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Just Branched Adjutant General with Branch Detail Chemical

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latdawgs09
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Just Branched Adjutant General with Branch Detail Chemical

Postby latdawgs09 Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:44 pm

Can anyone give me any idea on what I am getting myself into. No disrespect to the Chemical Corps, but When we branched AG was one of my top choices and this was the only AG left that appealed to me. So I don't know much about Chemical (my degree is in Business), can someone please let me know what I am looking at. I am not sure how brach detail works or what I am getting myself into with Chemical BOLC.

I appreciate all the advice and information.
Last edited by latdawgs09 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jherm Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:40 am

Heck, take a look at my historical posts on this forum.

Don't be scared about branching CM. Based upon your post, I am assuming that you selected an AG slot detailed to CM because you were too low on the OML to select a pure AG slot.

So no disrespect, but what is a lower tier OC looking for in information about the CM branch?
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Postby latdawgs09 Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:29 am

I'll answer this the best way I can: 1) I was 20 on the OML out of 60; 2) I was trying to get Finance and submitted a 4187 for Finance but there ended up being no slots; 3) AG was the closest to Finance I could get and all (2) the pure AG slots were gone; 4) I picked AG/CM because I did not want AG/IN. That being said hopefully now you realize I am not a bottom feeder, but I will check out your post again, which I already have, and see if I can get some more information out of it. That being said, I was looking for some additional updated info since I know my first 3-4 years will be spent as a Chemical Officer and I want to be prepared the best I can and what I need to be doing now before I show up to Chem BOLC. Thank for your reply and anyone else that offers information or advice going forward.
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Postby HalJordan Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:56 pm

Latdawg, I think your question was rational, valid and in perfect context hoping to get senior soldier's insight into your future.

(But work on your writing)

I am not Chemical, but I am sure you can find someone who is, either on this forum who could help you out, continue reading the old posts, finding someone once you are out in the Army.

There are two branch details in my DET and they both thought it was going to be horrible, but they ended up getting the best of both worlds.

Good luck to you,

HJ
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Postby imlinked Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:22 pm

I'll answer this the best way I can: 1) I was 20 on the OML out of 60; 2) I was trying to get Finance and submitted a 4187 for Finance but there ended up being no slots; 3) AG was the closest to Finance I could get and all (2) the pure AG slots were gone; 4) I picked AG/CM because I did not want AG/IN. That being said hopefully now you realize I am not a bottom feeder, but I will check out your post again, which I already have, and see if I can get some more information out of it. That being said, I was looking for some additional updated info since I know my first 3-4 years will be spent as a Chemical Officer and I want to be prepared the best I can and what I need to be doing now before I show up to Chem BOLC. Thank for your reply and anyone else that offers information or advice going forward.
So is it correct to assume there is an inherent risk for putting in a 4187 for a competitive/limited slot? E.g. end up with whatever you can get if the request is denied?

Also... I thought a typical class consisted of ~150 candidates... how come the OML was out of 60?

Sorry. I am unfamiliar with the intricacies of the OML and the branching process.. would like clarifications. Thank you.
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Postby latdawgs09 Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:49 pm

Latdawg, I think your question was rational, valid and in perfect context hoping to get senior soldier's insight into your future.

(But work on your writing)

I am not Chemical, but I am sure you can find someone who is, either on this forum who could help you out, continue reading the old posts, finding someone once you are out in the Army.

There are two branch details in my DET and they both thought it was going to be horrible, but they ended up getting the best of both worlds.

Good luck to you,

HJ
Thank you and I agree my writing need some work. I will continue to work on these things.

So is it correct to assume there is an inherent risk for putting in a 4187 for a competitive/limited slot? E.g. end up with whatever you can get if the request is denied?

Also... I thought a typical class consisted of ~150 candidates... how come the OML was out of 60?

