Branch Education

Cadets receive receive ample information and mentorship to make informed decisions about their post graduation military careers.

Branch Education

Cadets receive receive ample information and mentorship to make informed decisions about their post graduation military careers.

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USMA's Gateway to the Army

Branch education is a deliberate program executed in 4 stages throughout the 47-month experience. The Department of Military Instruction’s Accessions Division educates cadets to navigate the branching process and to complete branch-specific prerequisites. Cadets have access to a multitude of resources to build a competitive file for consideration in the branch selection process.

The Accessions Division oversees Branch Week, Branch Night, and Post Night, and leads the transition process from cadet to lieutenant during the second semester for the graduating class. 

Branch Education by Year

During the plebe year, the Accessions Program will educate and provide cadets with initial branch exposure and the foundation for their branching file. This will include an introduction to the Talent-Based Branching Model. This is accomplished through a class-wide briefing, branch static display rotations during Branch Week, access to the Virtual Branch Education Forum via Teams, and an introduction to all branches during MS100. Gaining this broad perspective enables plebes to consider all the career options the Army has to offer and creates an informed passion for the Army.

End State:  Cadets are informed on the basics of each branch in the army.

During yearling year, cadets continue branch engagements to understand branch-specific warfighting fundamentals and branching file requirements. This is accomplished through a class-wide briefing, branch static display rotations during Branch Week, access to the Virtual Branch Education Forum, and engagements during MS200, CFT, and MIADs. These engagements assist yearling cadets with a selection of CTLT. MS200 and CFT enable a more in-depth understanding of each branch’s mission, unit structure, specific capabilities, key equipment, and junior officer responsibilities. MS200 will continue to build on cadet understanding of the 17 branches by means of branch briefs, instructor experiences, and course curriculum.

End State:  Cadets understand branch-specific warfighting fundamentals and branching file requirements.

During cow year, cadets gain more branch experience and a broad understanding of how the branches integrate into Large Scale Combat Operations (LSCO). Cadets validate their branching file and prepare for the interview process. By the end of cow year, a cadet file should showcase agile/adaptive leaders and talent matches to the branches. During Branch Week, cows participate in static display open hours and engage with USMA branch mentors and senior branch representatives. Also, cadets participate in the “Second Class Branch Engagement,” with respective branches of their choice. The process to apply for the Aviation branch or Medical Service branch as a Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) Pilot (67J) begins fall Semester of cow year with medical physicals and prerequisites.

End State: Cadet files showcase agile/adaptive leaders & talent matches

During the first class year, cadets complete the Branch Education and Mentorship Program(BEMP) and execute the Accessions Transition Assistance Program(ATAP).  This is accomplished through multiple class-wide and branch-wide briefs, final Branch Week, access to the Virtual Branch Education Forum, and the Accessions branch representatives. First-class cadets have the final two of six opportunities to input and record their branch preferences. Preference five occurs prior to Branch Week and preference six occurs after the release of Branch Commandant ratings, prior to the Branching Board. The purpose of the Branching Selection Process and board is to meet overall Army needs by assigning cadets to branches for which they are the best talent fit. This is achieved through the Talent-Based Branching Model (TBBM).  Second semester firstie year, ATAP, Posting and Basic Officer Leader Course(BOLC) selection occurs.  The purpose of ATAP is to assist in the posting process, and the orders production process, inform cadets of transition requirements, and prepare cadets for BOLC.  The ATAP program begins after cadets are assigned their branch and ends when they sign into BOLC at their respective Centers of Excellence. 

End State: Cadets transitioned to Lieutenants and prepared to win at BOLC and beyond

Branch Options

Virtual Branch Outreach

One of the most important decisions an Army cadet will make is the selection of what branch they want to serve in as a second lieutenant. 

To enhance the branch education process, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command developed Virtual Branch Outreach (VBO). VBO is a public-facing virtual environment designed to provide branching education and assistance to cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point.