"Branch Night" at West Point

Marauder06

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Tonight is Branch Night at West Point. In my opinion, this is the second-best event that West Point does (graduation is #1). For those who don't know, this is the night when cadets find out in which career field they will start their Army careers. Since the branching process is highly competitive, and it has taken literally years to get to this point, there is a lot of excitement and anticipation. Even as a non-West Point grad who was commissioned ~25 years ago, it's still an exciting night.

COVID has complicated everything, of course, but I'm still looking forward to hearing from my students and sponsor cadets how excited they are about their new branches.

This is an article from a couple of years ago about the process:

https://havokjournal.com/culture/mi...every-night-be-the-best-that-that-you-can-be/

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Ooh-Rah

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From the article:
“But sometimes there are cadets who, upon seeing their branch, are so overwhelmed with disappointment that they burst into tears or seethe with anger.”

If it hasn’t yet, at some point in the future there will be the embarrassing Twitter or Instagram video rant.
 

Marauder06

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From the article:
“But sometimes there are cadets who, upon seeing their branch, are so overwhelmed with disappointment that they burst into tears or seethe with anger.”

If it hasn’t yet, at some point in the future there will be the embarrassing Twitter or Instagram video rant.
Imagine your Soldiers at your first duty station seeing that. Not only is it highly unprofessional, but "you hate our branch so much it made you cry? Way to make an impression, LT." :mad:
 

Steve1839

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Imagine your Soldiers at your first duty station seeing that.
For some here, it may be hard to understand, but I'd say around half or maybe more of the Infantry lieutenants I trained did not really want to be in the branch. Had a lieutenant in my last class that majored in finance, actually finished both a bachelor's and master's degree in four years, interned with a major stock brokerage and was sure he was going to branch Finance, maybe AG, heaven forbid Quartermaster but wound up at Benning wearing crossed idiot sticks...he wanted to be stationed at Fort Dix so badly, it was pathetic...when he was orders to remain at Fort Benning, he was muchly disappointed...he was begging for a branch transfer from the day he arrived at IOBC probably until he got sent to Korea to get some ground time...he didn't seem to understand that when you take the king's ransom, you do the king's bidding...

But the days before branching are a bit tense...didn't happen in my class, but in the class before mine, several folks voluntarily quit OCS after getting branch orders...prior service folks who felt it was better to go back to being an E5, E6 in whatever they were doing before rather than being FA, IN or whatever they got selected for...
 

Marauder06

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For some here, it may be hard to understand, but I'd say around half or maybe more of the Infantry lieutenants I trained did not really want to be in the branch. Had a lieutenant in my last class that majored in finance, actually finished both a bachelor's and master's degree in four years, interned with a major stock brokerage and was sure he was going to branch Finance, maybe AG, heaven forbid Quartermaster but wound up at Benning wearing crossed idiot sticks...he wanted to be stationed at Fort Dix so badly, it was pathetic...when he was orders to remain at Fort Benning, he was muchly disappointed...he was begging for a branch transfer from the day he arrived at IOBC probably until he got sent to Korea to get some ground time...he didn't seem to understand that when you take the king's ransom, you do the king's bidding...

But the days before branching are a bit tense...didn't happen in my class, but in the class before mine, several folks voluntarily quit OCS after getting branch orders...prior service folks who felt it was better to go back to being an E5, E6 in whatever they were doing before rather than being FA, IN or whatever they got selected for...
Finance is super-competitive. Also, until this year I didn't realize how competitive AG is as a branch, due to the extremely limited number of slots.
 

racing_kitty

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I wonder how many have taken the suit test, gotten a seat at the schoolhouse, and will then shit themselves to see that they’ve branched LOG as a result.
 

Kaldak

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OCS branching was very straightforward. This is at midpoint in the course, so only PTF, academic tests, and spot points earned/deducted make up your class rank, with a minor % coming from leadership positions in the company.

Highest class rank gets first stab at open slots and you continue down the rankings.

The one exception to this process is that the week before branching, if you have special qualifications for a certain branch (flight hours to go aviation, masters in finance to go finance, etc), the cadre may award you that branch before branching and said slot is now gone. Not to mention, there may not even be available slots in some branches.

Also, for some reason, the lowest ranked candidate almost always ends up in FA.
 

ThunderHorse

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VMI is the number one school commissioning officers into the Army and the Marine Corps after their respective academies. On the Army side, at least when I was in school, there wasn't a big thing, now that I remember it branch accession got delayed because we had a government shutdown. Sometimes there are discrepancies that occur in ROTC branching or at least there were at the time as you have various ADSO options. ADSO for Branch Choice, ADSO for Duty Station, ADSO for Graduate Tuition. You have an HR Profiler that you sit with before you put in your branch preferences and literally gameify your branch choices based on an ADSO and where you sit on the OML.

It usually ends up being a night where 1/c cadets at VMI just get drunk up town and sometimes cadets end up with months of confinement, we don't have a firsty club so the only alcohol you have on post is "contraband".

For mine if I recall this correctly, we stood in a line for counseling with the Battalion Commander, he gave us each our branch orders and the branch insignia which you then put on your VMI duty uniform. Well, I branched one thing on branch day, and two days later I branched Armor.
 
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