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.
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…
- 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)
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- A high APFT score is a MUST! This is a no-brainer.
- 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.