Posted on Nov 27, 2021
SPC 68 X Nco
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Hello all. Currently I'm a SPC with a medical detachment in the Army National Guard. I have a doctorate in clinical psychology, but do not want to be a psychologist with the guard, as I do this as my civilian job.

So, I am considering either the OCS route (accelerated is the only option, per our OSM) or direct commission as a medical service corps officer. I've tried to research what I could on both, but am really torn, as they both seem like really good options. I do like AMEDD and find the administrative and operational side of things more interesting, but I also want to be a better rounded soldier. I am curious as if as a MEDO, would I be able to do marksmanship clinics and improve other soldiering competencies. I'm looking to either submit an OCS packet next month (December) or start the direct commissioning route. Either way, commissioning looks like it'll be around the same time.
Posted in these groups: AMEDD RecruiterSize0 OCS
Edited 2 mo ago
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SFC Retention Operations Nco
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The Army isn't very big on direct commissioning any more. Unless you are filling a specialty position like a Clinical Psychologist, the Army tends to shy away and limit the number of direct commissions. A Medical Service Corps job is an admin/logistical position, not a medical one. That means anyone who meets the bare prerequisites for it - usually just a Bachelor degree - can compete for it. Because the bar is so low, they get filled quickly, and since you are in the NG, they fill by slots, and there may be no slots to fill. Point is, the likelihood for you to direct Commission into a MEDO slot is very low, but your chances of OCS are very high. If you want the federally recognized OCS you'll need to transfer to the USAR first.

You may be thinking that your time as a Psychologist and your PhD would make you mor competitive for a MEDO position, but a MEDO isn't medical, any more than a PAD clerk is medical or a 68J Medical supply is medical. A MEDO is an Operations officer, in fact my last MEDO was a 15P Flight Operations before he commissioned as a MEDO. Best damn MEDO ever. In case you're reading this Luis Espinosa - you're the GOAT!

Anyway, if you don't want to do your day job in the Guard, I suggest OCS and taking whatever job you can get. Just don't expect it to be in AMEDD. If you want to be something AMEDD, leave the NG first and join the USAR before commissioning
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SPC 68 X Nco
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2 mo
Thank you SFC, this helps. It sounds like OCS would be the best route to go overall.
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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You should consider what your pay would be like if your unit deploys vs your current salary.
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MAJ Armored Combat Command Commander
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SPC (Join to see) - The reason I mentioned the disparity of pay is I knew a heart surgeon who was deployed.
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MAJ Audiology
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2 mo
That’s what I am saying why would you take the hit in pay rank and retirement. Just directo commission as a psychologist. Military role is much different than clinical role. Audiology is the same way. My job is completely different in uniform vs outside in private sector. SPC (Join to see)
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SPC 68 X Nco
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MAJ (Join to see) - I've tried, unfortunately, my doctoral program wasn't accredited by the program they wanted to be accredited by (APA). Despite being licensed in three states, passing the EPPP first attempt and having outstanding references, Army doesn't care. Instead of fighting that, I just decided to pursue Officer a different route. Thank you, Sir.
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MAJ Audiology
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1 mo
SPC (Join to see) - Good luck to you SPC!
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MAJ Byron Oyler
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Direct commission is going to limit in what you can do in the military and whatever you direct commission into, that is all the Army really cares that you do for them as that is what they hired you to do. OCS gives you many more options to play soldier and that sounds like from the question that would be a better fit for you. Keep in mind the strength the reserves gives the Army is many do the same job on the outside which makes them better in many aspects MOS-Q to the AD side that get a lot of busy work never doing their job. Most reservists suck at the admin side of their job compared to AD as we do it everyday and generally our schools are twice as long. Chances are you will struggle in your job if activated and your MOS is not mental health. You will do it once a month until activated and during your inactive periods, you will be busy with your primary civilian job. Can people do it, absolutely but you did not ask for advice to get all 'flowers and rainbows,' you likely want the complete picture.
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SPC 68 X Nco
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2 mo
Thank you, this was very helpful.
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