What do I want to be when I grow up to be an Army officer?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by buff81, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,673
    Likes Received:
    288
    As evidenced on other threads, there are candidates that are struggling about which Service Academy is their number one choice.
    Thought this might be useful for those applicants who are trying to decide on which service academy is best for them if one of their choices is USMA.

    The branches that USMA cadets choose from are:

    COMBAT ARMS:

    Infantry:
    Infantry officers lead units that have the crucial mission of closing with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy, capture, or repel their assault by fire, close combat, and counterattack.

    Armor:
    The Mission of Armor is to close with and destroy the enemy using fire, maneuver, and shock effect.

    Field Artillery:
    Field Artillery officers lead units that have the critical mission of destroying, neutralizing or suppressing the enemy by cannon, rocket and missile fire and ensuring the integration of all supporting fires in Combined-Arms operations.

    Air Defense Artillery:
    Protect the Force and Selected Geopolitical Assets from Aerial Attack, Missile Attack and Surveillance.

    Aviation:
    The mission of Army Aviation is to find, fix, and destroy the enemy through fire and maneuver; and to provide combat, combat service and combat service support in coordinated operations as an integral member of the combined arms team.

    Corps of Engineers:
    Engineers support the battlefield commander by executing their four-fold tactical mission of mobility, counter mobility, survivability and general engineering, as well as providing topographical support to the Army


    COMBAT SUPPORT / COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT

    Signal Corps:
    The mission of the Signal Corps is to provide and manage communications and information systems support for the command and control of combined arms forces. Signal support includes Network Operations (information assurance, information dissemination management, and network management) and management of the electromagnetic spectrum. Signal support encompasses all aspects of designing, installing, maintaining, and managing information networks to include communications links, computers, and other components of local and wide area networks. Signal forces plan, install, operate, and maintain voice and data communications networks that employ single and multi-channel satellite, tropospheric scatter, terrestrial microwave, switching, messaging, video-teleconferencing, visual information, and other related systems. They integrate tactical, strategic and sustaining base communications, information processing and management systems into a seamless global information network that supports knowledge dominance for Army, joint and coalition operations.

    Military Police:
    Military Police Corps officers lead units in performing the five major functions associated with the branch -- area security; maneuver and mobility support; police intelligence operations; internment and resettlement; and law and order.

    Military Intelligence:
    Military Intelligence officers provide timely, relevant and accurate intelligence and Electronic Warfare (EW) support to leaders at all levels. MI officers lead, manage and direct intelligence planning and operations across the entire operational continuum.

    Chemical Corps:
    Chemical Corps officers protect the force and allow the Army to fight and win against a Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) threat. Branch members develop doctrine, equipment and training for NBC defense that serve to deter potential adversaries possessing weapons of mass destruction.

    Adjutant General
    To train leaders and soldiers in providing personnel service support for the Army of today and the 21st century through excellence in doctrine, leader development, organization, material, and soldiers.

    Finance:
    The Finance Corps' Mission is to fund Army, Joint, and Combined Operations; execute timely commercial vendor and contract payments; and to provide pay and disbursing services, banking and currency services, and limited accounting on an area basis.

    Ordinance Corps:
    The purpose of the Ordnance Corps is to support the development, production, acquisition and sustainment of weapons systems and munitions, and to provide Explosive Ordnance Disposal, during peace and war, to provide superior combat power to current and future forces of the United States Army.

    Quartermaster Corps:
    The Quartermaster Corps provides supply support, field services, aerial delivery support, materiel and distribution management, combat development and doctrine, training, and professional developments to support the Total Army.

    Transportation Corps:
    Transportation Corps officers develop concepts and doctrine to perform transportation services and support functions for forces across the operational spectrum of the National Military Strategy. Transportation officers plan, schedule, and supervise the use of each mode of transportation for the effective movement of personnel and cargo.

