Q: How do I apply if I am a MAJ or LTC?
A: The application requirements are generally the same- please build a packet like that described for a captain in the previous section. There is not an annual selection board date for Majors or Lieutenant Colonels- they are considered as positions become available throughout the year. On average- we hire 1-2 MAJ/LTCs a year to go to 3-yr PhD program and then return to USMA and teach for a minimum of three years. Officers who are selected for this program incur a 6-year ADSO after completion of the degree program.
Q: What are the differences between a “PhD rotator” position and a FA47 slot?
A: Both slots typically include three years of ACS (for a PhD). The major differences between the two are: The FA 47 slot is tenured. This means that you can stay at USMA until 30 years of commissioned federal service as a COL, and 28 years as a LTC. The FA47 positions are USMA advertised and selected positions. They really belong to the Dean, and a special selection committee is established, usually chaired by a Professor, USMA, normally a Department Head or Vice Dean. It is very competitive with an average of 30-50 very qualified personnel competing for 1-2 positions in each advertisement (in the Army Times). Rotating PhD positions are controlled by individual department heads, who establish internal procedures to conduct the selection process. Rotators have a three-year utilization (teaching) tour in BS&L.
Q; Do I need to be branch qualified (KD) at my current grade?
A: Yes, you will need to be branch qualified (completed a key and developmental assignment) as a Major or LTC to ensure that you are competitive for promotion to the next grade. On a limited case by case basis, if you are selected as a MAJ, and desire to compete for battalion command the department head may allow you to do both, command and complete the PhD, with the assignment to the department being deferred until after command. This decision is based on individual circumstances balanced with the teaching and accreditation needs of the department.
Q: Do I need to have a PhD to apply?
A: No, just have the potential to get a PhD, within three years, at a top tier academic institution. This means that one should have a solid master's degree and have demonstrated academic scholarship. Additionally, an applicant should have a current set of GRE scores at the time of application.
Q: Do I need to specify a program (Leadership/Mgt, Sociology, Psychology, Engineering Psychology)?
A: Yes. In creating a file with us, you will be asked to specify an academic preference, based on your interest and educational background. This is important, since our positions are generally degree specific.