Officer Career Fields

Commissioned officers are military leaders who have earned a commission from the U.S. Congress. There are four paths available to earn a commission: the federal military academies, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, Officer Candidate Schools (OCSs), or direct appointment. The United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and the United States Air Force Academy are the three federal military academies. The ROTC is a program of instruction offered by universities. Each service branch runs an OCS for selected high-quality enlisted personnel. Direct appointments are relatively rare and typically apply to medical specialists such as dentists or surgeons. Congress approves commissions into the appropriate branch of service for individuals who complete any of these programs. The academies and ROTC typically commission cadets ...

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