    Medical Service Corps:
    To provide highly skilled and dedicated leaders who perform the clinical, scientific, administrative, command and support services essential to efficiently and effectively manage a quality, world-class health care system in support of the Army.
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,359
    Likes Received:
    696
    This information, while good, is outdated and somewhat inaccurate.

    The Army reorganized the branches two years ago. The categories "Combat Arms" and "Combat Support/Combat Service Support" no longer exist.


    Maneuver, Fires and Effects has replaced Combat Arms. It consists of the following branches, in subcategories.

    Maneuver: Armor, Infantry, Aviation

    Fires: Air Defense Artillery, Field Artillery

    Maneuver Support: Chemical Corps, Engineers, Military Police

    Special Operations Forces: Special Forces, Psyops (now called MISO), Civil Affairs

    Of these, only the Maneuver, Fires, and Maneuver Support branches are available for branching to cadets.



    Operations Support Division has superseded Combat Support

    It consists of Signal Corps and Military Intelligence, and a host of functional areas not available to company grade officers or cadets.



    Force Sustainment Division has replaced Combat Service Support, with the following subcategories

    Logistics: Transportation, Quartermaster, Ordnance Corps, and Logistics. It's important to note that the Logistics branch is not available for branching, but the other three work as feeder branches. Upon completing the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course, all Transportation, Quartermaster, and Ordnance officers become Logistics branch and are considered multifunctional logisticians.

    Soldier Support: Finance, Adjutant General

    Acquisitions: Acquisition Corps (not available to cadets).



    Health Services is a new category, with one subheading

    Army Medical Department (AMEDD): Medical Corps, Nurse Corps, Dental Corps, Veterinary Corps, Medical Service Corps. Only Med Service is available to cadets.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  3. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2,673
    Likes Received:
    288
    Thanks for the update :thumb:
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,870
    Likes Received:
    1,111
    If I'm not mistaken, Air Defense Artillery is going bye bye.
     
  5. hawkspoofer

    hawkspoofer New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're mistaken...
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    4
    Career Opportunities for Females

    To add to this:
    Females may not branch Infantry or Armor.
    Females may branch Field Artillery but the current DOD policy severely restricts jobs available to females within the branch. Hence, their opportunities are limited to gain valuable FA leadership and tactical experience.
    Females may branch Aviation and fly all Helicopters but are excluded from Special Ops. (Scoutpilot's job).
    Females may branch Engineers. All jobs in Construction, Topographic, Bridge and Dive are open to Females. Combat Engineer jobs are restricted and females are only allowed to serve in HQ support positions.
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,359
    Likes Received:
    696
    No, they're not. They've been dealing with a re-invention of the branch of sorts. Now, a lot of ADA units have gone bye-bye, but the branch itself is not. There is a real shift afoot to draw down the SHORAD (Short Range Air Defense) architecture of Stinger teams and Avengers, but there is a countervailing focus on high-altitude anti-missile defenses like THAAD.
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,359
    Likes Received:
    696
    This is a very tricky one. Currently, I believe there are fewer than two dozen women in the whole branch. It's a snow-job, really, as they're stuck running training units and HQs.

    Hopefully this thread will spur some questions from candidates about the branches, as the missions of each branch are not great descriptors.
     
  9. omnipsi

    omnipsi USMA 2015 Appointee

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Engineer in Army vs Air Force

    I'm really glad that this thread has come up. Right now, I am trying to pick between USAFA and USMA. I am interested in majoring in electrical engineering. What would an electrical engineer do in the Army versus in the Air Force?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. abeastlybeast

    abeastlybeast USMA Class of 2015

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just to clarify, are you stating cadets are not able to pursue service in the Signal Corps? I'm still not 100% sure what field I wish to branch into yet, but Signal Corps sounds interesting.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,359
    Likes Received:
    696
    No, cadets may branch Signal. The functional areas are not available.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,870
    Likes Received:
    1,111
    My ADA classmate at a join school said the branch would be merged with artillary and at some point the ADA device who disappear. I forgot about that until my infantry friend from high school brought it up as we looked through his Iraq pictures.
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,359
    Likes Received:
    696
    That is a common rumor, and one that is at least ten years old. It's been reinvigorated because the ADA school is leaving FT Bliss to be combined with the FA school at FT Sill in the new Fires Center. But that does not mean the branch is going away. The Armor School and the Infantry school merged at FT Benning at the Maneuver Center, but the branches remain separate.
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,359
    Likes Received:
    696
    Actually, after I googled it, I found this funny tidbit. Funny insofar as I unknowingly echoed everything it says...

