BS&L Prospective Rotating Military Faculty

BS&L Prospective Rotating Military Faculty

Join Team BS&L!

On behalf of Colonel Everett Spain, Professor and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, and Colonel Todd Woodruff, Eisenhower Leadership Development Program Director, I would like to invite you to apply to be an Academic Instructor and/or a Cadet Company Tactical Officer at West Point.  If you believe you would enjoy the challenge of educating, training, and inspiring the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army, then please use the contact information at the end of this document to indicate your interest in joining our team.

Leadership is influencing people- by providing purpose, direction and motivation- while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.

Army Field Manual 6-22, Military Leadership

What would I be teaching?

The Department continually seeks talented faculty who are experts in the disciplines that comprise our majors and minor – engineering psychology, management, psychology, sociology, diversity and inclusion studies – and are committed to enhancing the education and development of cadets.

Teaching Military Leadership (PL 300)

PL 300, which is mandatory for all 3rd year cadets, is the only core course in the academic curriculum focused explicitly on leadership development.  We believe PL 300 is, without exception, one of the most important courses offered at the Academy.  It is essential that skilled and experienced instructors who are passionate about the leadership and who are devoted to developing cadets to be future leaders teach this course.  It has been recognized as one of the best courses of its type offered in any undergraduate institution.  PL 300 consistently achieves among the highest cadet survey results on end of course feedback of any course at the Academy.  For example, at the end of the last year, more than four out of five cadets who took PL 300 either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with each of the following statements:

  • Compared with other courses at USMA, this course was more relevant to my future role as an Army Leader
  • PL 300 gave me the opportunities I needed to advance my own learning of Military Leadership
  • PL 300 helped me to develop and refine my own personal leadership philosophy
  • I think I can apply the concepts I learned in this course to various situations later in my life
  • The activities in this course have helped me learn more about myself as a person
  • The activities in this course have helped me to learn more about myself as a future Army Leader.

Finally, PL 300 is the only course that mandates that every instructor be an active-duty or retired officer (reinforcing our focus on application, in addition to theory).

Teaching General Psychology for Leaders (PL 100)

General Psychology for Leaders (PL 100) emphasizes leadership and officership in nearly every lesson.  The course goal is to be a more ethical and effective leader because of your scientific understanding of human behavior. It is an introductory course that develops of an awareness and understanding of one's own behavior and the behavior of others, emphasizing the application of behavioral, cognitive and affective principles to life. Within the realm of academics, it is part of the broad undergraduate education offered at the Academy and serves as a foundation upon which subsequent the study of the behavioral sciences is based.  As a professional course, it represents for many cadets the first step in a continuing practical study of the art and science of leadership. 

What are some opportunities to advance in my career?

The Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership's Research Centers offer a robust selection of research, scholarship, collaboration, and professional development opportunities to help our faculty remain at the forefront of their disciplines.

Application packets are due by 1 November

Start your TEACH application
Learn more about applying at West Point

Rotating military faculty consists of of active-duty captains, majors, and lieutenant colonels. An assignment to West Point as a rotating faculty member requires officers to submit an application through the CAC-enabled TEACH system

Department-Specific Questions and Requirements

First and foremost, our instructors are proven first-class leaders of operational units who are dedicated to careers in the US Army.  They have demonstrated a passion for leading their organizations by building and developing their people into dedicated leaders and training their units to be combat-ready teams.  BS&L instructors historically are extremely competitive with their peers throughout their career.

  • Current and incoming instructors represent all the major commissioning sources (USMA, ROTC, OCS) and most of the branches.  BS&L instructors have a diverse array of undergraduate degrees and ethnic backgrounds.  MC and MS officers are not eligible to join us, however, due to restrictions by their branch.
  • Current BS&L instructors have been promoted early (BZ) to major at higher than average rates.  Current and incoming BS&L instructors have combat/operational-deployment leadership experience in all recent operations.
  • Some of the recognition that recent BS&L instructors have received includes: the Douglas Macarthur Leadership Award (one of top company grade officers in the Army), the Draper Award (top Cavalry/Armor Company in a Division), US Army Best Ranger Competition Top-10 Finisher, the Emerson-Itschner Award (top Engineer company in the US Army), being Student Body President of a major University with over 40,000 students, and being the Distinguished Honor/Leadership Graduate of numerous military schools and courses (including US Army Flight School, Ranger School, AOBC, EOBC, IOBC, SFOQC, and Sapper School).
  • Recent BS&L instructors had a 100% selection rate for Battalion Command (four out of four over the past 4-years, with three from the combat arms and one from combat support). 

