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Officer or Enlisted???

posted Nov 4, 2011, 5:29 AM by Brandon McGuire   [ updated Nov 6, 2011, 4:59 AM ]

(Original Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2009)

After going to MEPS and talking with the recruiter on the long drive back I found out that it is possible for me to join as an officer. Previously I thought I was too old, but evidently since I have an associate’s degree I can join as an officer, I just have to get my bachelor’s degree before I become an O3. This brought up another dilemma. I did as much research as I could and found that if you go in as an officer, you do not get to choose the field that you will end up in. There is a dream sheet that you can choose 10 of your top fields. This seems a little silly because there are only 18 fields to choose from. I also found out that it is all based on how you do in the Officer Candidate School (OCS). From what I can tell all the available jobs are posted and whomever does best in OCS gets to choose first and the jobs get chosen down the line. I know joining as an officer has many benefits, but I didn’t want to end up doing something I have no interest in. The whole reason I decided to join was to get more experience working in the Information Technology field.

After much discussion with my wife, I ended up deciding to join as an enlisted soldier. Since I have an associate’s degree I will join as an E3. I still plan on getting my bachelor’s degree (one of the other reasons I am joining) and I will have my job guaranteed.