After years of growth, the Army reduced the opportunities for soldiers to attend Regular Army Officer Candidate School, and tightened OCS selection requirements.
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What You Need to Know to Apply for Army Officer Candidate School

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After years of growth, the Army reduced the opportunities for soldiers to attend Regular Army Officer Candidate School, and tightened OCS selection requirements.

Soldiers need to have a four-year degree from an accredited college to get a commission through Officer Candidate School. That change took effect Oct. 2010 and remains in force for the 2011 selection program and perhaps beyond.

For those interested in applying to Officer Candidate School this is an added incentive to explore the financial benefits of your GI Bill, and complete your college degree. Previous OCS policy allowed soldiers without college degrees to apply for OCS if they had at least 90 of the 120 college credits normally required for a baccalaureate degree.

OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL SELECTION PROCESS

For 2011, the Army will conduct two Officer Candidate School panels to select in-service soldiers for the branch-immaterial course at Fort Benning, Ga, to commission 522 lieutenants from among in-service applicants and more than 1,200 from Recruiting Command's Officer Candidate School enlistment option.

That means hundreds fewer Officer Candidate School candidates will be selected for 2011 than in recent years, a trend which may continue.

For the past several years, the federal Officer Candidate School program had commissioned about 2,000 lieutenants annually, with roughly 30 percent of those officers coming from the ranks of serving enlisted soldiers and warrant officers, and 70 percent from the civilian sector via the OCS enlistment option.

For 2011, there will be a suspension of the program that authorized general-officer commanders to select outstanding Regular Army enlisted soldiers for OCS. Selection boards that assign career branches to OCS officers will be suspended. Officer candidates will compete for branch assignments based on their class standing in OCS.

KEY CHANGES FOR OCS REQUIREMENTS

For OCS selection, starting in 2011, all applicants must appear before a local, structured interview board. A statement on "Why I want to be an Army officer" must be hand-written during the local board proceeding. The maximum age for Officer Candidate School eligibility is reduced from 38 to 35. Waivers are not authorized.

Applicants for OCS must meet the physical standards for enlistment and appointment as prescribed in Chapter 2 of Army Regulation 40-501 (Standards of Medical Fitness). Medical waivers will not be accepted. Waivers to the 10-year time-in-service ceiling are also not authorized.

Recruiters, drill sergeants and training platoon sergeants who have been selected or scheduled for training are not eligible to apply for Officer Candidate School until the last six months of their tour.

For up to date information about changes in federal OCS eligibility rules, application requirements, waivers and selection procedures, consult Human Resources Command.



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