Common Questions About Army Officers
How long does it take to become an Officer?
It depends on which path you choose. If you choose to become an Officer through the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps or the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, youll become an Officer after completing four years of college. Through Officer Candidate School , youre commissioned as an Army second lieutenant after completing the 12-week course, but you still need to earn a four-year degree from an accredited university. If you join through direct commission, youre automatically an Officer when you enter the Army, but your commission may still be dependent upon completion of specific courses and certifications related to your branch.
What is the salary like for Army Officers? Are there additional benefits?
Army Officer salaries are generally comparable with mid-level to senior-level corporate executives. Officers are also eligible for other benefits such as Army housing and health care, which can have additional financial value.
Do I need a college degree to become an Army Officer?
Yes, the one basic requirement to become an Officer is that you must have a bachelors degreenot necessarily at the start of the process, but by the time youre commissioned as an Officer. If you dont have a degree yet, the Green to Gold program is a way for enlisted Soldiers to earn a commission as an Army Officer after completing a bachelors degree or a two-year graduate degree.
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Military Tuition Assistance Program
Active duty recruits who plan on getting a degree in the Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard may be able to get financial assistance through the Military Tuition Assistance program. This is meant to cover 100 percent of tuition expenses for active duty recruits and can be used for:
- Undergraduate programs, including bachelors or associates programs
- Graduate programs
- Independent study
- Distance-learning programs
Of course, there are stipulations and maximum allowances and the amount given hasnt kept up with soaring tuition rates. All programs must be accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, and the military will pay your tuition directly to the school. You can receive up to $4,500 per fiscal year, which doesnt exactly cover the cost of every degree, but you can spread out your higher education over time to lessen your financial burden.
Associate Degree In Military Science
An associate degree in military science typically lasts two years. Learners take roughly 60 credit hours of coursework in English, mathematics, and science. Enrollees also study fundamentals of military theory and practices alongside coursework in psychology, history, and political science.
Military science associate degrees establish foundational knowledge and skills for roles in law enforcement, business, and human services. Learners with associate degrees can also enter some branches of the military to become officers.
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Programs For Indigenous Peoples
Aboriginal Leadership Opportunities Year
A one-year educational program offered to Indigenous peoples through the Royal Military College of Canada
Summer training programs
Summer Indigenous programs provide an opportunity to discover Military culture and training.
Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program
A special three-week program for Indigenous peoples who are considering a career in the CAF.
Submit Your Application 3aptitude Test
You will take an aptitude test to determine which military occupations are the best fit for you. Preparation is key so make sure you are well rested, healthy, on time, and careful with your answers. You will be tested on verbal skills, spatial ability and problem solving. It will take approximately 60 minutes to complete a series of three Canadian Forces aptitude tests. The following practice aptitude test will provide you with an example of the style and structure of what you will experience when you write the real test at a Recruitment Centre near you.
You will also complete a personality inventory which provides information on your personal characteristics and qualities. To learn more about your personality and how it can influence job choices, check out this personality assessment.
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Making It Work Under Difficult Circumstances
Perseverance and dedication are key characteristics of successful students. Spittler says shes helped hundreds of students, and always loves to hear their stories. A few of them still stand out in her memory.
She recalls advising an online military student who was deployed overseas. He was interested in a masters program at National. She told him itd be a great program for him, but that he needed to take the classes in sequence, without breaks in between. She also told him his options in case he needed to drop a class.
Throughout the program, the student kept in touch with Spittler and, although she knew he was deployed, she didnt know where. Spittler says when a student is on active duty, You cant really discuss where theyre at because of security reasons. I really dont ask.
Wherever he was serving, the time difference was significant, and the student would stay up late in order to call Spittler during her office hours if he needed to speak to her. His ability to focus on difficult coursework while deployed really captured her attention and she praised him for his efforts.
Finally, he arrived at his capstone project, which is the last course in a National University program. Going into the last course, he had all As, but he was upset to receive a B+ in his final class.
She told him not to be so unhappy about the B+, but rather to be proud of what he had accomplished. It was no small thing to transition from one country to another and then to transition home.
