Exploring Career Options at Branch Orientation
FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp had the opportunity to hear presentations from 19 Army branches and functionaries represented at Branch Orientation on July 12.
In a grassy area beside a large, black, armored Special Reaction Force vehicle, a gaggle of Cadets stood and watched as a Military Police K-9 handler demonstrated giving his dog commands.
Sgt. 1st Class Travis Watkins, 14th MP Brigade out of Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., explained Branch Orientation helps Cadets get a feel for different branches.
He considers it an opportunity to explore branch options and figure out what will actually be a good fit career-wise.
“The Army spends a lot of money to bring all their vehicles and people here,” stated Watkins, emphasizing the care taken to get Cadets information about their career options as future officers.
Cadets might have an idea of what they want in their head, explained Watkins, but when they talk to someone they might find out it’s not exactly what they wanted or thought it was.
At the Armor & Cavalry tent a group of Cadets listened intently to and asked branch representatives questions next to an M1A2 Abrams tank.
Cadet Kimard Kinlaw, a student at Augusta University, sat on top of the tank and examined its weaponry with his buddies.
He described Branch Orientation as a way for Cadets to get a taste of what they want.
“I hope to get a concrete decision on what I want to do for my future career as an Army officer,” asserted Kinlaw, mentioning he’s prioritizing troop leading time in his search for a branch.
Cadet Aleksandr Rogers, a graduate of the Citadel, attended the Branch Orientation having already selected his branch choices during his Military Science four year.
While Rogers didn’t attend a Branch Orientation prior to making his selections, his MS instructors sat down with him to run through his options and answer questions.
“A deeper understanding,” said Rogers, is the biggest thing he got out of the informal branch orientations.
“I think that is very helpful for people who don’t have a solid plan on what they want to do in the Army,” added Rogers.
During these briefs and discussions he got information about what each branch actually does and was able to delve into what each branch is made up of on a deeper level.
Branches such as Signal or Military Intelligence, noted Rogers, “They’ve got a name, but … you don’t really have that understanding until someone sits down and talks to you face-to-face.”
Although he’s long been focused on combat arms, Rogers said he needed to know “what exactly it takes and what the day-to-day life and operations look like” in Infantry, Armor, or Field Artillery before he was able to create a concrete plan.