Start Climbing Higher!

“The best career manager is YOU!”

Green to Gold opportunities exist for qualified enlisted Soldiers who want to earn college degrees and become Army Officers.

Our Mission is to help all enlisted Soldiers navigate the Green to Gold Application Process enabling them to go to college, earn a degree, graduate, and return to the U.S. Army as an Officer.

There are three unique ways to take advantage of a Green to Gold opportunity:

There are over 270 schools that you can attend as part of the U.S. Army ROTC program.

In the northeast, there are over 41 ROTC programs seeking talented and experienced enlisted Soldiers to commission in the U.S. Army.

Take control of your Army career! Pursue a commission, and continue to lead Soldiers as an Army Officer.

Start Climbing Higher!

Here are some links to important posts that will get you started:

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What Makes A COMPETITIVE Green to Gold Candidate?

A lot of Soldiers come to us and ask if they got what it takes to go Green to Gold. The first thing we try to do is make sure they meet the minimum eligibility requirements If they don’t, we work with them to complete waivers, or we give them our best advice for self-improvement [more info about ADO and DHPS eligibility requirements].

The next question we need to answer is: “what makes an enlisted Soldier a competitive Green to Gold candidate?” 

Don’t be mistaken. The ROTC Green to Gold selection process is VERY competitive, and has only gotten more so every year. For example, the Active Duty Option selection list only used to accept 200 candidates every year. Last year, the selection list tightened up to only 150 highly qualified candidates.

Staff Sgt. Russell Kojo at the Army Best Warrior competition exemplifies the S-A-L attributes of a potential Green to Gold candidate. Photo by Forrest Berkshire

What do you need to expect from yourself, in order to offer a serious packet to the Green to Gold selection board? Here’s where the experienced advice of the Fort Drum Green to Gold Team is most useful.

The Green to Gold selection board looks at three major attributes of each qualified applicant. These attributes are commonly known as Scholar-Athlete-Leader standards, or S-A-L. These three areas are where qualified applicants can stand out, and show themselves to be serious competitive candidates.

  • Scholar standards are linked to past academic performance. It can include high school grades, SAT scores, or distinguished performance at AIT or a technical school.
  • Athlete standards are linked to academic performance, including Army fitness (APFT score), high school athletics, or even recreational athletics (marathon, house-league sports).
  • Leader standards are linked to your performance as a leader of Soldiers, or performance at a NCOES school or competitive “Soldier/NCO-of-the-year” board appearances.

So what are good S-A-L qualifications? We get some good insight into what are solid S-A-L qualifications from the bullet examples on the S-A-L worksheet. This worksheet is part of most Green to Gold Packets. Check out what Cadet Command thinks a reasonable bullet for the S-A-L worksheet is…

For Scholar:

  • Honor Graduate/Commandant’s List of NCOES school
  • 3.0 high school GPA and SAT/ACT over 1100/21 (scholarship applicants)
  • Cumulative GPA over 3.0 on all previous coursework, OR if 25% of the credits are in Math, Science, Engineering, or technical courses (for 2-year program applicants)

For Athlete:

  • Score 270 on APFT with a minimum 90 points in each event
  • Active competitive involvement on post level or higher sports team
  • Placement in top three of individual athletic competition (triathlon, mountain biking, running, martial arts, etc.)

For Leader:

  • Selected as Soldier/NCO of the quarter/year at battalion level or higher board
  • Served in team leader/squad position for minimum six months with favorable endorsement from company commander
  • Inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy/Sergeant Morales Club

These bullets are good starting points for determining how competitive you will be. However, this is knowledge that anybody who is searching can easily get. You come to this infoblog for the best advice and analysis from our experienced team.

Captain Ryan Hunt has done the analysis on previous Green to Gold selection boards to distill the competitive requirements for a Green to Gold applicant. This analysis has been corroborated by multiple other experienced experts at other counterpart battalions.

Here is his summary of the competitive requirements, based on who was actually selected to participate in Green to Gold:

“To be competitive, be a Soldier looking to study majors related to science, technology, engineering, and math. CGPA over 3.6, APFT over 270, and strong GT scores. Graduate students look good from where I am sitting.