What To Expect In A Military Science Program
Military science programs combine physical activity, classroom learning, and individual and group projects as part of a comprehensive, interdisciplinary curriculum. Enrollees study coursework in military history, political science, technical communication, and social and behavioral sciences theory. Lectures and assignments accompany projects and presentations for students to apply coursework individually and with teams.
While Reserve Officer Training Corps isn’t always part of a military science degree, students may still participate in military-like exercises such as obstacle courses, rappelling, rafting, and running. Military science classes and ROTC activities are complementary and useful for students, as they both emphasize leadership and management.
Military science programs foster people and human skills, sometimes called soft skills, while building hard skills. The following table offers a clear picture of what to expect from a military science program.
People Skills Taught in Military Science Programs
- Interpersonal communication
- Project design and application
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Organize Your Application Materials
There is little to no difference between the application process for veterans and civilian applicants, says Andy McCarty, director of Northeastern Universitys Dolce Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers. If any difference exists, its most likely on the side of the admissions staff. Theyre looking for students that are going to be successful, but who will also enrich the campus community with their diversity of thought, experience, and background.
Application materials will typically include a letter of recommendation, which you can ask your supervisor or commanding officer to contribute transcripts from your military training and any previous college courses standardized test scores, if required and an application essay.
McCarty recommends investing time into your application essay, which gives you the chance to talk about your experiences and personality in a way that grades dont reflect.
Veterans and servicemembers offer something unique that the admissions staff wont find in most of the other application packages, he says. These essays can provide a refreshing sense of variety. Applicants want to stand out for the right reasons, and talking about ones time in the service is one such way to do that.
The Top College Degrees For Military Students
Companies and organizations have raised the bar for many entry-level positions. Its estimated that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require education beyond high schoola sharp increase from 2016 when only 37 percent required a post-secondary education. As employers that traditionally hired workers without degrees are now hiring applicants with at least a bachelors degree, an already tight job market has become even more competitive.
Members of the armed forces receive training after high school which doesnt result in a degree however, the skills obtained are no less valuable. When military students combine the expertise gained in service with the return on investment of a bachelors degree, it quickly becomes apparent that earning a college degree is worth it.
Figuring out how to choose a program major that compliments your military background takes planning. Read on to learn how to select the best college degree program based on your skills and career goals.
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The Benefits Of Joining The Military After College
Joining the military as a commissioned officer can offer the best of both worlds for those who want the college experience but who also want to serve their country. The benefits include:
- A guaranteed job after college
- A leadership role at a young age
- Higher pay than joining as an enlisted military member
- Greater opportunities for promotion and training
Master’s Degree In Military Science
Master’s degrees in military science include advanced coursework in military doctrine and theory, applied leadership and decision-making, and warfare strategies and tactics. Ideal for individuals serving in the military, some programs emphasize homeland security, strategic leadership, and military intelligence. These degrees may be valuable to individuals working in government and private sector roles.
Most military science master’s degrees take two years to complete. Master’s students apply concepts from coursework to research questions and real-world scenarios through group work, thesis projects, or other comparable requirements. A master’s degree in military science opens opportunities to work as government officials and staff, civilian contractors, and military instructors.
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Is It Better To Enlist Or Become An Officer
Officers will start out at a higher pay grade than enlisted personnel, though enlisted service members are eligible for a variety of bonuses that can be quite substantial. Officers will also receive higher benefits such as monthly Basic Allowance for Housing.
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Apply For Benefits Early
Receiving financial support for your education may be necessary, and its important to get a head start on understanding the many options available. One way to fund your degree is through GI benefits, which come in varying amounts of money that must be used within specific timeframes. Receiving your benefits can take as many as six months, so begin researching your options and applying for your benefits as early as possible to ensure that theyre ready for you to use when you start school.
This strategy is also helpful when it comes to scholarships, grants, and federal funding. The Yellow Ribbon Program can cover any tuition and fees not covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill, for example. For those who do not qualify for the program, Northeastern offers a number of additional resources, such as the Patriot Scholar Program and Ruby Linn Scholarship.
Speak with college financial aid counselors to learn more about what the schools to which you are applying offer, and seek out private scholarships from businesses and independent organizations as well. Applying early to all of these can help you get the maximum amount of financial support possible for your degree.