Sorry. I am unfamiliar with the intricacies of the OML and the branching process.. would like clarifications. Thank you.
These are good questions. Yes it can be be a risk but it should be a risk worth taking to ensure you have the best chance of getting a slot you want. Make sure you have a valid reason and good recommendations with good cause for why you should get that branch. Your cadre will assist you with the 4187.

To answer the other question, we have 105 people currently in our class.. started with 117 and we have lost about 25-30. Along the way you all pick up recycles from other classes to. That being said the National Guard and Reserve already hav their branches so you are only competing with the active guys. For me it was 60 active duty Soldiers that the OML really mattered to on branching day and I was #20.
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Postby forcedcobra Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:05 am

USR, managing Command and Staff/BUB slide decks, AS3, night Battle Captain, and all around nugger is what our BDE Chemo does.
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Postby imlinked Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:58 am


These are good questions. Yes it can be be a risk but it should be a risk worth taking to ensure you have the best chance of getting a slot you want. Make sure you have a valid reason and good recommendations with good cause for why you should get that branch. Your cadre will assist you with the 4187.

To answer the other question, we have 105 people currently in our class.. started with 117 and we have lost about 25-30. Along the way you all pick up recycles from other classes to. That being said the National Guard and Reserve already hav their branches so you are only competing with the active guys. For me it was 60 active duty Soldiers that the OML really mattered to on branching day and I was #20.
Thank you for the clarification. Forgot about Reserve and NG guys. Guess I'll have a recommendation letter ready before I shipout.
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Postby jwilson0409 Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:00 am

We have a Chemo branch detail who is working in the BDE S1. As a chemo you never truly know what you will be doing. He is getting ready to interview for the Chem PL slot after being here a year, but he could end up staying in the 1 shop or potentially going to BDE S2 until he goes to the career course.
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Re: Just Branched Adjutant General with Branch Detail Chemic

Postby Jherm Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:21 am

I'll answer this the best way I can: 1) I was 20 on the OML out of 60; 2) I was trying to get Finance and submitted a 4187 for Finance but there ended up being no slots; 3) AG was the closest to Finance I could get and all (2) the pure AG slots were gone; 4) I picked AG/CM because I did not want AG/IN. That being said hopefully now you realize I am not a bottom feeder, but I will check out your post again, which I already have, and see if I can get some more information out of it. That being said, I was looking for some additional updated info since I know my first 3-4 years will be spent as a Chemical Officer and I want to be prepared the best I can and what I need to be doing now before I show up to Chem BOLC. Thank for your reply and anyone else that offers information or advice going forward.
I've been a CM officer for four years in a variety of units and positions, so I can help you better understand what you are getting into. I was harsh with my original post. I was 11 on the OML out of 177, and was given CM because that's how the Army branched in service NCOs back then.

Work with me here, though. When you write something like...
No disrespect to the Chemical Corps...
...it reads like the infamous saying, "With all due respect..." You know that whatever is said after that is going to disrespectful as hell. :wink:

So now that we have gotten this out of the way, let's get down to business and talk about what you can reasonably expect as a CM officer for three to four years.

1. The branch is structured in such a way that, statistically speaking, most CM LTs are going to start their careers off as a BN CHEMO in a BCT. IN, AR, FA, CAV, AV, and ADA BNs are all MTOE a CM LT in their S3 sections.

The CM LT is the only staff officer that is MTOE as a LT on the BN staff. The S1, S2, S4, and S6 are all MTOE as CPTs. We have all known LTs to fill those staff sections, but in an ideal world, those KD positions are filled by post CCC officers of that branch, who typically have four or more years of experience in their field.

This structure is what leads a lot of BN CHEMO LTs to be steamrolled by the CPTs that populate every BN S3. They are supposed to be there to serve as the BC's SME on CBRN operations, but in reality, how much does a 2LT fresh out of the basic course really know about such a technical field? Throw in the fact that the BN CHEMO is usually the lowest ranking officer on the staff, and it just gets harder for that LT.
What compounds that problem is the fact that there is only one CBRN PLT in each BCT, and it is found in the BSTB (which are transforming into BEBs). This means that generally speaking, there are six or more CM LTs in a BCT and one 74A coded PL slot in one BN. With that in mind, many good quality BN CHEMOs have excelled in their jobs (as crappy as being a LT on a BN staff can be) and effectively communicated with their bosses (BN S3 and the BC) about their desires to be a PL, and have done those leadership jobs within their BN.