Last year on Fort Drum, the average CGPA was over 3.8, 270-300 APFT, and good GT scores. One graduate student with a lower CGPA, but studying a science field in graduate school.”

There’s a couple of things going on here.

  1. A Green to Gold applicant applying for a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) will get more attention than an applicant who is applying to something like a Sports Management program. USAAC and USACC are looking for Officers with STEM backgrounds.
  2. A 3.6 GPA is a lot higher than the 3.0 GPA mentioned on the S-A-L worksheet. Do what you can to improve your GPA, especially if you have some time before your selection board.
  3. A high APFT score is a MUST! This is a no-brainer.
  4. Applicants for graduate programs are getting some attention in the Green to Gold selection process. A lot of people don’t know that you can go to graduate school as a Green to Gold cadet, either as a 2-year scholarship applicant, a non-scholarship applicant, or an ADO applicant.

With these kind of qualifications, it’s no surprise that Green to Gold cadets are repeatedly at the top of the annual rankings.

Find out where you’re at, and start making yourself competitive! Come and visit us, or contact us for more of our best application advice.

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The Division Commander’s Hip-Pocket Scholarship

The Division Hip-Pocket Scholarship is specialized ROTC scholarship option. It is an opportunity for select enlisted Soldiers to complete their first baccalaureate or advanced degree, and pursue a commission as an Army Officer through ROTC.

SGT Patrick Fall (left) finalizes his Division Hip Pocket Scholarship with the signing of his U.S Army ROTC contract to attend St. John's Fisher as part of R.I.T Army ROTC. Assisting him is CPT Ryan Hunt, Green to Gold Recruiting Operations Officer for Second (ROTC) Brigade (right).

The distinguishing feature of the Division Hip-Pocket Scholarship option, is that selectees are determined by the Commanding General (CG) at each duty station. The competition pool is smaller than it is for those applying for a national ROTC scholarship, but selection is at the discretion of the CG.

The Division Hip-Pocket Scholarship is either a 2-, 3-, or 4-year scholarship option. You must separate from active duty in order to accept the scholarship award. The scholarship pays full tuition at any of the 1,100 schools affiliated with an Army ROTC program.

The benefits of a Division Hip-Pocket Scholarship are:

  • Earn a baccalaureate or advanced degree, and receive a commission as an Army Officer.
  • Earn a 2-, 3-, or 4-year scholarship with full tuition, $1,200 allowance for books and supplies, and a $500 monthly stipend.
  • If qualified, access to Montgomery G.I. Bill/Army College Fund (MGIB/ACF) benefits, or Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.

The selection board for the Division Hip-Pocket Scholarship takes place only during the April board [more about board deadlines].

The Division Hip-Pocket Scholarship is less competitve than competing for a national ROTC scholarship, because there is usually a smaller pool of applicants. You are only competing against other enlisted Soldiers at your own duty station for the CG’s selection. But this is not an automatic ooost to your packet. The CG can use discretion in selecting candidates, and may choose not to use any of the five scholarship allotments. You still must be competitive and worthy of an ROTC scholarship in order to receive the Divistion Hip-Pocket Scholarship.

Your best bet at being competitive for the Division Hip-Pocket Scholarship is to have a strong recomendation from your chain of command. It is unlikely that your CG knows you very well, and your chain of command’s endorsement will play a large role in the CG’s decision (getting your chain of command’s support is one of our most important first steps).

