The Navy now includes information warfare communities in the bachelor’s completion program, which was relaunched earlier this year to broaden the pool of future officers.
The program provides financial assistance to students who agree to complete Officer Candidate School or Officer Development School upon graduation. According a naval administrative message.
Previously, the Navy only sought applications for Aviation (Pilot and Naval Flight Officer), Special Warfare (SEAL), Special Operations, and Surface Warfare Officer Designators.
Applicants must meet physical standards prior to commissioning or accession and are limited to applying for one community only.
Selected individuals will be required to enlist to receive salary and financial incentives. Upon enlistment, they will be placed on active duty as a Master Officer Candidate 3 (E-4) and graduate as an OCPO2 (E-5) in the Naval Reserve. If already in reserve, selectees will be placed in active duty status at their current rank, if higher.
Upon graduation, all applicants – except Cyber Warfare Engineers – will be assigned to the next available OCS class in Newport, Rhode Island. Applicants selected by CWE will attend Officer Development School (ODS) instead of OCS.
“If a selected person fails to successfully complete the OCS or ODS for any reason other than injury, the selected person will be required to complete the remainder of their enlisted contract,” according to the NAVADMIN.
The Navy cut the bachelor’s degree program in 2003 for budgetary reasons, but announced in March that it was resurrecting it to broaden the “talent pool” of future officers.
This change stems from recommendations from the Task Force One Navy report released in February 2021. The task force was established in June 2020 to address systemic racism within the service, assess racial disparities in the military justice system, and examine the fairness of the promotion and advancement process to eliminate “destructive biases”.
“The return of the BDCP expands the talent pool within our officer ranks by providing opportunities for students at universities without an existing NROTC program,” said Cmdr. Navy Recruiting Command spokesman Dave Benham in a March email to the Navy Times.
“The pathway to get officers out of these schools was almost exclusively SCO, which requires a degree as a prerequisite,” Benham said. “The BDCP allows the Navy to provide this opportunity to current students who qualify, reaching a part of the undergraduate market that we have not been able to access.”
Those eligible to apply must be 19 years old and enrolled or accepted for transfer to a regionally accredited four-year university. The program is open to civilians, naval reserve enlisted personnel, and inactive reserve personnel from other services who are U.S. citizens and have at least a 2.8 GPA.