Fri, 05 Feb 1999 21:28:46 -0800
At 13:06 2/5/99 -0800, you wrote:
> Now, I'll confess that I'm a little fuzzy about the various courses of
>officer training in the real world. Is military academy some sort of
>combination of civilian college and officer training? How long does it
>take? How about post-enlistment officer training, of the sort undertaken by
> Okay, Dafydd... whatcha got on this? :-)
Well, first of all, don't confuse the <Service> Academy with Officer
Training School -- they're not the same.
The Academy is a regular college with a military wrapper. It takes people
who would otherwise go to a university and gives them the same education
they would get at a civilian university along with total immersion in the
kind of military training you also get in Basic Training (AKA Boot Camp).
Some people take purely military courses, others pursue the same degree
program they'd take at, say, Stanford. But they do it in uniform,
double-timing between classes, with time out for parade and military drill.
This is called Professional Military Education (PME).
Officer Training School accepts people within the military who already have
or will be able to obtain (in an accelerated and condensed program) their
degrees and gives them the PME part, with time out for study as required.
In addition, there are specialized Service Schools: Flight School, Armed
Forces Staff College, National War College, Air War College, Air
University, Squadron Officer School, Air Force Institute of Technology,
Extension Course Institute, Educational Development Center and Leadership &
Management Development Center. These teach specific skills required to
perform specific jobs. I'm a graduate of the Community College of the Air
Force, which allowed me to convert work and life experience to college
credit and then take courses to complete my A.S. in Communication. Some of
these schools are multi-service; I studied Electronic Journalism at the
Defense Information School (DINFOS) on an Army base and computer
maintenance at Naval Regional Data Automation Center (NARDAC) on a Navy
base. My Air Force technical schools (avionics and computer programming)
were conducted by Air Force Institute of Technology. I also had PME
courses at the NCO Leadership School that were pretty the same as OTS,
except that the emphasis was on implementation rather than on planning and
You must have a high school diploma or G.E.D. certificate to qualify for
NCO and a baccalaureate degree to qualify for officer. The rest they teach
you on an as-required and need-to-know basis.
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