Special Announcement: An Open Letter to Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta

The following is an open letter from the Fort Drum Green to Gold Team to Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who is being awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic action on 25 October 2007:

Dear Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta,

The Fort Drum Green to Gold Team would like to express our immense appreciation for your service to the United States of America. You set a tremendous example for all Warriors to emulate.

You have stated that you are only “mediocre” and “average;” that your action was “not heroic.” By this, you truly exemplify the meaning of HONOR.  You live according to the Army Values and the Warrior Ethos.

The Army needs your talent, experience, and dedication to honorable service. We ask you to lead the Army’s Soldiers as an Officer.

You are certain to have many grand opportunities in your future. We ask you to consider an opportunity to be an Army ROTC Green-to-Gold Cadet. The Officer Corps would only be strengthened by your service.

We will continue to follow your career, and draw strength from your Warrior spirit!

With greatest respect and highest regards,

-The Fort Drum Green to Gold Team

US Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta is the first living Medal of Honor recipient for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. | US Army/Newscom

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Top 5 Picks For Green-to-Gold Schools (2010)

Hello future Green-to-Gold Cadets!

We’re happy to announce our top five selections for Green-to-Gold schools nationwide. This announcement follows the 2010 April selection board, and is based on criteria such as: applicant’s school preference, military-friendliness, and ease of transition for Green-to-Gold cadets.

5. Massachusetts Institutes of Technology (MIT) – Located in Cambridge, Mass., and part of the Paul Revere Battalion, MIT is a well-recognized research and technology institution. The Paul Revere Battalion is an umbrella ROTC outfit for nine partner schools including MIT, Endicott College, and Harvard University.

4. Elmira College – Located in Elmira, New York, Elmira College is a partner school of Cornell University’s Excelsior Battalion. Elmira is a private liberal arts institution with an exceptional 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program.

3. University of Cincinnati – The University of Cincinnati is an urban, public, research institution in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the home school of the Bearcat Battalion. UC is ranked in the top dozen of all ROTC programs nationwide.

2. State University of New York at Brockport (SUNY Brockport)SUNY Brockport is located in Brockport, NY and is home school of the Freedom Eagles Battalion. Brockport is a very military-friendly school and provides many benefits to incoming ROTC Green-to-Gold cadets.

1. State University of New York at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam)SUNY Potsdam is located in Potsdam, NY and is a partner school of the Golden Knight Battalion. SUNY Potsdam has a long history of hosting Fort Drum Green-to-Gold cadets and is a school-of-choice for many Fort Drum applicants.

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Video: Green to Gold Intro

Below is an introductory info video to the Green to Gold program. It includes information about:

  1. What the Green to Gold program is.
  2. The scholarship, non-scholarship, and active-duty options.
  3. The Fort Drum Green to Gold Advisor Team’s best advice for getting started on a Green to Gold packet.

Look for more info videos coming soon!

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Choosing a School in the 2nd ROTC “Freedom” Brigade

If you are looking for a university to apply to, as an important first step in their Green to Gold application process, you should consider a school inside the footprint of the 2nd ROTC BDE, also known as the “Freedom Brigade,” especially if you want to stay in the northeast. 

The Freedom Brigade spans across nine states in the northeast United States (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine). It includes 41 ROTC battalions located at “host” universities, along with 87 “partner schools” and 250 other affiliated institutions.

Inside the Freedom Brigade footprint you will find prestigious universities such as Cornell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Princeton, and Clarkson University. You will also find outstanding and affordable state institutions like the State University of New York at Potsdam (SUNY Potsdam). You can even attend National MacArthur Award winning Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). 

[Article: Freedom Brigade leads way in ROTC programs]

In summary, you have a LOT of options when deciding to attend a school in the Freedom Brigade footprint. 

Below we have included links with contact info for the 41 host battalions in the 2nd ROTC “Freedom” Brigade, as well as their partner schools and affiliated institutions.

