Posted on May 25, 2018
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I'm a civilian highly interested in direct commission into the AMEDD Reserve. I'm particularly interested in 71B (Biochemistry), and formally qualify per Army website requirements, but don't have much experience in this subfield - my background is in pure synthetic chemistry (Master's in Chemistry).

If this goes through to boards and they see I don't really qualify for this AOC, do I have a shot at AMEDD direct commission for another AOC? I don't have the credentials for nursing, physician, or other clinical-type positions. I also saw a few posts (several years old) that stated 71B has very few slots available per year. I'm less confident about applying if I can't find a good match for my skill sets; I have too much respect to waste recruiter time and mine putting my packet together.

I brought this up to my local AMEDD recruiter who I just recently spoke to for a first meeting, and he seemed very unconcerned that he wouldn't be able to find a fit for me.

I'm still unclear about how the whole process works; my recruiter laid out a timeline, but I didn't get much terminology, and the details are still a bit fuzzy. Thanks so much for any help.
Edited 3 y ago
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1LT Health Services Administration
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I would advise you to apply for both biochemistry and 71E. If you have your MT meet the requirements
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Researcher
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Yes, I'm thinking I will do that and see what the boards decide.

I'm sorry though, I'm still new to learning terminology and acronyms. What is MT?
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I'm a current 71B on active duty and here's what I can tell you about the process. First off, without a Ph.D. already in hand, it's going to be an uphill battle. Not saying it's impossible, but as you mentioned in your post, we're already a small AOC. Do you have any background in biochemistry? Pure synthetic chemistry seems like you'd be very limited in the breadth of possibilities in the AOC. Familiarity in molecular biology techniques (PCR, NGS, etc) and mass spectrometry are essential, especially on initial entry.

Not being selected for biochemistry shouldn't block you from applying for other AOCs. There are several positions in the AMEDD field that do not require this high level of specialization and should be a good match for your background. Have you talked with your recruiter about 72D?

Please let me know if you have any other questions and I'll help as best I can.
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Luke Daniels
Luke Daniels
>1 y
Hi - I match the requirements for 71B and I am also very interested. Are these all full-time positions or are there reserve office positions for biochemists and/or physiologists? Thanks.
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2 y
So sorry I didn't see this sooner. I don't check Rallypoint often, as I'm obviously still a civilian.

I am late in the stage of the application process (packet is just about finished), but not done yet. I actually just got approved by consultants and was qualified but not recommended for Reserve - however, they actually recommended I go active duty and said I would be sent off to get my Ph.D, and likely be promoted early before my peers, given my publication history (strongly implying I would probably be recommended and approved if applied for active duty). At the moment I have little interest in doing so, but I can't help but think that should mean I would be competitive for a Reserve slot as well (and was told as much by my recruiter).

I have some background in chemical biology and basic biochemistry, but am by no means an expert. Somewhat familiar with PCR; have done Westerns, gel electrophoresis, grown cell cultures, etc. Extremely comfortable with mass spectrometry. I have a feeling I would be just at the border of what those in the field would feel comfortable admitting into such an obviously biology-bent lab based position. I work in an interdisciplinary lab and learn about complicated biology and pharmacology on a daily basis at my civilian job though, and would surely plan to translate this experience into Reserve duties. I am very happy to take things at a reasonable pace and grow into it a little more if the Army is willing to be a little more patient.

I hadn't looked too deeply into 72D, but it does look like an option. The thing is, I am mostly interested in a path where I can hopefully be passionate about and commit myself to for a long career. Nothing leaps out to me much in that way other than 71B and 71E. Are there any others that you think might be a good fit? There don't seem to be many for those with a chemistry background.
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