Re: Rank & File (Was: [gundam] More help for the contest)

-Z- (
Fri, 05 Feb 1999 21:04:39 -0800

At 15:25 2/5/99 +0000, you wrote:
>>Maybe they go by the degree of education? High School grads and under
>>start at
>>the basic enlisted ranks and have to work their way up. Recruits with 2
>>or more
>>years of college or a technical school would start as sergeants. College
>>would automatically start out as commisioned officers.
>I don't know. I can't claim to be an expert. The most military thing about
>me is my athlete's foot [to borrow a quote from Mash [IIRC]] and I don't
>have it, so...
>I always figured that you either started at the bottom, or you started as a
>commisioned officer, and that was it.

Traditionally, the military have awarded commissions based upon two
conditions: socioeconomic class and education. The former almost
guaranteed you a rank commensurate with your social or economic "station"
and the latter would earn you a commission when the former was lacking.
All of the doctors in M*A*S*H were officers because they were all doctors
-- a basic M.D. rates the same as a baccalaureate degree, and the number of
years in practice boost add onto that proportionately. The ranks of the
doctors in M*A*S*H reflected their standing as doctors in civilian life.
(Colonel Potter excepted -- he was a career man)

You must have a baccalaureate degree or be able to complete a B.A. or
preferrably as B.S. degree within two years to qualify for officer
candidacy. Field grade officers (O-4 to O-6) must hold a Master's degree
or the equivalent in military education. General grade are reckoned to be
Ph.D.s in Military Science and some actually hold a Ph.D.

>Now there's a thought. Some branches might require a higher starting rank.
>Is that right?

What you get depends on what you bring to the table. If you were head of a
major corporation during WW2, you were deemed officer material and given a
commission. If you were educated in some discipline not related to the war
effort, in which case you probably got a deferment to keep on working at
what you were doing, you probably got a commission commensurate with your

Some people turned down commissions, because they wanted to fight so badly....


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