The attainment of a commission (officership) in the U.S. Army is a distinctive honor earned through hard work, demonstrated commitment, and a desire to serve the nation. Newly commissioned second lieutenants are normally assigned as platoon leaders, typically responsible for every aspect of training, supervising, and caring for over twenty-five Soldiers and millions of dollars worth of equipment. You can select between many career fields ranging from aviation to electronics and from engineering to logistics. Of course, there are also the possibilities of infantry and armor (tanks).
All army officers learn and practice the leadership, management, and decision-making skills sought by leaders of public and private organizations. Postgraduate professional education usually begins within twelve months of graduation and commissioning and continues throughout the Officer's service career. This education begins with Officer basic courses that qualify the new lieutenant in his or her branch specialty. Other military schooling, such as parachuting, mountaineering, and Ranger, is available as needed.
Postgraduate civilian education is an integral part of Officer professional development. Officers often attend fully-funded graduate programs as full-time salaried students.
To a future employer, Army Officer education on your résumé says that you've learned the art of leadership and the science of management. It says that you have more real-world experience than most people your age when it comes to solving problems and accomplishing tasks quickly and efficiently. It also shows that you know how to conduct fair and accurate evaluations of your self, peers, and subordinates. Army ROTC demonstrates to future employers that you have the ability to be a team player and a team leader.
Army ROTC on your résumé is invaluable. It could be the difference an employer is looking for when making hiring decisions. It could be the difference between getting a job or just applying for one.
After graduating from college with your bachelor's degree, you may continue with graduate work by applying for an educational delay (service deferment). You will incur no additional obligation. If you plan on attending medical school or Physical Therapy school, the Army offers medical scholarships to those who qualify. The scholarship pays for all school expenses and provides a salary while attending college. Scholarship students incur an additional service commitment equal to the time spent in medical school. The Army's Judge Adjutant General Corps also offers scholarships for law school.
Most officers wait to attend graduate school later in their career. While on active duty the Army provides many different options to fund your graduate school. If accepted to the degree completion program, the Army will pay for your college and give you the time to finish your master's degree, while still receiving full pay and benefits. The Army then allows you to use your degree in a different functional area. One example is the foreign area Officer program where upon completion of your graduate studies, the Army places you in a foreign country to work with the U.S. ambassador. Many Officers attend Graduate School on nights and weekends, fully funded by the Army, while they continue to work in their day-to-day assignment.
For a detailed breakdown of the financial benefits of Army ROTC, click here to go to our Scholarship page .