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Direct Commission: From Civilian to Officer

If you have a specialized profession or background as a civilian, you can be directly commissioned as an officer, just like CPT Airin Rhinehart.

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Direct Commission: From Civilian to Officer

If you have a specialized profession or background as a civilian, you can be directly commissioned as an officer, just like CPT Airin Rhinehart.

CPT AIRIN RHINEHART I'm first, and foremost, a mother of five. I also work full-time as a nurse. I'm also in the Army Reserve. In my adulthood I've achieved quite a bit. I joined the Army Reserve during my senior year of high school. I've always looked up to officers and wanted to do something more with my career. So in 2006, I took a commission, as a direct commission, with the Army Reserve as an Army nurse.
CPT PAUL PROVENCHER Direct Commission Officer is an officer who has been selected from the civilian world, chosen for their special skills they bring to the Army. Officers are typically Direct Commissioned from three fields – ah, those with a professional degrees in divinity, law and medicine – can become Direct Commission in all three components of the Army. Army Reserve, Army National Guard, and of course, the active duty Army.
MAJ STEVEN POTTER One of the benefits of Direct Commission is that you do come into the Army as an officer. Rank will be dependent – mostly on time and education – that benefits the Army.
CPT AIRIN RHINEHART I moved to first lieutenant faster than somebody who had had no time with their profession because I had worked as a nurse before I actually took my commission. The basic Army requirements for a Direct Commission are – you have to have a degree, you have to have an Army physical and then you also have to fill out an application to become an officer in the Army. In the medical field you would need to talk to an AMEDD recruiter and they would let you know, yes your degree could be utilized and this is what we can look into in order for you to become an officer.
MAJ STEVEN POTTER There's a lot of responsibility that's placed on the Army officer very early on and you grow with that responsibility. The Direct Commission course is that initial introduction into the Army before they move on to the basic officer leader course.
CPT AIRIN RHINEHART The basic officer leadership course is a course that you have to complete within two years of being commissioned as an officer. It's a mixture of a didactic course as well as a field course.
MAJ STEVEN POTTER That initial training is going to vary between the several branches or the several professions. However, they're going to touch on the same basics. One thing, very few institutions in the civilian world are going to teach you, is leadership. In the Army every officer is a leader.
CPT AIRIN RHINEHART I'm not only an Army nurse, but I'm also a battalion operations officer. With that you have to have great time management skills. You have to have critical thinking skills. And you have to be able to think on your feet. On my civilian side that I use those skills, in the same way to manage my workload and to work with other people.
MAJ STEVEN POTTER Army officers are highly regarded in the civilian world. It's a way to get a lot of experience, fast.
CPT AIRIN RHINEHART I worked in the ICU and I've worked in the PACU and to take care of people that are coming straight from the battlefield – they're not worried necessarily about themselves, but they're worried about what happened to my battle buddy, where's my battle buddy – And it's just heartwarming to see such comradery even in that state.
CPT PAUL PROVENCHER The opportunity to take care of the soldiers as one of them and see these guys get back to doin' the things that protect all of us is just incredible. There's no question that the Army strives to maintain the highest standard of patient care.
CPT AIRIN RHINEHART The U.S. Army's medical department is one of the largest and most advanced healthcare systems in the world. With more than a hundred specialties that you can choose from.
MAJ STEVEN POTTER The Army is huge. There's unique opportunities that anyone can find in the Army and everyone's needed to make the Army successful.
CPT AIRIN RHINEHART I do feel like I've made the right decisions. I hold absolute pride in being an officer. I've always learned something, gained new friends out of it or accomplished something. Being in the Army is special. I'm Captain Airin Rhinehart, I'm an Army nurse with the Army Reserve.
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