As a CHEMO you do not have the luxury that a lot of other branches have. If an AR LT shows up to an AR BN and waits in the BN S3 until a PL spot opens up, he still does that job knowing that it’s just a matter of time before he is slotted into one of those positions. A CM LT showing up to an AR BN does not have that same luxury; you will have to work harder and do better to get the kind of jobs that a lot of other branches are usually given automatically.

2. The structure of the CM branch outside of the divisions (i.e. BCTs) is simple, but important to know. Outside of TRADOC you have the 48th Chemical Brigade, which is headquartered at Fort Hood. All other CONUS based CM units (2nd CM BN, 22nd CM BN, 110th CM BN, etc.) are spread out across CONUS (Fort Hood, JBLM, Aberdeen, Fort Stewart, Fort Campbell, etc.) but they all fall under the 48th CM BDE. The 23rd CM BN recently relocated to Korea and falls under 1ABCT/2ID. Because the majority of CM LT slots are on the MTOEs of BNs in BCTs, most CM LTs will start their careers there. But CM LTs do go straight from BOLC to CM units. Because the 23rd CM BN is in Korea, where most of their Soldiers of all ranks are only spending 12 months assigned to the BN, filling this BN is the second highest priority for CM Branch to fill. Keep in mind that the CSA’s manning guidance is to fill deploying unit first, and then units in Korea second. That priority with the reality that the turnover rate in the 23rd CM BN is so high and you can understand that the chances of going to Korea are high. The good part of that is that you go to a CM unit and straight into a PL job, and you are working around a lot of officers within your branch.

3. The secret of the CM branch is that its greatest strengths and biggest source of exciting jobs are in the Special Operations world; these positions and missions are doing the most to keep the branch relevant and alive. While the conventional Army has sidelined CBRN training for the past dozen years in support of the operational demands of the GWOT, the SOF side of the military has an insatiable demand for talented and quality CBRN support. The branch has a Technical Escort company (25 CM Co/22nd CM BN (TE)) that is direct support to some Tier 1 units. You can go to this company out of BOLC (provided that you make it through the selection process) and work as an Assistant Team Leader or Team Leader doing real world CBRN operations in places that most people don’t even know that we’re at. Such opportunity exists in very few branches for brand new LTs. While it is likely that you will start in a position of some very non-sexy job (BN CHEMO for a FA BN, etc.) there is a lot of hope within the branch for bigger and better opportunities.

4. I have been a CM officer for four years. I did not want to be a CM officer, but I have come to enjoy the branch. The thing that I enjoy the most about this branch is the wide open field of opportunity that exists. We are not constrained to having to do things in a specific way. The CM Branch doesn’t care what kind of PL or company commander that you are, so long as you do the job. That kind of freedom leads to some interesting experiences. I will share my experience with the branch so far:

I was originally on orders to a BCT in 1ID at Fort Riley. While I was at BOLC I volunteered for an Airborne assignment, assuming that I would go to the 82nd at Bragg. Instead I went to 10th SFG(A) at Fort Carson. I was a BN CHEMO for a little less than a year in 10SFG. From the beginning of my first assignment in 10SFG, I communicated with my bosses that I loved the unit, that I loved the mission, and that I really loved being a member of the team, but that I wanted to a PL; something that was not going to happen in a SF BN. I worked hard and did the best that I could do, so when it came time for me to depart for a PL job, my CoC was enthusiastic in helping me transition. I interviewed and was hired as the CBRN Recon PLT PL in 4IBCT/4ID in preparation for a deployment to Afghanistan. I was fortunate to have a second PLT when my BC made me the PL for the BN’s support PLT. While deployed to Afghanistan I was made a company XO in the same BN. After becoming promotable, I transferred back to the 10SFG as the Group CHEMO for four months, before assuming command of the Group’s Chemical Detachment (Recon/Decon). I have been in command for almost four months now, and I am preparing to deploy in the coming weeks. I will continue to command until I hit the 12 – 18 month mark, at which point I will go to the CCC as a KD complete CPT. I am hoping that I will stay at Leonard Wood after the CCC so that I can be a SGL for CM BOLC.