In order to apply for the Division Hip-Pocket Scholarship, you must meet the following eligibility requirements (this is a long list; be sure to read all requirements and exceptions in parentheses):

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Must not have reached 31 years of age on 31 December of the projected year of commissioning (non-waiverable).
  • Have completed a minimum of 2 years of service (waiverable).
  • Have completed any Service Remaining Requirements (SRR) due to any functional courses (waiverable).
  • 110 General Technical (GT) Score [more about GT score requirement]
  • Must have passed APFT within the last 6 months. No alternate events are authorized. Temporary profiles make you ineligible.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 (on 4.0 scale) on all previous coursework.
  • Must be able to complete degree coursework in 2, 3, or 4 academic years.
  • Must already be accepted by an academic institution as either a freshman, sophmore, junior, or graduate student.
  • Must obtain a letter of acceptance from the Professor of Military Science (PMS) providing acceptance into the Army ROTC program.
  • Have a favorable or have initiated a National Agency Check Local and Credit (NACLC).
  • No more than three dependents. Not a single parent with custody. Not married to another service member with one or more dependents (waiverable).
  • Cannot have a misdemeanor record of a domestic violence conviction IAW Lautenburg Amendment Gun Control Act of 1968.
  • Cannot have had an adverse juvenile adjudication, or have been arrested, indicted or convicted by a civil court or military law for other than minor traffic violations of $250 or less (waiverable).
  • Medically qualified for participation in the ROTC program as determined by DODMERB, the agency responsible for reviewing physicals (Must be medically qualified before any scholarship is awarded).

Remember to apply to school and get your DODMERB physical as early as possible. Getting these steps done early will give you the time you need to make yourself more competitive before the CG’s selection board. Most of all, do not forget to get your chain of command’s strong support when applying for this scholarship. They will be your strongest advocate in the selection process.

If you would like to take advantage of this special opportunity to win an ROTC scholarship, and you are qualified, contact us and let us know that you are interested. If you are on Fort Drum we can get you into the competition for the CG’s Hip Pocket Scholarhip. If you are not on Fort Drum, we will give you our best advice and try to put you in touch with your CG’s POC for this scholarship.

For more information about the Division Hip-Pocket Scholarship, you can refer to the most recent guidance by downloading the Memorandum of Instruction. [Download: hip_pocket_moi (.pdf)].

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Once Again, Top-Ranked Army ROTC Cadet in the Nation is Green to Gold

For the second year in a row, the top-ranked Army ROTC Cadet in the nation is a Green to Gold 4-year-scholarship winner!

Major Robert A. Mason, professor of military science, Cadet Wesley Tudor and Dr. Wayne Andrews, MSU president, from left.

Wesley Tudor of LaPort, Indiana was recognized at Morehead State University for being the top cadet on the national order of merit list. The senior and cadet battalion commander ranked first on a national ranking including 5,342 Army ROTC cadets.

Wesley identified himself as a four-year Green to Gold scholarship Cadet on his first Army Strong Stories blog after completing LDAC over the summer of 2010. He will commission this May as an active duty Second Lieutenant in the Finance Corps.

Cadet Erik Lloyd, top-ranked ROTC cadet in 2009 and Green to Gold ADO cadet

This is not the first year that a Green to Gold Cadet has been ranked number one on the national order of merit list. Last year (2009), Cadet Erik Lloyd, a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, was ranked the number one cadet in the nation. Lloyd was an Active Duty Option Green to Gold cadet, and is now a Medical Service Officer.

Thank you Green to Gold cadets for continuing this legacy of excellence!

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The Active Duty Option (ADO)

The Active Duty Option is one of  the three ways that you can go Green to Gold. It is a program for enlisted Soldiers who wish to complete their first baccalaureate or advanced degree, and pursue a commission as an Army Officer through ROTC.

A photo of Justin Westbrook, a Fort Drum ADO Green to Gold Cadet, accepts the 2009 General Timothy J. Maude award at the annual ROTC luncheon

The distinguishing feature of the Active Duty Option is that you do not have to separate from Active Duty while you are in ROTC. You retain all of your pay, leave, and military benefits with this option.

The Active Duty Option is a two-year program. Meaning that you must be able to complete your degree within 21 months (two academic years). Before you are eligible for this option, you should have at least 60 credits towards your undergraduate degree, or be capable of finishing graduate school within 21 months.

The benefits of the Active Duty Option are:

  • Earn a baccalaureate or advanced degree, and receive a commission as an Army Officer.
  • Maintain pay and allowances at your current grade (also special duty pay i.e FLPP, career counselor pay, etc.).
  • Maintain other military benefits, like access to Army programs, PCS/Transportation benefits, Tricare, and SGLI (tuition assistance benefits are excluded for ADO).
  • If qualified, access to Montgomery G.I. Bill/Army College Fund (MGIB/ACF) benefits, or Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.

