FORT KNOX, Ky. – 5th Regiment, Advanced Camp Cadets learned more about Army branches at Branch Orientation Day July 16, during Cadet Summer Training.
Branch Orientation Day is for Cadets to be exposed to all the branches, or jobs, the military has to offer. The Cadets spend a good portion of the day shifting from one branch to the next on controlled rotations.
They move tent-to-tent, receiving branch specific merchandise and a representative explains the branch they represent to the Cadets.
There are many potential options a Cadet has to consider when listing their preferred branches. The Cadets must list their top picks and rank order all the subsequent branches. Cadet Shaelynn Bitter, Kansas State University,said with a smile, “There is so many choices to pick from, but I really want Armor. I’m really excited to see what I finally get.”
Cadets do not pick their branch; they can only list their preferences. A Cadet’s career performance throughout their Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and camp experience is factored into a system, which prioritizes based on a point system.
Cadets are given a branch with their preferences based on that point system. However, all Cadets are aware the Army as a whole retains the right to favor a Cadets placement based on the needs of the Army and by proxy the American people.
Cadet Dan Gray, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, remarks on this saying, “I think today is one of the most important days of camp, it really shows the cadets, what everything is all about. At the end of the day, a few were picked, then many leaps of faith ensued.”
The top three slots on the branch list are considered what the cadet desires most. The Cadet then slots every other branch on their list from most preferred all the way to the bottom of the list representing the least preferred.
The environment is relaxed and the Cadets are encouraged to ask any questions they can think of.
Sgt. Alexis Vargas is an Engineer (12 Charlie) in the 19th Engineer Battalion, 502nd Company. She is currently showcasing equipment used by the engineers at Branch Orientation days saying, “We are trying to show them what engineering.