5. If you haven’t already, look into DA PAM 600-3 and read Chapter 15. This will help you get a broad overview of the CM branch. Also, go to the HRC website and start reading through the CM branch’s portion. The link to the CM site is: https://www.hrc.army.mil/Officer/CM%20Officer%20Home (CAC login required)

6. I have sent you a PM with my email addresses and phone numbers. I know that you’re about to be very busy as you head into the field, but whenever you get a free moment, call me so that we can further discuss things. We can work together to get to a happy medium on what you want to do and what you can expect to do from the branch. I still manage all of the CHEMOs in 10SFG, and as a result, I have a great working relationship with CM Branch at HRC. We could realistically get you an assignment out of BOLC that will work best for you and your development.
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Postby bushleaguer Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:39 pm

Frame that, holy moly.
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Postby latdawgs09 Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:30 pm

Frame that, holy moly.
Sir,

Not only did I frame this, print it off and tape it up my wall locker, but I have already taken advantage of his generosity by bombarding him with numerous questions by phone. He has been extremely helpful beyond what is required of him.
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Postby mwrobers Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:35 pm

I'll give you the AG perspective. First, congrats on getting AG, you're better off with it than Finance. Army Finance is nothing like the Finance you had in business school or exists in the "real" world. Initially, I though I wanted Finance until I researched it. I have an MBA and wanted finance, put in a 4287 for AG and didn't get it. I was high enough on my OML to get it though (38/105). You're much better off transferring your AG skills to your post Army career than you could in finance. Human resources is big and easily transferrable outside the Army. Get connected with S1 Net now along with classes for Human Resources Management certification. My first assignment was BN S1. Within 2 months of my first duty station I was at JRTC and 3 months later I was in Afghanistan. Throughout this time, I've worked closely with the BN Medo and CH Officer for USR. From what I gather, outside of CH Battalions, the typical role for a CH Officer is USR. For us though (FA Battalion), our MTOE just changed from a 1LT position to W01. I'm not sure where that will leave you, but either way your experience in CH will prepare you for the world of S1. You will often not be seen as important until something goes wrong and feel like it's a thankless job. However, if you want to help others you can do it and dispel the stereotypes that exist regarding the branch from outsiders. Good Luck
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Postby latdawgs09 Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:26 pm

I'll give you the AG perspective. First, congrats on getting AG, you're better off with it than Finance...
Sir,

Thank you for the different perspective. I look forward to getting started in my career regardless where I land. I spent time as a Paralegal on the enlisted side f the house in JAG working in the Military Justice section. I completely understand what it is like to be unappreciated till you are needed or blamed otherwise. I genuinely like helping others and don't think too much about those that have an issue with the job I do from the outside. I handle it one job at a time and ensure that I do my best and follow up properly with each person to ensure they know where their issues stand. I find that if you can follow up and be real with people, positive results will follow.

I am excited to get trained up in the Chemical side as Jherm has mentioned. I am already, even while at OCS, digging into regulations and information to prepare me for my career. I try my best to be prepared and live my the motto that "while I might not be the smartest, there is no one that will out work me." I am very pleased with my choice to Branch AG/CM.

Thank you for your response and If there is anything I could be doing to better prepare myself for my scheduled move to AG later in my career, please let me know.
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Postby PhantomWarrior Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:34 pm

Just to clarify for posterity, the abbreviation for Chemical Corps is "CM."

