among others.

These are meaningful things you should experience before deciding to leave the Army. There is a HUGE difference between leading a platoon and commanding a company.

I always encouraged officers to command a company before they depart.

I don't know anything about the change in service obligation...but 6 years means a couple of duty stations....and an opportunity to command.

An additional year...and an exponentially increased leadership experience.

Click the accept button.
Agree... am a grad and left after 2nd command and felt like I made a well informed decision and feel great about my tenure in the Army. Know lot's that left prior and can only think of a few that do NOT second guess or don't still wonder "what if" i took command. 5 vs 6 not a big deal.... do Command!
 

GADestiny

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
102
I want to add some perspective for parents and future cadets reading this thread.

I am an active duty Infantry Army officer approaching 30 years of service. I have commanded at the battalion and brigade level. I am not a WP graduate, but have a son there now.

I have led hundreds of young officers during my career, and provided the following advice to every one of them:

The decision to serve stands alone as noteworthy. Service as a Lieutenant platoon leader and battalion staff officer is worthy of a hearty thank you from a grateful nation. It is important work.

But, giving yourself an opportunity to command a company and develop Lieutenants is the epitome of leadership. Being responsible for up to 150 of America's sons and daughters is enormous. It gives you the opportunity to deeply understand logistics, manage an arms room, develop a maintenance program, develop and execute a training strategy, administer discipline through the Uniform Code of Military Justice, contribute to the fulfillment of the Battalion commander's mission and intent...among others.

These are meaningful things you should experience before deciding to leave the Army. There is a HUGE difference between leading a platoon and commanding a company.

I always encouraged officers to command a company before they depart.

I don't know anything about the change in service obligation...but 6 years means a couple of duty stations....and an opportunity to command.

An additional year...and an exponentially increased leadership experience.

Click the accept button.

Thank you for your service!

A true patriot!

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”
JFK
 

VelveteenR

Just gathering dust in the nursery...
5-Year Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
503
were there more cadets asking for cyber than slots?
There were 25 slots for the class of 2019, 40 for the class of 2020. Definitely more candidates than slots. Our son was EE and on the Cyber team.
 
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dddad

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2019
Messages
112
I want to add some perspective for parents and future cadets reading this thread.

I am an active duty Infantry Army officer approaching 30 years of service. I have commanded at the battalion and brigade level. I am not a WP graduate, but have a son there now.

I have led hundreds of young officers during my career, and provided the following advice to every one of them:

The decision to serve stands alone as noteworthy. Service as a Lieutenant platoon leader and battalion staff officer is worthy of a hearty thank you from a grateful nation. It is important work.

But, giving yourself an opportunity to command a company and develop Lieutenants is the epitome of leadership. Being responsible for up to 150 of America's sons and daughters is enormous. It gives you the opportunity to deeply understand logistics, manage an arms room, develop a maintenance program, develop and execute a training strategy, administer discipline through the Uniform Code of Military Justice, contribute to the fulfillment of the Battalion commander's mission and intent...among others.

These are meaningful things you should experience before deciding to leave the Army. There is a HUGE difference between leading a platoon and commanding a company.

I always encouraged officers to command a company before they depart.

I don't know anything about the change in service obligation...but 6 years means a couple of duty stations....and an opportunity to command.

An additional year...and an exponentially increased leadership experience.

Click the accept button.
This forum is useful for many reasons. But, this is the type of perspective that makes you want to come back with some frequency.
 

4Wheeler

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
10
What I heard.... Is that candidates with 6yr obligation were given xtra points which obviously increased their overall total cadet score to improve admission possibility. This was afforded to candidates that were sent a survey that was prior to completing their application and it basically asked " if your AD commitment was extended from 5 to 6 which would the select". Those who selected 6 and completed their application and qualified were granted admission but were given a 6 yr AD tenure as they were awarded xtra points. I'm sure admissions is using to test how many actual "accept" based upon their response to survey and i'm sure will track how many stay 6yrs or longer.
Interesting. I just asked my DS about this because I didn't remember him talking about a survey. He said it was asked of him during his FFR interview. His response when asked if he'd be willing to serve a 6yr vs 5yr obligation was, "hell yes!" :D ...Fingers still crossed for that BFE!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
92
Interesting.

So the 6 year commitment and corresponding increase in WCS to positive responders was only offered to candidates on the bubble? IOW, two equally ranked candidates, both of whom are essentially at the cut line, and the one that accepts the increased commitment is offered the appointment, while the one that declines is not?

Was the 6 year requirement required of a sampling of candidates at the top of the admissions scale, or only of candidates that needed the bump in WCS in order to qualify?

It would be unfortunate if the latter were the case.
 

AJC

5-Year Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2014
Messages
1,039
Don't want to do six, then don't.
That's why some are five and some are six.
USMA will record that statistic and move on.
 
Joined
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I received a 6 year offer. As told by my FFR, I had a very high WCS, so I think they randomly sampled including high WCS candidates as well. Just my assumption, though.
 

USMAGRAD1988

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Dec 4, 2019
Messages
49
Those offered admission with a 6 year ADSO were RANDOMLY selected from the group of candidates (nearly 4000) who answered “yes” to the question on the candidate application of whether or not you were willing to serve on active duty for 6 years.

If you answered ‘yes’ your name went into the pool. A very small group of offered candidates has been put in this category. This is a study initiated by the Department of the Army. If you were offered an appointment with a 6 year ADSO and feel betrayed or snookered by the academy then simply decline the offer and allow someone else to step into your slot.
 

USMA 1994

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Mar 23, 2016
Messages
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Admissions has not communicated internally to the Field Force or externally that an affirmative answer increased the likeliness of an appointment. I would take this information with a grain of salt. In fact, all of the information that was provided to us is not in line with that statement.
 

jl123

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Feb 20, 2016
Messages
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I agree with Soldiergriz that the extra time taken to command a company is a valuable experience, whether one continues a career in the Army or leaves for a civilian career. I don't disagree with a change from five to six years, just that the change applies to a select number of unwitting appointees and the timing and method of communication are deceptive.

Regardless, appointees still have a two year "free trial" to weigh the relative value of five versus six years and to allow USMA to overcome the poor first impression this experiment makes.
 

jl123

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Feb 20, 2016
Messages
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The validity of the experiment may also be questionable:
  • How many appointees will accept without noticing the change of a single character in the letter?
  • How many appointees will decline because they felt they were deceived, not because the extra year will actually makes a difference?
  • It attempts to address the effect on appointment acceptance, but fails to address the effect on application numbers and quality of applicants.
 

jl123

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Feb 20, 2016
Messages
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Slow Sunday morning, so I'm on a roll. :cool: A couple final thoughts on the subject:

Regarding the "take it or leave it" option: Military leadership exists to serve the people of the United States, not deceive them.

Advice to appointees: Click the accept button and file this memory as an example of how not to lead.
 

okboomer

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Dec 5, 2019
Messages
318
That’s consistent with the advice I gave my DS - his appointment letter does say five years - you can take every situation you find yourself in and learn from it. Take the good and mild it into your leadership style and identify the not so good and try your best not to repeat.
 
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