General Question

weeveeship's avatar

Can someone answer this question about this US Army?

Asked by weeveeship (4363 points ) June 18th, 2012

Suppose there is a person called X. X is a college graduate of a public university but has not otherwise participated in any military programs (no ROTC, etc.). X graduated and wishes to enlist in the US Army.

Assumption: X is not joining as part of any special programs (i.e. X is not a JAG, a chaplain, a medic, etc.).

Two questions:
1. What is the highest rank X can be initially?
2. Is there any way X can become a commissioned officer (Lt. or above)?

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15 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

It depends on the branch of service. Normally either as an E3 or E4.

JLeslie's avatar

I think my dad was higher than an E3 or E4. I had thought he was an officer from the get go? Now I need to ask him. He was in the PHS though, not Army. I’ll be following to see the other answers.

majorrich's avatar

As a College graduate he would almost surely be an OCS candidate. There would be a couple extra tests before he enlists to confirm that and what MOS he would be best suited for. Failing that, (which is unlikely) e-3 to e-4 for sure and almost assuredly will be assigned to take BNCO and ANCO school to get his 5 18 months after enlistment.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@JLeslie If he gets into an MOS that needs officers, once he graduates from Basic Training and AIT, X would be fast tracked for either the OCS school or the NCO schools.

ETpro's avatar

In response to point 2 of the question, X would definitely be fast tracked to make 2nd Lt. unless X was a complete wash on the OCS test.

@majorrich Are you an Army Major?

majorrich's avatar

@ETpro Yes, I am a retired Major.

ETpro's avatar

@majorrich Well done, and thanks for your service. My son’s a Lt 1 with 4 years in. Thanks for your service.

whiteliondreams's avatar

A normal college grad can enlist as an E4 (Specialist), but with no special perks, however, if a college grad has a high enough GT score, 110 or higher, this individual may enlist into ANY military occupational specialty (MOS); OR, may enlist to become an Officer under the Officer Candidate Program. After completing basic training, they go to OCS, not AIT because AIT is for enlisted. After OCS, depending on their chosen specialty will they go to training. The Army is always looking for Warrant Officers and that is an excellent venue so long you wish to become a pilot. They are the only ones who can join without having prior experience. I just got out last October and I keep contact with several soldiers. I hope this helps, if you have further questions, send me a PM.

tedd's avatar

I am not military, but looked heavily into it while job hunting after college.

In lamens (spelling?) terms (which are essentially all I get too)... I could have enlisted in the Army (or Marines or Navy) and gone through basic training with the intent of going into officer school (or whatever it’s called) immediately following that.

So essentially you could achieve the rank of Lieutenant using your college degree, but it’s not like you walk in and suddenly you’re a Lieutenant, you have to do the additional training and I imagine you’d still have to qualify for it via other criteria.

whiteliondreams's avatar

@tedd After basic training (as a specialist or whatever E4 rank there is), you go to OCS, once in OCS you attain the rank of Sergeant or E-5. You are being paid at that rank because that is the first line supervisor level or “leader”. After you graduate OCS you become a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army. After a year I think, don’t quote me, you make 1st Lieutenant. You can typicaly make Captain in three years, whereas Major within six years or so. So no, Lieutenant is a rank that is based on the structure and what you qualify for coming in, not based on your training, necessarily. Once you sign up to become an Officer, you will attain the rank of Officer upon completion of Officer Candidate School. This is where you learn everything to become one. I hope that helps clear up a bit.

tedd's avatar

@whiteliondreams That’s what I said… You could become a Lieutenant, but you have to complete the additional training after basic (OCS) before they will give you the rank.

Moving up from 2nd Lt would be based on your own performance and whether they feel you should be promoted, I would assume.

whiteliondreams's avatar

@tedd Kinda sorta, but yes, I suppose. There wasn’t an officer I met who didn’t get promoted accordingly.

gondwanalon's avatar

I enlisted in the Army as an E-4 with a BA in Zoology. When I got my credentials as a Medical Technologist I was a SFC and 43 years old, I was offered a direct commission as a 2LT Medical Lab Officer. HA! There was no way that was going to give up my stripes for a butter-bar. A 43 year old 2LT! That is just wrong! If I was offered the rank of Captain I would have considered it.

whiteliondreams's avatar

Your pride got the best of you because you could have retired with a higher income.

majorrich's avatar

That’s how I got my commission. After my first hitch, I finished my BSBA and got a direct to O-1. 18 months later got my 2, Got a meritorious to 3 and retired as a 4. I was a was an O-3 for 4 years and retired an O-4 after being diagnosed with adrenal cancer. 18 years with 5 of them in the reserves (Thank you President Hillary) a 2900. I never went to War college so never made O-5.

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