I'm hoping to go to Army OCS. I've been speaking with a recruiter and things were looking good, I had great grades in college, a steady career since, solid PFT, etc.
But I found out that getting a combat arms MOS if youu go civilian to OCS is damn near next to impossible. Apparently those all get sucked up by the West Pointers and ROTC studs before going to the OCS grads.
I then heard that if you want a combat-arms related job, National Guard was the way to go. There's a MUCH better chance you'll have that open up as an option for you vs going Active.
Anyone have any experience in the matter? I don't mind my civilian career, so to me, it seems like being combat arms in the Guard is better than getting stuck with a miserable MOS I hate while Active.
Heres the deal.
Go through active OCS and yeah, chances are you might get a shot at a maneuver branching. Theres going to be an order of merit list based on how you perform there and anything of use from your civilian life (not sure if they factor in GPA, if they do, thats a boost). You will be in a class with prior-enlisted folk who will be a mixed bag of tards to former ranger/sf. The latter guys obviously know the game and will score high on that OML. You must play the game, study hard, play the politics associated with leadership roles, be a joe when in a joe position vs being a chief when in a chief position, etc etc.
tl;dr - work fucking hard, study, dont fuck your battle buddy.
Now for the NG side.
If you want to branch combat arms with an NG unit, you just need the NG recruiter to align you with a unit thats combat arms. You'll do a drill or two depending on the state to learn a bit prior to NG OCS. HOWEVER, your oath you take as an NG officer is to your states constitution, not the federal. This means you can't easily swap over to the active duty side of the Army. So if you got bored doing drill as a combat arms officer in the NG and want to do it full time, its not possible.
If you had some time, theres a few other options.
1) Enlist in whatever MOS, do a year, turn around a drop a packet for OCS (mind you this isn't guaranteed as the unit's mission takes precedence). This looks good for the unit's retention but you have to keep on the retention NCO to help you get the paperwork done in a timely fashion.
2. Join an ROTC program, work on a masters of your choice and complete a summer of leadership training prior to the start of school. You effectively skip two years of cadet hood and you will go to LDAC the following summer. Not hard stuff to learn though. Finish your masters, get good grades, rock the OML with extra curriculars, and get a good shot at branching.
Yeah, you just have to be accepted into the masters program for it to work out. If you feel you may get delayed by the application process, the rotc recruiting officer should be able to push things along to get you.