The selection board for ADO is historically very competitive, and takes place only during the April Selection board [more about board deadlines]. In order to be ready for the ADO board in April, you should begin completing the most important first steps of your application early.

In order to apply for the ADO, you must meet the following eligibility requirements (this is a long list; be sure to read all requirements and exceptions in parentheses):

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Have not reached age 34 prior to 1 August of the year which the degree and commissioning requirements are met. (Age waivers will be considered for applicants with quality qualifications).
  • Have completed at least two years of active federal service, but less than ten years of active federal service (AFS) at the time of commission (waiverable).
  • Have at least 48 months time in service remaining upon entering the program (you don’t need this to apply, but you must extend/re-enlist if you are selected in order to be eligible).
  • 110 General Technical (GT) Score [more about GT score requirement]
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA on all previous college work completed.
  • Must have passed an Army Physical Fitness Test within last six months.
  • Must have favorable recommendations from Chain of Command (immediate and field grade).
  • Must have unconditional acceptance at an academic institution with academic status as a “junior” or “graduate” student.
  • Must be able to complete undergraduate or graduate classwork within 21 months (as indicated on CC Form 104-R).
  • Must obtain a letter of acceptance from the Professor of Military Science (PMS) providing acceptance into the Army ROTC program.
  • Have a favorable or have initiated a National Agency Check Local and Credit (NACLC).
  • Is medically qualified for participation in the ROTC program as determined by DODMERB, the agency responsible for reviewing physicals (Must be medically qualified by 15 July).
  • No more than three dependents. Not a single parent with custody. Not married to another service member with one or more dependents (waiverable).
  • Not a conscientious objector.

Remember to apply to school and get your DODMERB physical as early as possible. Getting these steps done early will give you the time you need to make yourself more competitive before the April board.

If you would like to take advantage of the opportunity to pursue and ADO Green to Gold packet, and you are qualified, contact us and let us know that you are interested. We are more than willing to help enlisted Soldiers pursue this option and begin an application packet. You can also set up an account at ArmyROTC.com to begin your ADO packet.

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Green to Gold 2.0: Choosing between a Facebook Profile, Fan Page, or Group for your Organization

The Fort Drum Green to Gold Team is currently working on a project to unite with other ROTC counterpart battalions to share information and build communication. We are tentatively calling it Green to Gold 2.0, and we are heavily utilizing social media to accomplish this.

As part of our One Team Synergy effort, which will bring about Green to Gold 2.0, we have prepared this analysis based on multiple conversations we have had with our counterpart battalion partners and with ROOs on the leading edge of social media outreach.

The Fort Drum Green to Gold Team found its earliest success in using Facebook as a means to connect with enlisted Soldiers who were interested in Green to Gold. It is widely acknowledged by now that Facebook is the king of social media. It is versatile and can be used in many ways by different types of organizations.

We have prepared a brief analysis of the three different options an organization has at social media outreach via Facebook: a profile page, a fan page, or a Facebook group. We hope this will help our partners choose the right option for their organization. You can find our comparison chart below, or download a .pdf of the chart here. [DOWNLOAD]

(A quick note: to use this chart you should probably already be a little familiar with Facebook and some of its basic applications.)

Breaking this down, we find that to maximize outreach potential and sustaining relationships with others in the social media environment, a full Facebook profile is probably the best option. The Fort Drum Green to Gold Team uses a Facebook profile. We attribute a good part of our success to that profile.

If your organization needs to have a “voice” and has many subscribers who are interested in passively getting info, but don’t necessarily need to join the discussion, we find a Facebook Fan Page is probably the best option. The U.S. Army Cadet Command (ROTC) web page is a good example of successful use of a Facebook Fan Page.

If your organization needs to have more internal communication and sharing capability, but doesn’t necessarily need to do a lot of outreach, perhaps a Facebook Group Page is the best option. A lot of club-like organizations use a Facebook group successfully.

