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Double the Number of Service Academy Grads—cost free

June 2, 2020

All military service academies are four year, intensive, resident, programs. Does anyone seriously believe that it takes four years of such an intensive program to create great officers for our military? Of course not. After all, there are more officers produced from other less intensive officer training programs, such as ROTC, than from the service academies and many of the products of those other programs, nevertheless, go on to serve in the highest levels of their respective services. The extreme example of this is what we in the Air Force called the 90-day wonders, graduates of OTS, the Officer training School, many of whom go on to achieve high rank.

Here is my suggestion: Why not make the service academies two-year programs and instantly double the number of military academy graduates? Two years should be more than enough time to instill the proper attitude and skills. Students could enter the academies after two years at another college, probably after also serving those two years in the ROTC. They would then also have completed the grueling “beast” indoctrination and would come to their final two years as more mature adults, who are more likely to have the additional knowledge and commitment required for a long military career.

Such a system would also reduce the perceived “differences” that are inevitable between “Academy grads” and the officers from other commissioning sources. This is likely to be beneficial to both the new officers and to the taxpayers. Let’s give it a try. As an Air Force Academy grad myself, I suggest the pilot program (pun intended) be at the Air Force Academy.

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One Comment
  1. I could not agree more with the proposal made here regarding a major change in how long Air Force Academy cadets spend attending college at the Colorado Springs installation and more importantly that the “90-Day Wonder” program, which is what Air Force Officer Training School really is (my Dad was a Navy 90-Day Wonder at Harvard University in WWII) produces outstanding officers who ultimately achieve high rank in a career of service following graduation. Confession: I was a Distinguished Graduate of AFOTS in November 1967, and I went on to spend 28 years of total federal service, 7 of those working for Colonel Roy Miller as a USAFA ALO and who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel as a result of the better-than-deserved OER’s from said Roy Miller.

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