New Jersey: (3 Host Battalions, 19 total colleges and universities

New York: (13 Host Battalions, 94 total colleges and universities

Pennsylvania: (16 Host Battalions, 70 total colleges and universities

Connecticut: (1 Host Battalion

Rhode Island: (2 Host Battalions, 6 total colleges and universities

Massachusetts: (5 Host Battalions, 48 total colleges and universities

New Hampshire: (1 Host Battalion, 12 total colleges and universities

Vermont: (2 Host Battalions, 8 total colleges and universities

Maine: (1 Host Battalion, 5 total colleges and universities)

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Eligibility: 110 GT Score

A lot of Soldiers who attend our briefings notice that one of the eligibility requirements to apply to Green to Gold is a GT score of 110 or higher.

These Soldiers get a little nervous when they see that no waivers are accepted for this particular eligibility requirement. Some walk away.

Let me tell you why that’s the wrong answer: you can IMPROVE your GT score!

While there are no waivers for having a GT score lower than 110, with the help of the Basic Skills Education Program (BSEP) you can raise your GT score so that you no longer need a waiver. BSEP is offered at your Education Center.

Don’t disqualify yourself from applying to Green to Gold because you think your GT score is not high enough. You can raise it with BSEP.

BSEP provides Soldiers with training in reading, mathematics, and test-taking skills, so that they can be successful when they take the test to improve their GT score. On Fort Drum, you will take four weeks of classes during the duty day, and receive the attention of an expert instructor who will assess your skills and help you improve.

The last time you took the ASVAB (and set your GT score) you were probably unprepared. It was probably the first time you took the ASVAB, or saw a test like it. Since then your experience has grown, and your skills have improved. In addition to that, the BSEP class will equip you with skills you need to be successful when you retest.

In order to get enrolled for the next BSEP class, you must:

  • Take (or have taken) the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) within the last 12 months (get signed up to take the TABE at your Education Center).
  • Bring a copy of your ERB
  • Bring a memo from your Commander authorizing you to enroll in BSEP.

You can get signed up for BSEP by visiting your Education Center and enrolling in the class. If you are on Fort Drum, you can check out this poster with more information about BSEP offerings on post (poster also includes a sample Commander’s memo).

*A final tip from the Fort Drum Green to Gold Advisory Team*. Do not wait to do any of the other important first steps to start your packet. It may take you 30 days to finish a BSEP course, but you should also be applying to school and getting your physical done so that when you are able to raise your GT score, you are ready to START CLIMBING HIGHER!

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The Most Important First Steps

We see a lot of folks at our information briefings, and we put out A TON of information at those briefings.

Sometimes it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information we put out at our briefings, but there is one thing we always hope you take away when you visit, and that is what YOUR next step should be.

So if you’ve ever been confused or overwhelmed about where to start, pay attention to these three most important tasks that you should do before you do anything else.

  1. Apply to school – You’ll be spending the next few years in ROTC at a university in the United States. There are over 1,100 to choose from. You must be accepted into a university in order to go Green To Gold. Nothing is more important than this step. Almost everything depends on this step: how many credits you will have accepted, your class standing, and even which ROTC battalion you will be assigned to. If you don’t know which university you want to go to, search for an ROTC affiliated school at the ROTC School Locator. You can search by state, or by school name. Get in touch with the admissions office at the school you select as soon as possible. Do not delay in completing this step.
  2. Get your Green To Gold (DODMERB) physical – In order to go Green To Gold you must be medically qualified. There are often long waiting lists for appointments for this specific type of physical. The physical is submitted to DODMERB in a centralized location for review by the qualifying doctors. It is important that you tackle this step early on so that you don’t miss the packet submission date for the Green To Gold board you are applying to.
  3. Tell your Chain of Command – Your Chain of Command will be supporting you a lot in the coming months while you work on your Green To Gold packet. Talk to your Chain of Command in an appropriate way, and let them know you want to be an Army Officer. Tell them that you are assembling a Green To Gold packet and would like their support in the future. Your Company and Battalion Commander will need to write you letters of recommendation. Alerting them early will put you on their radar so they can write a solid letter for your packet.

If you are motivated to go Green To Gold, get these steps finished early. It is often not worth your time to take action on any of the other packet requirements until these steps are complete.

Focussing on these steps early on will save you time and anxiety later as your submission deadline approaches.

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Tuesday Briefings in July

Did you know that the Fort Drum Green To Gold Team is doing information briefings EVERY TUESDAY in Clark Hall during the month of July in addition to our weekly Thursday briefings at the Division Retention Office.