We hope you’ll have the chance to use this information to optimize your Facebook use and tailor it to your organizational needs. We are also happy to answer questions, or put you in touch with some of the experts that we consult. Contact us.

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Updates from the Drum G2G Cohort of Fall 2010

The Fort Drum Soldiers who made the decision to take the next step and Start Climbing Higher! are doing very well adjusting to the routine of R.O.T.C. and completing their college degrees. 

As soon as our Drum Cadets started classes, we were receiving great feedback on our Facebook page

Courtney Gillespie: “Had my first day of school today. Went pretty well! Thanks again for everything!!” 

Here’s another great report and endorsement from Cadet Kwon: 

Phillip Kwon: “G2G is a great choice for any enlisted soldiers to go officer. I’m the living, breathing, walking guinea pig that did NON-Scholarship option out of Ft. Drum and I am enjoying college life right now. I fully support CPT hunt with G2G.” 

A few weeks later, we wanted to check in with some of the 19 new G2G cadets from Fort Drum. We asked them how they were, and how they were adjusting. 

Here’s what some of them were saying about their first few weeks in college and R.O.T.C.: 

Pat Fall: “Doin well. Will be back at drum for my FTX in 2 weeks.” 

Jae Min Yandow: “Thanks Sir for the check in. I have my FTX this weekend. Trying my best to study hard, learn as much as I can as a Cadet, and enjoying this time I have to go to school. Thanks again Sir.”

UPDATE: Here's a photo of Cadet Yandow on his FTX in a CH-47 Chinook

Phillip Kwon: “So far so good sir. thinking about visiting drum In October. Hopefully on one of your briefing days.” 

Courtney Gillespie: “Sir, All is well here in Cincy. Getting into the swing of things. Closing up my first full week of classes. It’s quite the adjustment but I’m enjoying myself. Great to see that all that work brought me this far. Can’t wait to wear the gold! Thanks for everything. Couldn’t have gotten to this point w/o your assistance and support. Pictures to follow!”  

Thanks for checking back in with us, and please continue to make us proud at your R.O.T.C. Battalions as Fort Drum Green to Gold Cadets! 

 

Update: Here's a photo of Cadet Vazquez at a recent training event with the Golden Knight Battalion in Potsdam, NY.

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Deadlines and The College Application Timeline

Everybody knows that one of the most important things about completing your Green to Gold packet is getting everything finished and turned in before the application deadline.

There are two application boards every year. The first board takes place in October, and the deadline for submitting application paperwork is October 1st. The second board takes place in April, and the deadline for submitting application paperwork is April 1st.

The Green to Gold Application Timeline

Only applications for traditional ROTC scholarships can be submitted for the October board. This board is for applicants who will be starting school in the spring semester of the next calendar year (for example: scholarship applicants who submitted their packets by 01 October 2010 will attend school in Spring 2011).  The application window for the October board is from 01 June to 01 October.

Applications for traditional ROTC scholarships, Commanding General’s Hip-Pocket Scholarships, and applications for the Active Duty Option can be submitted to the April board. This board is for applicants who will be starting school in the Fall semester of the same calendar year (for example: applicants who submit their packets by 01 April 2010 will attend school in Fall 2010). The application window for the April board is 15 Nov to 01 April.

Non-scholarship packets can be submitted at any time, provided there is enough time to complete the packet with approval and process through transitions before the start of the academic semester.

Applying to college is a time-consuming process, and is one of the most important first steps in the Green to Gold application. Because of this, it must be done early.

The College Board recommends that prospective students who are applying for the Fall semester have their applications submitted by November of the year prior to attendance. For Green to Gold applicants, this falls right at the beginning of the application window for the April board.

You will need to spend time during the application window sending transcripts and other documents to your university, as well as coordinating with your admissions office to get acceptance letters and credit evaluations that you will need to complete your packet.

In short, apply early!

If you need help with choosing a school, or help with applying to school you can always contact us. We are more than happy to advise Soldiers and answer questions.

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