A number of distinguished retired General Officers have taught in BS&L:

  • GEN Leon LaPorte, US Forces Korea
  • LTG Dave Ohle, Asst. Dep. Chief of Staff US Army Staff
  • MG Robert W. Cone, CG Joint Advanced Warfighting Program
  • MG Tom Garrett, PERSCOM
  • MG Randy Rigby, Director Program Analysis and Evaluation
  • BG Mitch Zais, Deputy CG 1st Infantry Division
  • BG Pat O’Neal, G3 Forces Command

The Management Major

The Management Major is designed to help prepare you to lead efficient and effective organizations by developing critical managerial skills. Management also teaches electives to large numbers of cadets in other academic majors across the academy due to cross-relevance of subject matter.  Most instructors in the management program begin their tour by teaching PL300 (Military Leadership) their first year at West Point, and then transition to teach management courses in their 2nd and/or 3rd year.

Some of the LMS Fellowships recently awarded to captains include (all 2-yr):
Duke -Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Kansas -Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Harvard -Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Stanford -Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Penn-Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Dartmouth-Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Learn more about the management major


The Sociology Major

Sociology is the scientific study of human society and culture.  Program officers teach electives to a large number of cadets not just in BS&L, but also in numerous other majors across the academy due to the direct cross-relevance of the subject matter.  Most instructors in the Sociology program teach PL300 (Military Leadership) their first year at West Point and then transition to Sociology in their 2nd and/or 3rd year.  The Sociology Program at West Point is the most broad-based of BS&L majors. Courses range from the study of both the causes and consequences of human social behavior in small groups to examining the basic organizing principles of entire societies. Specific courses represent the core of sociology. As a result they examine a variety of topics including social inequality, crime, the family, organizational systems, and the institution of the military.  To be effective leaders, all officers must understand the society they are serving, as well as the various social backgrounds from which their soldiers come. Increasingly, they must also understand the beliefs, values, and institutions of foreign societies. The goal of the sociology program at USMA is to develop the cadets’ ability to make sense of the entire cultural range of social behavior in order to be better leaders.

Some of the Sociology Fellowships recently awarded to captains include (all 2-yr):
Maryland-MS, Sociology
Northwestern- MA, Sociology
Texas A&M-MS, Sociology
Boston University -MA, Sociology

Learn more about the sociology major


The Psychology Program

The Psychology program directs and mentors cadets through the Psychology Major. Program officers teach electives to a large number of cadets in BS&L and other majors across the academy due to the direct cross-relevance of the subject matter.  Most instructors in the Psychology program begin their tour by teaching PL 100 (General Psychology for Leaders) during their first year in BS&L and then transition to the Psychology major program in their 2nd and/or 3rd year.
Competent leaders develop through an unending process of self-examination, education and experience.  To lead successfully, you need to know what makes your soldiers "tick," and before you can understand others, you must understand yourself.  People and human nature are the subject matter of a field of study or major in Psychology.  Such a program of study therefore, will provide a firm foundation on which to build as you continue to develop as a leader throughout a lifetime of service to the nation.  Leaders teach, train and counsel.  Good teaching and training enhance proficiency and build the self-confidence necessary to confront difficult tasks.  Sensitive and insightful counseling insures discipline, lifts morale and promotes the cohesion essential to keep going under the most stressful conditions. The Psychology Program helps cadets acquire these skills.

