Saying that being an army officer is a tough job is a gross understatement. The United States Armed Forces is one of the largest in the world. It would probably come as a surprise that out of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who are working under the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, only sixteen percent are actually army officers. The majority are enlisted personnel. Army officers have quite a big responsibility in the institution.
Trying to become a military officer is quite a challenge. The armed forces can be quite picky, and only choose among the best. Therefore, the selection process can be quite tedious and downright cutthroat. High school graduates may apply for military schools all over the country to have a shot in a career in the military profession. Applicants are required to hurdle academic tests, physical examinations and fitness tests to be eligible for enrolment in West Point or any other military school.
The training in military schools do not only teach students about military tactics and offensives. These intuitions also go to great lengths just to inculcate the values of patriotism, courage and bravery among its students. Camaraderie is also taught through practical exercises in these military schools making each batch of graduates that come out of these military schools among the most united and bonded units.
Military schools give out Bachelor of Science degrees to its graduates who finish a very demanding four year program. These fresh graduates would be second lieutenants (ranks higher than army sergeant) as soon as they leave the premises of the school. They will be assigned accordingly to their desired or most compatible designation in hopes to maximize the talent in the pool. Graduates usually have a choice whether to join the Army, Air Force or Navy. This is to make sure that the personnel would be given the most chances to grow as individuals in their units.
Professionals may also become military officers as well, using a different route. Physicians can automatically get some status in the military if he is willing to serve in a military hospital for a set number of years. Medical students may also apply for a special scholarship by the U.S. Armed Forces. The tuition and stipends over the course of your schooling would be covered by the Armed Forces, but you would be tied to military hospital service for about seven years once you graduate.
Another option is by training as a reserve officer. ROTC programs are common in colleges and universities. These programs offer aspirants scholarships during their term in school, and upon graduation, candidates are commissioned as officers, whether in active or reserve duty.
For army officers to advance in rank, they must have meritorious performance in army missions. Promotions are strictly based on army regulation so it's a fairly well defined process. As expected, the higher you go up the army totem pole the harder it gets. It's a long way from a second lieutenant to a general. The U.S. Army has the privilege of having its pick of applicants of officers so it's better to just put your best foot forward and hope for the best.