("CH" is actually the Chaplain Corps...)
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Postby Kenny78 Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:52 pm

I'll give you the AG perspective. First, congrats on getting AG, you're better off with it than Finance. Army Finance is nothing like the Finance you had in business school or exists in the "real" world. Initially, I though I wanted Finance until I researched it. I have an MBA and wanted finance, put in a 4287 for AG and didn't get it. I was high enough on my OML to get it though (38/105). You're much better off transferring your AG skills to your post Army career than you could in finance. Human resources is big and easily transferrable outside the Army. Get connected with S1 Net now along with classes for Human Resources Management certification. My first assignment was BN S1. Within 2 months of my first duty station I was at JRTC and 3 months later I was in Afghanistan. Throughout this time, I've worked closely with the BN Medo and CH Officer for USR. From what I gather, outside of CH Battalions, the typical role for a CH Officer is USR. For us though (FA Battalion), our MTOE just changed from a 1LT position to W01. I'm not sure where that will leave you, but either way your experience in CH will prepare you for the world of S1. You will often not be seen as important until something goes wrong and feel like it's a thankless job. However, if you want to help others you can do it and dispel the stereotypes that exist regarding the branch from outsiders. Good Luck


My AG buddies were all trying to get their lean six sigma black and green belts. Apparently, the Army pays for those certifications. Also, after the AGCCC you can get 15 credit hours (or 9 towards an MBA) towards an MSHR from Webster University.

AG does readily translate to the outside, every organization needs HR specialists and more importantly, leaders who can manage the HR department.

If any AG people are lookng to join the foreign service, the State department has Foreign Service Specialist tracks in HR, Office Management, and Financial Management (If you are signal there are a few specialsit positions for you too) . I have talked to State Department HR folks and they said that they like military Officers and Senior NCO's for these Specialist positions.
CPT, MI<br />Southeast Asia Reserve Army Attache<br />Det 2, 3300 Strategic Intelligence Group, USAR<br /><br />
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Postby Jherm Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:10 am

Frame that, holy moly.
Sir,

Not only did I frame this, print it off and tape it up my wall locker, but I have already taken advantage of his generosity by bombarding him with numerous questions by phone. He has been extremely helpful beyond what is required of him.
Look at the email chain between Mr. Kennedy and me, regarding your first assignment.

I want to nail down your first assignment to the 48th CM BDE before we start working your PCS/TDY orders ISO your first assignment.

Email Mr. Kennedy directly. Give him a few days and if you don't get a reply, call him.

But you're going to go to a CM unit somewhere in the 48th CM BDE.
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Postby latdawgs09 Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:58 pm

Look at the email chain between Mr. Kennedy and me, regarding your first assignment.

I want to nail down your first assignment to the 48th CM BDE before we start working your PCS/TDY orders ISO your first assignment.

Email Mr. Kennedy directly. Give him a few days and if you don't get a reply, call him.

But you're going to go to a CM unit somewhere in the 48th CM BDE.
Sir,

Thank you and I appreciate the kind words you sent to Mr. Kennedy. I have sent him an email already and you should be able to view it. I will continue to leave you on the email traffic, unless you would like me to take you off, to ensure I don't miss anything pertinent. Thank you again for all your help.
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Postby Jherm Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:59 pm

Look at the email chain between Mr. Kennedy and me, regarding your first assignment.

I want to nail down your first assignment to the 48th CM BDE before we start working your PCS/TDY orders ISO your first assignment.

Email Mr. Kennedy directly. Give him a few days and if you don't get a reply, call him.

But you're going to go to a CM unit somewhere in the 48th CM BDE.
Sir,

Thank you and I appreciate the kind words you sent to Mr. Kennedy. I have sent him an email already and you should be able to view it. I will continue to leave you on the email traffic, unless you would like me to take you off, to ensure I don't miss anything pertinent. Thank you again for all your help.
Keep me on the CC line. You're under my umbrella now. :wink:

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