Breadcrumb admissions careers Your Career After West Point The Long Gray Line 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. You must serve a minimum of eight years after you graduate in a combination of Active Duty and Reserve Component Service. 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? After graduation, you’ll attend a Basic Officer Leader Course where you'll study general Army operations, planning, and training. Then, you'll study branch-specific material to become competent in the technical aspects of your occupational specialty. Join Your Unit Next, you’ll be sent to an Army unit where you will build experience in your occupational specialty for the next three years. You might lead a helicopter aviation platoon, a vertical engineering unit, or a cyber operations team, for example. The Army has a wide variety of specialized occupational fields called “branches.” Each branch has its own area of technical and tactical expertise. Depending on the needs of the Army and your personal desires, you will pick from the branches below. Adjutant General The Adjutant General Corps is responsible for personnel management. AG Officers provide personnel support that affects Soldiers' overall welfare and well-being, while assisting commanders by keeping Soldiers combat-ready. Air Defense Artillery The Air Defense Artillery (ADA) branch specializes in anti-aircraft weaponry and maintains air space superiority to protect troops against aerial and missile attacks. They provide threat detection and early warnings from airspace. Armor Armor officers are responsible for tanks, other mounted vehicles, and Soldiers to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition operations on the battlefield. They are the eyes and ears of the commander. Aviation The Aviation branch coordinates Aviation operations from maintenance to control tower operations to tactical flight operations. Army aviators provide quick-strike and long-range target engagement and transport troops and supplies. Chemical The Chemical Corps uses the latest defense technology to protect the force from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) weapons and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Corps of Engineers Engineers build structures, develop civil works programs, work with natural resources and provide construction expertise to build and maintain roads, airfields, and other facilities. Cyber Cyber Operations officers conduct integrated and synchronized defensive and offensive cyberspace operations by targeting hostile enemy activities and capabilities. Field Artillery Field Artillery provides cannon, rocket, and missile fire support in an operational environment, earning it the title "King of Battle." Finance Financial Managers are responsible for purchasing services and supplies to sustain missions, Army pay, commercial vendor support, auditing, accounting, financial management information systems, and banking. Infantry The infantry Branch is the main land combat force. Infantry officers are tactical masters who plan and execute worldwide Army operations during war and peacetime. Medical Services The Medical Service Corps officers plan, direct, manage, administer and participate in the functioning of health care facilities and organizations. They advise commanders at all levels on aspects of health care facilities and delivery. Military Intelligence The Military Intelligence officers provide essential information that can often save the lives of Soldiers fighting on front lines. They lead Intelligence Soldiers, assess risks, and act to neutralize intelligence threats. Military Police The Army depends on Military Police to maintain order and discipline. MPs serve as the Army's law enforcement and security officers, and handle crimes committed on Army installations. Ordnance The Ordnance Branch is responsible for maintaining weapons systems, vehicles, and tactical support equipment. Ordnance officers also manage the development, testing, fielding, handling, storage, and disposal of munitions. Quartermaster The Quartermaster branch handles the logistics of providing Soldiers with food, water, petroleum, repair parts and other field services during a military or relief operation. Signal Signal Corps is responsible operating and maintaining the Army's data systems and resources. Their experts ensure seamless communication end-to-end, including everything from phones and computers to routers and satellite relays. Transportation The Transportation branch is responsible for operating U.S. Army heavy equipment and ensuring that Soldiers in the field receive the critical supplies they need to complete the mission. 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 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. Check out West Pointers-The Journey Continues to learn more about graduates currently working in their branches. Army or Civilian Career? 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 the first 60 days in service, all active duty members are enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan which is much like a civilian 401(k) retirement account and they receive an automatic 1% of base pay, contributed by the Army. After 2 years of service, the military will match up to 5% base pay contributions. Additionally, active duty members who complete 20 years of service will earn 40% of their final base pay, up to 60% for 30 years of service, and reduced medical care for life, plus many other benefits.