If you would like to attend one of our NEW Tuesday Briefings in July, here are the details:

Dates: July 6th, 13th, and 20th.

Venue: RM C-224, Clark Hall, Fort Drum, NY

Begins: 1200

Ends: approx. 1300

If you are ready to take the next step, and START CLIMBING HIGHER! Visit us at one of our weekly briefings!

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I Was Selected For ADO. Now What?

Congratulations, Cadet! You were just selected for the Green To Gold Active Duty Option. Either we notified you or your gaining ROTC battalion notified you.

But…now what?

Here’s an outline of the sequence of events that are going to take place between now and your first day at your new battalion.

  1. The first thing that should happen is you will get placed “On Assignment” in your Assignment Satisfaction Key (ASK) on AKO. Your gaining unit will be USASD (this is the U.S. Army Student Detachment) and the duty stations should be Fort Jackson, SC.
  2. Your S-1 will receive notification of your impending PCS and receive a request for PCS orders (RFO).
  3. Your S-1 or your company will send you to receive your levy brief and your PCS orders in accordance with the RFO and unit clearing SOP.
  4. Once you receive your PCS orders, you will begin clearing your duty station in accordance with your post and unit SOP. Talk to your first sergeant if this is new to you. For many of you it won’t be.
  5. Once you finalize your clearing process, your Green To Gold liaison will swear you in as a Cadet as you sign out of the last unit you will serve in as an enlisted Soldier.
  6. Take time during your PCS move to get acquainted with your new surroundings. Sign in to your new ROTC battalion ON TIME.
  7. Once you sign into your new ROTC battalion, you will be a full-time Cadet. Take your orders from your Professor of Military Science. Good luck!

EDIT: At any time during this process, your Commander will receive a “Notification of Intent” letter from Cadet Command, along with an award certificate. You will need to initial the document and either ACCEPT or DECLINE participation in the Active Duty Option (ADO) Program. You will sign the document and return it to Cadet Command. If your Commander has changed, or if your unit has been re-located (either change of mailing address or re-deployment) you will have to update that information with Cadet Command so that they can route the intent letters through your Commander to you.

This covers the process in general from selection to signing in. Look for future posts with info about the U.S. Army Student Detachment, and being a Green To Gold Cadet. They will be coming out soon!

Also feel free to ask any questions here. You might think of something I haven’t covered, or a unique situation that isn’t a standard problem.

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Do you want to be a Green to Gold cadet by this Fall?

You’ve began your academic career and you are looking to be a Green to Gold cadet.

If you have at least two years (60 credits) of college, or you already have a degree and looking to attend graduate school as an G2G cadet, you qualify for the ROTC  non-scholarship option.

Why would you want to apply to Green to Gold under a non-scholarship option?

  1. You can be separated from your unit this summer, and attend school as soon as THIS FALL!
  2. If you have G.I. Bill benefits, we can show you how you can make almost as much money with your benefit as you already do at your current grade (applies to E-1 through E-4 though you will not take a large loss at a higher grade).
  3. You will not lose your access to Tricare.
  4. The approval authority for your packet is your Battalion Commander. No board. No waiting for results. If you already have your B/C’s support, then you are ALREADY accepted to Green to Gold.
  5. In two years you will receive the commission that you seek as an Army officer.

What do you need to do to get in NOW?

  1. You should contact me as soon as possible. Non-scholarship option packets are the main effort at our office. When I know you are serious about pursuing a Non-scholarship option, you become my focus.
  2. You need to get into school. If you are already accepted at a school, TERRIFIC! If not, you will need to apply. If you don’t think your application will return in time, or if you don’t have a school in mind, we can recommend schools that we have strong relationships with that can turn around your acceptance letter in a matter of DAYS!
  3. Schedule your physical and try and get it completed quickly (don’t wait to get this done before you contact me, call or email me now!)

These are the first steps. Once we’ve got these things, we can help you assemble the rest of your packet in one or two days and then prepare it for final approval by your Battalion Commander.

Do you want to be in ROTC by August or September? Get in touch with our dedicated team of Green to Gold advisors!

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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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