Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A to Z Challenge - O is for Officer

Officers are the managers and CEOs of the military.

Commissioned officers generally enter the Military with a four-year [or higher] college degree, or receive officer training following enlisted service. Officers are generally employed in management roles or highly specialized fields that require professional degrees [for example: doctors, lawyers, and chaplains]. An officer’s education often determines which career he or she will have in the Military. In most cases, the candidate will meet with a military advisor or career counselor during college to select a potential job specialty.

An individual interested in serving as an officer has four options: (1) attend a military college or academy, (2) enroll at a traditional college or university with a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, (3) attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) after graduating from college, or (4) receive a direct commission after earning a professional degree.

Warrant Officers are the technical experts in the Army. They have specific technical or tactical specialties [for example:  helicopter pilots], and manage and maintain many of the Army’s combat systems, vehicles and networks. Once they reach the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Two (CW2), the President of the United States gives them the same status as a Commissioned Officer.

Navy officer insignia

all branch officer insignia

Army insignia

For more information:

What's next for P?
P is for Permanent Change of Station (PCS).  What's PCS?  How often does the military do it?  What does it entail?  Come back tomorrow and find out!


  1. Good article. I have a daughter who's a Naval officer and a son who's not (he's an Army SGT). Very different lives!

  2. The ranking system differs to us, but I'm sure the differences between commissioned and uncommissioned officers remains the same!

  3. ROTC was big on campus when I was at college. Weekends In Maine

    1. It's funny but I have no memory of any ROTC at my college campus. But maybe it was there and I was just clueless =)

  4. I didn't realize you could receive a direct commission. ROTC seems like a good option for some folks to get a degree and a commission.

    1. Yes it does seem like a good option. Thanks for commenting!

  5. I had no idea becoming an officer was so complicated. Makes some officers in fiction seem very unlikely :)
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