Where you get stationed as an Army officer

JonDoe1315

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May 3, 2020
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I recently finished grad school and am seriously considering pursuing becoming an Army officer. This was not necessarily my career plan so I'm trying to learn as much about this as I can and one thing I'm not sure about is how much discretion one has in choosing a duty station. I've heard it may be possible to bargain, so to speak, by agreeing to stay in the army longer in order to get a preferred duty station but I'm not sure how accurate this is.
Any answers and additional advice people can provide me with would be greatly appreciated.
 

cb7893

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One's possible choices of duty station will first be dependent upon one's branch: Armor, Infantry, Cyber, Finance, etc. Once the branch is assigned, one states preference for duty station. Different branches have different numbers of first duty stations.

One can usually enhance leverage over those choices by performance, but there will always be a certain amount of arbitrariness. Ultimately, "needs of the Army" trump all.

What is your degree and what interests you in particular?
 

JonDoe1315

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May 3, 2020
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One's possible choices of duty station will first be dependent upon one's branch: Armor, Infantry, Cyber, Finance, etc. Once the branch is assigned, one states preference for duty station. Different branches have different numbers of first duty stations.

One can usually enhance leverage over those choices by performance, but there will always be a certain amount of arbitrariness. Ultimately, "needs of the Army" trump all.

What is your degree and what interests you in particular?
Thanks for the reply.
I have bachelor degrees in criminal justice and Spanish language and a Masters in Criminology (emphasis on terrorism). I was thinking something in law enforcement or intelligence (I interned with State in college so I had some exposure to the intel world), not sure where those fall under or where they may take me, also not bent on those 2 areas necessarily.
I've lived in Europe so I'm familiar and comfortable there. I noticed Army has a big presence there, especially in Germany. I've known some enlisted people that served in Germany and enjoyed it but I don't know any officers. Not sure what the odds of getting stationed there would be? I also like learning languages.
Thanks again.
 
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Capt MJ

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Have you looked into the FBI, CIA, etc.? Either as an analyst or field agent?
 

JonDoe1315

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Have you looked into the FBI, CIA, etc.? Either as an analyst or field agent?
I have, unfortunately for me they seem to typically want people with more significant experience than I've had. I appreciate the suggestion though, It's definitely a route I'd like to look at a little further down the road .
 

Bash On

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Apr 9, 2019
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DHS would be a very good fit for your degrees and interests. Lots of law enforcement and intel positions. Many entry-level positions in law enforcement, and even a few in intel. You may even be able to start at a higher pay grade due to your graduate degree. Spanish fluency is very important for many positions with border security responsibilities.

Seems like duty location is important to you. Rest assured that Federal civilian employees usually have a much higher degree of control over where their duty station is than military members do. Much less of the move every 2-3 years, also. DHS is so big it's relatively easy to find a location and job that suits.

If you're set on the military, DHS has that, too. Many people don't realize that the USCG is part of DHS. Among other responsibilities, the Coast Guard is the Federal government's maritime law enforcement branch.

Start with https://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-careers. Good luck!
 
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JonDoe1315

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May 3, 2020
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DHS would be a very good fit for your degrees and interests. Lots of law enforcement and intel positions. Many entry-level positions in law enforcement, and even a few in intel. You may even be able to start at a higher pay grade due to your graduate degree. Spanish fluency is very important for many positions with border security responsibilities.

Seems like duty location is important to you. Rest assured that Federal civilian employees usually have a much higher degree of control over where their duty station is than military members do. Much less of the move every 2-3 years, also. DHS is so big it's relatively easy to find a location and job that suits.

If you're set on the military, DHS has that, too. Many people don't realize that the USCG is part of DHS. Among other responsibilities, the Coast Guard is the Federal government's maritime law enforcement branch.

Start with https://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-careers. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it and I'll start looking over potential options!
 

Day-Tripper

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May 16, 2014
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479
Had a buddy in the Marines. Over beers one night he told a tale of his dad who was in the Army in the late 1950s, stationed in Korea. Upon finishing his tour of the Far East he was boarding a transport to head back to the States to finish his term of service. Asked the clerk where his next base would be. He heard "Oahu" and was thrilled.

Hawaii! Palm trees! Beaches! Diamond Head! Surfing! Aloha! Endless sunshine!

16 hours later the transport landed in Wahoo, Nebraska. Middle of nowhere. No palm trees. No sunsets over the ocean. No punch rum drinks. Bitterly cold. Lotta cornfields.

Military sends you where they want, not where you want.
 
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