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Life After Basic Army Combat Training

leadership training

Following your Army basic combat training, you’ll take one of two paths, advanced individual training or Officer Candidate School to advance in your military career.

Advanced individual training

Advanced individual training is where you will learn the skills needed to perform a specific Army job, such as artillery or engineering. At your AIT school, you’ll receive hands-on training and field instruction to make you an expert in that career field. There are 17 career fields, and the schools are designed to help you gain discipline and a work ethic that will benefit you for the rest of your career.

Where you train and for how long will depend on your job, called a Military Occupation Specialty. See this list of advanced individual training schools and what you will learn at them.

Training & Officer Candidate School May Be Impacted By COVID-19

Contact your recruiter or commander for the most accurate, up-to-date information.

Army advanced individual training schools

  • Adjutant General School
  • Air Defense Artillery School
  • U.S. Army Armor Center
  • Aviation Logistics School
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear School
  • Department of Defense Fire Academy
  • Engineer School
  • Field Artillery School
  • Financial Management School
  • Infantry School
  • U.S. Army Intelligence Center
  • Military Police School
  • Ordnance Mechanical Maintenance School
  • Ordnance Munitions and electronics Maintenance School
  • Quartermaster School
  • Signal Corps School
  • Transportation School

Learn more about AIT on the Army website.

Army Officer Candidate School

To become an officer in the Army, you must earn a degree from a four-year university. Then there are four different paths you can follow based on your goals:

  • Attend Army Officer Candidate School after you have earned your bachelor’s degree from a traditional university.
  • Attend the United States Military Academy, also known as West Point, after high school.
  • Join the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps while attending a traditional university.
  • Receive a direct commission as a professional in a field such as law, medicine or religion.

Officer Candidate School is a rigorous 12-week program to determine your mental, physical and emotional potential as a leader. The Army is the only branch of the military that requires potential officers planning to attend OCS to first enlist and attend basic combat training. You’ll learn a variety of leadership skills and small-unit tactics, before beginning your officer training, which has two phases:

  • Phase One: You’ll learn the basic leadership skills and the physical and mental challenges required of a commissioned officer.
  • Phase Two: You’ll put your leadership skills to the test with an intense 18-day training mission.

At graduation, you will be given a formal commission as a U.S. Army officer and assigned to the rank of second lieutenant, the first of the commissioned ranks.

Learn more about becoming an officer on the Army website.

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