    " Is the ADA branch going away? No, in fact, the Army’s transformation has created more Officer and Enlisted opportunities in ADA. The only major change that has caused some confusion is the movement of the ADA School. Relocated to Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 2009; it is located with the Field Artillery School to establish the Fires Center of Excellence. This move will be similar to the Armor School's move from Fort Knox, Kentucky, to Fort Benning, Georgia; where it was combined with the Infantry School to establish the Maneuver Center of Excellence. 32d US Army Air and Missile Defense Command is still located at Fort Bliss, Texas and continues its mission as a subordinate member of the United States Army's Forces Command.
     
  15. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,359
    Likes Received:
    696
    It's good that you brought this up. In short, the answer for the Army is...nothing. You won't be electrically engineering anything. Your major is immaterial to what you do in any of the available branches. Your primary role is to be a leader of soldiers. The Army, unlike the Air Force, rarely trains officers as pure technicians (with the exception of certain medical and professional fields like law and physical therapy). You will execute a myriad of tasks as a junior officer, but none of them will involve electrical engineering. They'll involve things like ranges and ruck marches and convoy live fire exercises, EO training and professional tactical schools. But don't expect to be soldering any breadboards. It's not what being a junior officer is about.

    Down the road, you can find yourself in any number of functional areas that will allow you to flex your EE muscles, and USMA will give you a world class EE degree. Just don't get too wrapped around the axle about being a 23-year-old electrical engineer. You won't be. But you'll be a 23-year-old leading men in the profession of arms.
     
  16. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have met a few WP grads in the Corps of Engineer assigned to Facilities Management positions where, I am sure, an EE degree would prove invaluable.
     
  17. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,359
    Likes Received:
    696
    And I've met a hell of a lot more with liberal arts degrees. What's your point? Those engineers are leaders and administrators, not engineers. They sit in an office, not a lab or workshop.

    No branch, short of JAG or MC/DC/VC requires a specific degree.
     
  18. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,444
    Likes Received:
    0
    Absolutely.
     
  19. hawkspoofer

    hawkspoofer New Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    An electrical engineer background would be helpful if attached to a Patriot Missile System battalion, unfortunately not a prerequisite, but it definitely would come in handy. Tactical Control Officers (usually first lieutenant) along with Tactical Control Assistant (second lieutenant) are responsible for system operations & fire support inside the Engagement Control Station (fire control shelter.) So, if your battery is hot and the TCO’s scope fills up with catastrophic MCS alert messages it would really be impressive to the line battery commander if they would be able to translate the failure down to the summary status fault word in which would help isolate the problems. TCO’s are required to have knowledge of fiber optics, Ethernet communications, UHF, commo, cryptography, launcher operations, airspaces, ECCM, target ID, IFF and how not to shoot down a friendly.
     
  20. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,359
    Likes Received:
    696
    tpg, I was referring to the facilities managers that Mongo referenced. Yes, there are people doing actual engineering out there. But I think iot's fair to say that's not what this candidate was asking. Mongo knows that too, he just likes to get my goat because he's old :wink:

    What this young man asked is "I want to get an EE degree, which service will be best for me to be an EE." The reality of the Army is what I told him: he will not be a 2LT, 1LT, or even a junior or midgrade CPT doing EE. He'll be leading a platoon, being an XO, working in an S3 shop, or commanding a company. If being a technical engineer is his goal, the army will not let him accomplish that until far down the line.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010

Share This Page