Many Americans dream of joining the Military. While being a good, patriotic and responsible American citizen is enough for other people, some individuals think that they can serve the nation better by becoming a Military Officer.
It takes more than just desire to become a Military Officer. While passion is essential, a person must also need to possess the virtues of bravery, self-belief, and nationalism.
According to Statista, the total number of Military Personnel of the U.S. Army for 2017 is 471,943 (total end strength). The total number of Officer Personnel is 91,008.
To become a Military Officer, an aspirant needs to meet certain requirements. They have to have a certain level of educational attainment or must have undergone officer training.
Usually, Commissioned Officers carry a four-year college degree or greater when they enter the Military. These individuals are then employed in roles and positions that may require their expertise or specializations aligned with their professions.
Someone who strongly wishes to serve the Military may talk to a career counselor or a Military advisor to help him or her choose a good college degree.
How Do You Join the Military and Become an Officer?
There are four options to choose from if someone is interested to be part of the Military as an officer and serve the country.
Here, break down these options and give a short overview of each:
Enrolling at a traditional university or college with ROTC programs
Many traditional universities and colleges offer Reserve Officer Training Corps ( ROTC) programs for interested students. Students who enroll for ROTC programs may receive scholarship money which may help them through college. In exchange, they will have to commit to serving in the Military for a specified period of time after graduating.
ROTC programs provide officer training and prepare individuals to be future officers while allowing them to experience a traditional college or university education.
Enrolling any of the Senior Military Colleges or Academies
There are six Senior Military Colleges which offer higher education to aspiring students while integrating Military Instruction in the curricula. Here, students will also have ROTC programs as part of the training.
The main advantage of attending in one of the Senior Military Colleges is that these institutions are highly competitive. Not only that, education here is virtually free of charge. The students’ tuition is paid the government. There is free room and board. Even the uniforms and instructional materials are covered.
After graduation, students will have to commit to serving as officers usually in a period of five years.
Enrolling at Officer Candidate School (OCS) after graduating in college
Individuals who’ve only decided to enter the Military as an Officer after college may attend Officer Candidate School. In the Air Force, it is otherwise known as Officer Training School (OTS).
The United States’ OCS is located at Fort Benning, Georgia. The institution assesses and trains civilian college graduates who have enlisted themselves for OCS Option. Graduates with no prior Military training will undergo rigid training programs to prepare them to be Military Officers.
Through Direct Commission
Those who have degrees in specialized fields who have skill sets essential in Military operations may become Direct Commission Officers (DCOs).
Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, chaplains and many others may become Military Officers through a direct commission. They will have to attend additional training depending on which Service they’ll be joining.
Sites like Today’s Military provide valuable information for individuals who are interested in serving the Military and its branches. You may visit the site for more information.
Life After the Military
Once you have served a specific period in the Military and have received an honorable or general military discharge, you may enjoy all the benefits the state grants unto its Military Veterans.
These benefits include pension, free or low-cost quality health care, affordable housing and home financing, opportunities for business and/or employment, counseling and many others.
One of the best veteran benefits is affordable housing loans which many eligible Veterans are currently enjoying. You can purchase or refinance your house with low to zero down payment and out-of-pocket expenses through these loans.
VA home loans are some of the best federal home financing programs in the market today. This is created so that Veterans may have more opportunities to own and afford decent, modest, safe and clean homes for themselves and their families.
To learn more about the different housing and home loan benefits of Military Veterans, click here. You may also speak with a VA-approved lender who has extensive knowledge about these housing programs.