Your Career After West Point
As a West Point graduate, you can expect to have many exciting and rewarding opportunities open to you throughout your lifetime. Joining “The Long Gray Line” of West Point graduates is a mark of distinction, representing high achievement and the promise of outstanding, ethical leadership.
Upon graduation, you will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and serve for five years on active duty (if you choose to depart the Army after five years, you will be required to serve three years in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR)). During your senior year, you’ll find out which specialized field, or “branch,” you will enter. Both the needs of the Army and your preferences will be considered.
Graduation. What’s Next?
In your first year after graduation, you’ll attend a Basic Officer Leader Course for general information and training. Upon its successful completion, you then take branch-specific courses to become competent in the technical aspects of your specialty.
Join Your Unit
Next, you’ll be sent to an Army unit where you will build experience in troop command for the next three years. You might lead a Military Police unit, a small artillery fire support team, or a Military Intelligence unit, for example.
The Army has a wide variety of specialized fields called “branches.” Each branch has its own brand of technical and tactical expertise. Depending on the needs of the Army and your personal desires, you will pick from branches, including:
- Signal Corps
- Military Intelligence
- Military Police
- Medical Service Corps
- Field Artillery
- Air Defense Artillery
- Chemical Corps
- Adjutant General
To learn more about the above job specialties, please visit the Army website Officer Careers and Jobs . This site offers a brief job description of each branch, and can get you started to learn more.
Advance In Your Career
In year five, you have a decision to make. You can move ahead in your Army career by getting more advanced education and training. If so, you will prepare for higher levels of responsibility, leadership, and specialization required as commanders. Eventually, you will select a career field and may even go on to earn a graduate degree from a leading civilian university.
The Army pays for all of your training, travel, and advanced education. You could eventually work in the Pentagon, command a large troop unit, or serve as a military attaché in a foreign country.
The other option is choose to complete your commitment and return to civilian life.
Army or Civilian Career?
Whether you choose to remain in the Army after your five-year commitment is a decision you do not need to make now.
West Point graduates are highly sought after. Those choosing a civilian career have attained great success in different professions—as doctors, CEOs of major companies, and engineers – the possibilities are endless.
Graduates who pursue an Army career do so because they feel the commitment and satisfaction of serving their country. The Army family takes care of its own during active duty and upon retirement –– after 20 years of service, you receive a generous guaranteed pension and reduced medical care for life, plus many other benefits.
For more information about careers and jobs, visit the following website: https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs.html