What Can I Do With An Associates Degree In Military Science
After earning ones associates degree in military science, one can continue studying to earn a bachelors degree in military science in order to get a commission to the armed forces and join the service with a rank of 2nd lieutenant .
In many cases, an associates degree in military science can serve as the basic portion of the ROTC program, which is the second route to earning a commission to the armed forces. One can enroll in a college that offers ROTC to take the advanced portion. Once this has been completed, one qualifies for a commission in the armed services.
An associates degree in military science is an excellent choice for those who have an eye on the military service but want to keep their options open. Because the curriculum is diverse, an associates degree in military science will give one a good foundation on military subjects while introducing civilian law enforcement topics as well.
A student, therefore, has the option to pursue a career in law enforcement upon receiving ones associate degree in military science. Since most police departments have the same minimum requirements of a high school diploma or GED, having an associates degree should put one in competitive standing among other applicants to the police force.
Entry-level police officer base salary: $56,987/year
Enlisted Personnel in the Military Services
Entry-level enlisted personnel will receive a salary of $47,407/year.
Space Force Officer Positions
Here are possible officer positions within the Space Force:
Space Operations Officer: Officers in this specialization coordinate space operations and formulate policy regarding military use of space for tactics and intelligence.
Cyberspace Operations Officer: These officers track all cyber intelligence and communication. They are responsible for computer, satellite and airborne communications and maintaining effective cyberspace capabilities for the military.
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Are you looking to be a medical professional that serves the country? There are people who have asked the same thing and chose to become a military doctor.
Military physicians are commissioned officers of their respective military branches and receive a myriad of benefits. However, the path they take to become full-fledged doctors is different from the path of a civilian doctor.
So, in this post, Im going to show you the exact steps to take in order to become a military doctor. That way, you can get an insight into a military physicians life and journey and know if this is the path for you.
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Utilize Your Transferable Skills
Furlong says that servicemembers and veterans shouldnt limit themselves to career options based on their military training.
Transferring skills gained in the military is less about mirroring those positions in a civilian field, he says. Its more a question of how they translate those skills.
Some colleges and universities have dedicated departments or staff members to assist with translating military skills into related majors and potential careers. Northeasterns Dolce Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers , for example, is a department dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by veterans transferring from military service into civilian life. Northeastern offers a variety of resourcesto help you build on your military experience or transition into a new career. Experienced military admissions officers can help you identify your transferrable skills that can be used to identify a major that complements your career goals.
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Health Professions Scholarship Program
Those interested in joining the Army, Navy, or Air Force can take advantage of a scholarship to attend medical or dental school.
The scholarship includes full tuition and fees, health insurance reimbursement, other school-related expenses, and even a monthly living stipend.
If you want to pursue a career in medicine and join the military, this is a great option to take full advantage of the financial incentives that come with that path.
The program is open to those with an undergraduate degree who are applying for medical or dental school, as well as those currently enrolled in medical or dental school.
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What Can You Do With A Military Science Degree
The interdisciplinary nature of a military science degree opens the door to employment opportunities in business, information technology, and government service. Many individuals with military science degrees pursue careers in engineering, law enforcement, and the armed forces. With degrees in military science, veterans can apply their military skills and academic credentials to transition into the private sector.
With coursework in military history, strategic leadership, and the social sciences, a military science degree provides fundamental information to help students thrive in military and civilian careers. Joining a branch of the military after earning college degrees allows individuals to advance to officer status sooner than individuals without degrees.
Students already in one of the Armed Forces can advance to work in specialty fields like logistics, technology, and communications.
Individuals who focus on technical aspects of military science can find work in the engineering field. Military engineering includes designing, building, and maintaining military vehicles, communication devices, and technologies used in combat.
In the private sector, engineers with military science degrees can thrive as independent contractors and consultants. Whether an individual transitions from military service to a civilian role or earns a degree without having served in the military, a graduate degree in military science can offer an ideal pathway for government work.
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Benefits Of Joining The Army With A Bachelor’s Degree
Youve probably heard that a few years in the military will give you the training you need to move on to college and a great career. But you dont have to join right after high school graduation. In fact, some people get their bachelors degrees and then join the military. There are several perks to doing that, including rapid advancement through the ranks.