Some of the current electives that a Psychology instructor could have the opportunity to teach include:
PL361- Research Methods I
PL373- Life Cycle & Human Development
PL376- Abnormal Psychology
PL383- Social Psychology
PL387- Foundations of Counseling
PL392- Cognitive Psychology
PL488- Psychology Colloquium (Positive Psychology)

Some of the Psychology Fellowships recently awarded to captains include (all 2-yr):
Columbia Unv- MS, Double Major, Social & Organizational Psychology and Counseling
New York Unv- MS, Counseling & Guidance
Georgia Tech- MS, Psychology (including Experimental-Cognitive, I/O, and Engineering)
Univ of TX Austin- MA, Educational Psychology
Duke- MA, Developmental Psychology
Unv of Washington- MA, Psychology-Social Cognition
Chapman University -MA, Marriage, Family and Child Counseling
UNC -MA, Social Psychology

Learn more about the psychology program

You must be a competitive category Army officer (typically a branch qualified Captain) and have your completed application submitted by the annual December 1st deadline to be given full consideration.  An application is not complete until you have qualifying GRE scores (153 V / 144 Q / 4.0 W at a minimum) or GMAT score (500).  Additionally, the following eligibility criteria apply:

  • BS&L Academic Instructor (a 5-year program)
  • Must be on schedule to successfully branch qualify by August of the year graduate school begins.
  • Should be in a Year Group that promotes to major in the primary zone NET than the second year of graduate school.

Note:  The intent is to ensure that officers who come to West Point will begin serving as an Academic Instructor or Tactical Officer NLT the start of their 10th year of commissioned service, which translates into them spending three years as an instructor, going to ILE (or equivalent duty), and then having a minimum of 18 months to branch qualify as a major prior to their primary zone LTC promotion board.

The application requirements are generally the same- please build a packet like that described for a captain in the previous section.  There is not an annual selection board date for majors or lieutenant colonels- they are considered as positions become available throughout the year.  On average- we hire 1-2 MAJ/LTCs a year to go to 3-yr PhD program and then return to USMA and teach for a minimum of three years. Officers who are selected for this program incur a 6-year ADSO after completion of the degree program.

No, just have the potential to get a PhD, within three years, at a top tier academic institution. This means that one should have a solid master's degree and have demonstrated academic scholarship. Additionally, an applicant should have a current set of GRE scores at the time of application. 

Yes.  In creating a file with us, you will be asked to specify an academic preference based on your interest and educational background.  This is important, since our positions are generally degree specific.

Generally speaking, having a masters degree does not affect your chances of being selected for any of these programs. You are just as competitive, no more or no less. Officers who want to be an academic instructor are typically not eligible to come straight to USMA (even with a prior Master’s degree) because BS&L wants each officer to have a full-time “immersion” experience at a top graduate institution to best prepare them to educate and inspire cadets. All officers wishing to be tactical officers must complete the ELDP program- even if they already have a Master’s degree. PhD Fellowships for CPTs are exceedingly rare- typically only branch qualified MAJs and LTCs with a masters degree are eligible for PhD fellowships.

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Contact Us

CPT Jonathon Morgan (Primary POC for Instructor applicants) Commercial Phone - 845.938.8337
DSN - 688.8337

CPT Tara Middlebrooks (Primary POC for Instructor applicants) 

MAJ John Morrow (Primary POC for ELDP applicants) Commercial Phone - 845.938.3623
DSN - 688.3623

Mailing Address for All Written Correspondence (BS&L and TAC/ELDP applications):
Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership
United States Military Academy Attention: Personnel Officer
West Point, NY 10996-1905

Learn more about BS&L

The mission of the BS&L Department is to educate cadets in the leader-development, social, psychological, and management sciences in preparation for careers as commissioned leaders of character, inspiring in them the values of Duty, Honor, Country. The Department's vision is to be the world's preeminent academic department focused on leader development.

Other Opportunities

It takes a team to ensure the U.S. Military Academy at West Point can fulfill its mission to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets.  There are roles for military and civilian faculty to teach cadets and for those both in and out of uniform to ensure the systems and processes required to operate a military installation and college campus are in place and running efficiently.