Posted on Jun 28, 2022
CPL Unit Supply Specialist
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I was looking through the Direct Commission requirements, and was a little flustered that the Army would ignore any and all relevant experience for someone prior to their Masters for consideration in Civil Affairs. They are looking at a minimum of 4 years post Masters. For some of the ASIs, I fell this is ignorant.
One of the arguments will be: "You have a higher level of responsibility post Masters", and I get that to a degree. However, there are two things to consider.
Example 1: I have 8 years post bachelors work, at a high level, and am now going back for my Masters since work is paying for it. I have strong experience in VC and Tech work, and am near top of the game as a Partner in a fund (only way up is moving to a larger fund). I think I would be competitive on the Tech and Economic Dev ASIs.
Example 2: We have Johnny, who graduated a BS/BA program, went straight in to a Masters, and now has 4 years of working experience as an analyst in the same field.

My point is, it should all be relative, and looked at somewhat holistically.

Anyone have insight in to the why?
Edited 1 mo ago
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LTC Kevin B.
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The Army doesn't "ignore" pre-masters experience. They just don't use it in the manner that you're wanting (i.e. as a substitute for post-masters experience). If you apply for a direct commission with the required post-masters experience, your pre-masters experience will make you even more competitive for a direct commission.
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CPT Staff Officer
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Civil Affairs is a whole different animal to get selected into.

I did not know that Civil Affairs was accepting direct commissions. I thought they only looked at currently commissioned and fully qualified officers to branch transfer.

Now, if you wanted a direct commission for the sake of a commission then you can probably get picked up in Logistics with only a bachelors and a few years in service. Hell, that's what happened to me, I had a similar finance background, and they pulled me from Military Intelligence. QM/LG wasn't even my enlisted MOS.

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I'm of the impression the Army is a giant lethargic bureaucratic system. Degrees are CHECK THE BOX requirements. 1000 semester units in specific course of study is still worth less than the 120 unit degree itself.

All the selection criteria is spelled out in MILPERs and the application processes.

CHECK
THE
BOXES

All applications that check the boxes get looked at. Those that don't "might" get looked at if the original batch of fully qualified applications is insufficient. Then they probably get ranked in order of those closest to checking all the boxes.

CHECK THE BOX is an amazing mantra. The power and weight of a box far outweighs the remarkableness a candidate might possess if it falls outside the boxes.

EXAMPLE of the box:

In the promotion points sheet for NCO's education maxes out very quickly with a degree. Having MORE degrees means nothing. SGT promotion carries more weight on soldier skills. SSG promotion carries more weight on professional development. So when one who had extra education points that maxed out for SGT they can pick up the use of some of those for SSG.

You can see the boxes shifting and changing for different roles at different ranks. Same goes for Officers.

The Army wants balanced candidates that follow a logical progression of development and they do not want them overqualified for the positions they are selecting for. It doesn't count against you, but if you don't check all the boxes someone who is lacking in your strengths but still checks all the boxes will get selected over you most of the time.

We see it in our equipment ALL THE TIME.

GOOD ENOUGH across all required parameters is the ideal.
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CPL Unit Supply Specialist
CPL (Join to see)
1 mo
That's good to know. I appreciate the valuable insight.
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SFC Michael Hasbun
SFC Michael Hasbun
1 mo
They only accept Direct Commissions for Reserve Civil Affairs, not Active Duty.

https://talent.army.mil/job/civilaffairs-reserve/
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SFC Michael Hasbun
SFC Michael Hasbun
1 mo
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SGM Bill Frazer
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Do you think they are unknowing after direct commissioning folks for over 100+ years? I am sure they review the policy regularly, or Comm Officers would have to know Morse code, heliographing, and signal flags. So to be facetious I suggest two things= 1). It's their system and they know what/who they are looking for. 2). It is a good idea that they know more about what they need than a CPL, SGT, etc.
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SFC Michael Hasbun
SFC Michael Hasbun
1 mo
2022 was actually the first year they've ever accepted Direct Commissions for this particular CMF, three months ago in March, so it's more like 100's of hours, not years ;o)
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