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Job Opportunities - Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the prerequisites for selection?
A. You may start a file at any time during your career, but in order to be considered for selection to an Instructor position you must be a branch qualified Captain prior to beginning graduate school (not prior to application to DPE).

Q: Who is eligible to become a DPE Instructor for the Selection Board that is scheduled for January 2013?
A: You must be a competitive category Army CPT or 1LT(P) and have your completed application submitted by 01 December 2013 to be given full consideration. Additionally, the following eligibility criteria apply for the January 2014 board that selects officers to begin graduate school in the Summer of 2015:
  • Must be Year Group Primary ’07, ’08, '09, or '10
  • Must be branch qualified for promotion to Major NLT May 2015
The oldest eligible year group criterion above is set to ensure that Captains who come to West Point will begin serving as an Instructor absolutely no later than the start of their ninth year of commissioned service- which translates into having sufficient time to get branch qualified as a Major prior to primary zone (PZ) LTC promotion board.

Q: How important is the impact of teaching Physical Education?
A. The DPE Mission is to develop warrior leaders of character who are physically and mentally tough by engaging cadets in activities that promote and enhance a healthy lifestyle, physical fitness, movement behavior, and psychomotor performance. Physical development provides leaders with physical skills, self-confidence, the warrior spirit, respect for fair play, and a commitment to maintain their own physical fitness and that of their Soldiers. USMA is the sole college in the nation whose only responsibility is to prepare each student for professional service as a regular Army officer. Thus, the physical education taught in the West Point environment is comprised of experiential, cognitive, and psychomotor learning domains designed to promote critical thinking, disseminate knowledge, integrate discovery and develop expertise… the impact of achieving these objectives is far reaching and serves to strengthen the officer corps and the Army.

Q: What kind of officer teaches in DPE?
A: Our instructors are proven leaders of operational units who are dedicated to careers in the U.S. Army.
  • Current and incoming instructors represent all the commissioning sources (OCS, ROTC, USMA) and IN, TC, AV, FA, AD, MP, FI, QM, AG, SF, AR and MI branches. DPE instructors have a variety of undergraduate degrees (including physical education, exercise science, and kinesiology) and come from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
  • Current DPE instructors have been promoted early (BZ) to Major at a rate above the Army average.
  • Current and incoming DPE instructors have combat/operational-deployment leadership experience.
  • Active-duty or recently retired General Officers who taught in DPE:
    • GEN (R) Larry R. Ellis (former Commanding General, United States Forces Command, Fort McPherson, GA)
    • LTG (R) James L. Campbell (former Special Assistant to the Vice Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief of Staff, United States Army Pentagon)
    • GEN (R) Franklin L. Hagenbeck (former Superintendent, United States Military Academy)
    • LTG (R) James J. Lovelace, Jr. (former Commanding General, US Army Central, Third Army, and Land Component Command, United States Army Pentagon)
    • LTG (R) David P. Valcourt (former Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, TRADOC)
    • MG (R) Charles A. Anderson (former Commanding General, First Army Division – West, Fort Hood, TX)
    • LTG Mark P. Hertling (Commanding General, US Army Europe and Seventh Army, APO AE)
Q: Where do DPE instructors receive their graduate degrees?
A: Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), and Texas A&M University (College Station, TX)

Q: What does an instructor do besides teach?
A: Officers typically have other responsibilities, to include an Administrative Duty (Testing, Guidance, Operations) and a role as a Sport Educator in the Company Athletics (Intramural ) Program. Other activities are voluntary; currently, officers in the Department serve as the officers in charge or officer representatives of numerous cadet teams and clubs (examples include Football, Gymnastics, Rugby, Baseball, Triathlon, and Officer Christian Fellowship) and members of (cadet) company Values Education Teams.

Q: How competitive is it to become a member of DPE faculty?
A: It is very competitive; we historically have over three completed applications for every officer selected. We pride ourselves in selecting those officers who display exceptional ability to command operational organizations in complex environments while developing others. We typically select six captains a year.

Q: What does a typical instructor do during the first summer after completing graduate schooling?
A: Most incoming instructors have a June arrival date at West Point. After in-processing, officers serve in some capacity as physical training monitors for the Cadet Summer Training Program. During this time, officers also undergo cross-training with their course directors.

Q: What electives can I expect to teach in addition to teaching core courses?
A: Some of the current electives that an Instructor could have the opportunity to teach include:
  • Aerobic Fitness
  • Alpine Skiing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Golf
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Strength Development
  • Cycling
  • Advanced Combatives

Assignment to teach elective courses is based upon departmental needs, individuals strengths/experience, and interest.

Q: I am currently (or will be) deployed and physically cannot get the application completed by the deadline - can I have an extension to the application deadline?
A: If requested in writing (a brief memo is fine), we will definitely consider incomplete applications of deployed personnel. We understand that deploying and preparing to deploy should be your priority, but we still encourage you to quickly complete as much of the application as you can. Though we will consider files with missing items from our deployed candidates, past applicants have, through prior planning, found a way to submit needed items from their combat postings. The Recruiting Officer is poised to help you complete your packet and have it in prime condition for the board.

Q: What is the application timeline for this year’s selection cycle?

  • NLT 1 December 2013: Complete application due
  • January 2014: Selection Board convenes
  • NLT 1 March 2014: Selections/acceptances announced for June 2015 start dates
  • April-September 2014: USMA seeks/receives official by-name approval for these officers from Army HRC and your branch
  • July-December 2014: Incoming Instructors apply to graduate schools
  • May-June 2015: Instructors PCS to their grad school locations and start their 1-yr Masters program
  • May-June 2016: Instructors graduate from their programs and PCS to USMA

Q: Are officers eligible to leave West Point after two years as an instructor (instead of the normal three)?
A: Historically, some officers who are promoted below the zone (BZ) to Major have been given the option to PCS after two years as an instructor. However, all others serve a three-year utilization tour.

Q: What is housing like at USMA for Captains?
A: For this year's (2013) Captain Cohort, every captain who came to USMA (from all departments) with dependents who wanted a house on post received one. USMA has either built new or completely renovated five on-post neighborhoods for Captains/Majors within the last five years (New Brick, Old Brick, Grey Ghost, Stony Lonesome I, and Stoney Lonesome II), so the housing situation is predicted to remain very favorable. Officers may also choose to live off-post.