Commissioned Officers

The National Guard’s success depends on great Soldiers at every level. And Soldiers reach their potential under the leadership of great officers.

Officers in the National Guard are decision makers and difference makers. They hold positions of tremendous authority and responsibility for their country, their troops and themselves. Read on to see how you can become a real leader.


Choose from two different categories of officers:


Basic Branch Officers
These are officers in any of the Combat Arms branches (like Field Artillery, Corps of Engineers), Combat Support (Signal and Military Intelligence) or Combat Service Support branches (such as Finance, Transportation or Quartermaster).


Specialty Officers
These include officers with specialized professional skills, including Medical Professional, Chaplains and Judge Advocate General (JAG Officer).


Learn about the different ways to become an officer.

As an officer candidate, you can earn your commission and prepare to become an effective leader in both your military and civilian life by completing one of the following programs:


Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC)
Earn your officer’s commission while you earn your college degree. You’ll learn leadership and teamwork skills in both classroom and field training. Upon graduation, you’ll enter the Army as a second lieutenant.


Officer Candidate School (OCS)
OCS is an intense leadership training course for officers. Most applicants to this physically and mentally challenging course are currently serving as enlisted Soldiers, but highly qualified recruits may also be accepted.


Direct Commission (Specialty Officers)
Medical professionals, legal professionals and chaplains may be nominated by a commander to receive an appointment as a specialty officer.


As an officer candidate, you'll receive advanced training and education through the Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC), where you'll acquire and hone the skills necessary to lead troops. Many branches also offer bonuses, though availability is subject to change. Your officer recruiter will have the most up-to-date information.




To become an officer in the National Guard, in addition to meeting the Guard's general eligibility requirements, you’ll need either a minimum of 90 college credits toward an accredited degree to begin training or military experience.* If you don’t already have the necessary credits, the Guard can help you get them with our educational benefits packages. Check with your officer recruiter. Additional requirements include:


  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • You must be morally and medically qualified
  • You must commission on or before your 42nd birthday
  • You must have a 110 GT line score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)