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ACS Programs

Pursuing your masters, looking for good distance education programs, etc.
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JoeMacera
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ACS Programs

Postby JoeMacera Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:15 pm

As of now I am currently an enlised member of the CG looking to switch branches and sides into Army OCS. One of the benefits that is rather enticing is the Advanced Civil Schooling program the Army offers for officers. I have my B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Econ and completing my masters degree before age 30 is something I really want to do. To cut to the chase, what programs does the Army offer for ACS applicants and is it worth pursuing or is using TA and my GI Bill a better bet if I want to get my masters in Economics?


Thanks!
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MiNcO
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Postby MiNcO Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:44 am

If you want a guaranteed degree in a certain field, TA and the GI Bill are a better option. ACS is available later in the officer timeline and, unless you are in an functional area, are very competitive. Furthermore, depending on the avenue you take to ACS, you may not get the degree you want from the place you want.
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drimlin
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Postby drimlin Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:10 pm

I am not sure how old you are, but ACS is typically a mid career program either after your Captain or Major branch qualifying time, so by 30 may be a stretch. Their are a few options to earn a brick and mortar MA in economics, but they would all be fairly to extremely competitive. In no particular order:

-Apply for a position as a West Point economic instructor.
-Apply for a graduate school incentive the Army may be offering. A few programs have come and gone in the 8 years I have been in, so no telling what will be available in the future.
-Switch branches to a functional area that would support an economics degree. I am thinking acquisitions, strategist, and possibly ORSA, but I will let members of those functional areas speak to feasability.
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Lionheart
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Postby Lionheart Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:51 pm

I am not sure how old you are, but ACS is typically a mid career program either after your Captain or Major branch qualifying time, so by 30 may be a stretch. Their are a few options to earn a brick and mortar MA in economics, but they would all be fairly to extremely competitive. In no particular order:

-Apply for a position as a West Point economic instructor.
-Apply for a graduate school incentive the Army may be offering. A few programs have come and gone in the 8 years I have been in, so no telling what will be available in the future.
-Switch branches to a functional area that would support an economics degree. I am thinking acquisitions, strategist, and possibly ORSA, but I will let members of those functional areas speak to feasability.
An Econ degree might meet the qualifications for ORSA, but it depends on the quantitative basis of the degree. If it's focused on quant (so it has at least 3 semesters of calc, stats, applied math, and prob) then it's good to go.

I can only speak for ORSA and Strategist, but if you are accepted to either of them you will be given he opportunity to attend ACS either before going the FA or as a second assignment. For ORSAs, it's almost essential to have an quant or engineering MS before your third ORSA assignment (selection to LTC occurs at this point).

For non-functional area officers ACS is rare, hyper-competitive, and the time payback is 6 years after graduation. Not worth it IMO.

Finally, I'm an ORSA and Badger is a strategist...but we're rare in that we aren't USMA graduates. The academically focused functional areas draw heavily on USMA graduates and elite ROTC programs. OCS officers in ORSA and strategist are uncommon.
...racist homophobes who talk like kind of victorian steampunk neo-nazi get no free pass for being \'misguided.\' - The Badger
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JoeMacera
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Postby JoeMacera Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:07 pm

Thanks everyone for the feedback! It sounds like the safest and most sure route is to just use the GI Bill. There wasn't too much online regarding this program, hence I brought it up. This website has been a treasure trove of information that has really helped me along this process.

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