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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 submitting your application to DPE).

Q: Who is eligible to become a DPE Instructor for the next scheduled Selection Board?
A: You must be a competitive category Army CPT or 1LT(P) and have your completed application submitted by 01 December to be given full consideration. Additionally, the following eligibility criteria apply for the January board that selects officers to begin graduate school in the summer of the following year:
·         Must be within the primary year groups stated in the application process
·         Must be branch qualified prior to the start of graduate school
The oldest eligible year group criterion is set to ensure that Captains who come to West Point and serve three years as an Instructor will have sufficient time to get branch qualified as a Major prior to their primary zone (PZ) LTC promotion board.

Q: Are officers eligible to leave West Point after two years as an instructor (instead of the normal three)?
A: Officers selected as an instructor in DPE will serve in this capacity for three years. On rare occasions, an Officer may be eligible for a two year utilization tour based on several factors (year group, available key development time as a major, and ILE selection).
Q: How important is the impact of teaching Physical Education?
A. The DPE mission is to develop warrior leaders of character who are physically fit and mentally tough by engaging cadets in activities that promote and enhance physical excellence. 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 most branches. DPE instructors have a variety of undergraduate degrees and come from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
·         Current and incoming DPE instructors have combat/operational-deployment leadership experience.
·         DPE officers maintain a lifestyle focused on physical fitness and wellness
·         Active-duty or retired General Officers who taught in DPE:
o    GEN (R) Larry R. Ellis (former Commanding General, United States Forces Command, Fort McPherson, GA)
o    LTG (R) James L. Campbell (former Special Assistant to the Vice Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief of Staff, United States Army Pentagon)
o    GEN (R) Franklin L. Hagenbeck (former Superintendent, United States Military Academy)
o    LTG (R) James J. Lovelace, Jr. (former Commanding General, US Army Central, Third Army, and Land Component Command, United States Army Pentagon)
o    LTG (R) David P. Valcourt (former Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff, TRADOC)
o    MG (R) Charles A. Anderson (former Commanding General, First Army Division – West, Fort Hood, TX)
o    LTG (R) Mark P. Hertling (Commanding General, US Army Europe and Seventh Army, APO AE)

Q: Where do DPE instructors receive their graduate degrees and what is the Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO)?
A: Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), Texas A&M University (College Station, TX), and UNC Greensboro (Greensboro, NC). For one (1) year of fully funded graduate school (i.e. ACS), you will incur three (3) years of a service obligation on active duty. The three years you serve at DPE count towards fulfilling your graduate school ADSO.

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 Character Development Teams.

Q: How competitive is it to become a member of DPE faculty?
A: We pride ourselves in selecting exceptional Officers who will serve as inspirational role models for Cadets. We typically select six Captains a year and receive about 20-30 complete applications per 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 readiness 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
·         Snowboarding
·         Rock Climbing
·         Cross Country Skiing
·         Golf
·         Racquetball
·         Basketball
·         Volleyball
·         SCUBA
·         Strength Development
·         Cycling
·         Advanced Combatives
Assignment to teach elective courses is based upon departmental needs, individual’s 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 each selection cycle?
·         NLT 01 December: Complete application due on W.E.S.T.
·         January- February: Selection Board convenes, reviews packets, deliberates and selects
·         Early March: All candidates notified of their selection status (primary, alternate, non-select)
·         March-September: USMA requests official by-name approval for primary officers from HRC (just because DPE wants you, doesn’t mean HRC will approve)
·         September-December: Selected officers apply to graduate schools
·         May/June (~13-14 months after selection): Officers PCS to their grad school location and start their one year Masters program
·         May/June (after grad school): Officers graduate from their programs and PCS to USMA to begin their summer training assignments
Q: What is housing like at USMA for Captains?
A: 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.  Visit the West Point Family Housing website for details.