Every journey begins with the first step

I did something a couple of weeks back I’ve been meaning to do for many years now. At the last Brigade Conference we were told that it is OK for us to get on the website and work through the application, so I did. In the past it was always a little frustrating to have to ask applicants what they saw, because until you’ve logged on and filled out the application there is no way of knowing what is involved.

So here is what I learned. It’s not that bad. The application is pretty straight forward. You need to be prepared to put your personal statement in, but it is simple to cut and paste into the fields. There is also an extensive inventory of extra curricular activities, so be prepared to work through that part and document all your accomplishments and activities. Also be prepared to add anything not covered in the inventory in the additional SAL achievement field. It appears that it is fairly easy to get back in and change things. My assumption is once you have been boarded changing things won’t help any, so the lesson learned is to make sure you have all the information you want to be seen in the system well before the board.

My recommendation is to get into the application early, fill it out as best you can, and then tighten it up in the late Summer or early Fall to make sure you get seen by the first board.   you will have to make sure your list of schools is set by then, otherwise you may be getting an offer to a school you don’t intend to apply to or attend.

The other thing I was interested in seeing, and I was able to work through was the Civilian Background Experience Form (CBEF).

Here is what was sent to us about a month ago.

The CBEF was introduced this year into the online high school scholarship application. We have received queries from schools seeking more information about the CBEF.

  • Civilian Background Experience Form – a 92 question form designed to determine a high school applicant’s aptitude to complete ROTC and commission as an officer.
  • The CBEF is located at the end of the online 4-year high school scholarship application.
  • The applicant completes the CBEF once. If the applicant logs out of the application without taking the CBEF or without completing it, when the applicant logs back into their application, the link for the CBEF is still available. However, upon completion of the CBEF, the link will be gone the next time the applicant logs into their application.
  • Board Whole Person Score – 1400 total points possible. The CBEF counts for 250 points or 17.8% of the WPS.
  • The CBEF is not required for an applicant to go before the board. If an applicant does not take the CBEF or does not complete it, the applicant receives zero points out of a possible 250.

More to follow on this part of the application and the Whole Person Score. Being the conspiracy theorist that I am, I have to wonder how this is scored, and who decided this would be part of how we chose our Officer Candidates. The CBEF requires your sworn secrecy. There is a statement you read at the beginning that tells you not to reveal the contents to anyone, so I won’t violate that oath. I will just say that it is a typical behavioral survey. If are an applicant who goes in a takes this survey, your comments would definitely be appreciated.

Bears and Saints

Golden Knight Battalion class of 2012

This is the Golden Knight Battalion class of 2012


The Golden Knight Battalion is made up of Cadets from all four of the schools in the North Country (Clarkson, St Lawrence, SUNY Potsdam, and SUNY Canton). Each of the schools adds something special to the mix. Although they all bring unique qualities to the Battalion they all become part of the Battalion quickly. It’s fun each year to see how the four distinct ingredients meld into a product that is a Golden Knight Battalion Cadet and then Lieutenant.

So without further adieu, our Commissionees for the Class of 2012 from St Lawrence and State University of New York at Potsdam.

Lieutenant Krystal Cummings

Lieutenant Cummings is being commissioned into the Signal Corps. She will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She will attend the Signal Officer Basic Course at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Her first duty assignment will be with the First Brigade, First Armored Division Fort Bliss, Texas.

Lieutenant William Snyder

Lieutenant Snyder is being commissioned into the Quartermaster branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology. He will attend the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course at Fort Lee, Virginia. His first duty assignment will be with the Tenth Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York

Lieutenant Timothy Swartz

Lieutenant Swartz is being commissioned into the Quartermaster branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He will attend the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course at Fort Lee, Virginia and will serve in the Reserves, assigned to 2nd Platoon, 233rd Quartermaster Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Lieutenant Vidal Garza

Lieutenant Garza is being commissioned into the Infantry. He will receive a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Politics. He will attend the Infantry officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. He will be assigned to the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. Lieutenant Garza entered ROTC through the Green to Gold program that allows enlisted soldiers to return to school and earn a degree and a commission. Lieutenant Garza is also recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate signifying his high standing in the class and National order of merit list.

Lieutenant Jared Kiser

Lieutenant Kiser is being commissioned into the Quartermaster Corps and will serve in the Reserves. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He will attend the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course at Fort Lee, Virginia and will then return to Fort Drum to serve with the 2/313th Logistical Support Battalion. Lieutenant Kiser also entered ROTC through the Green to Gold program.

Lieutenant Kevin Lambert

Lieutenant Lambert is being commissioned into the Armor Branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. After graduation he will attend the Armor Officer Basic Course in Fort Benning, Georgia. Lieutenant Lambert is also recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate signifying his high standing in the class and National order of merit list.

Lieutenant Vladimir Pratt

Lieutenant Pratt is being commissioned into the Signal Corps with a detail to the Chemical Corps. He will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics. He will attend the Chemical Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Richardson, Alaska with the Fourth Brigade, Twenty-fifth Infantry Division.

Lieutenant Mark Saunders

Lieutenant Saunders is being commissioned into the Quartermaster Branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He will attend the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course at Fort lee Virginia. His first duty assignment will be with 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Lieutenant Sauders entered ROTC through the Green to Gold Active Duty Option.

Lieutenant Hector Vazquezcruz

Lieutenant Vazquezcruz is being commissioned into the Armor branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He will attend the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. Lieutenant Vazquezcruz also entered ROTC through the Green to Gold program.

Lieutenant Matthew Wilsey

Lieutenant Wilsey is commissioned into the Military Intelligence branch. He will receive Bachelor of Art degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology. He will attend the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. His first duty assignment will be with the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Lieutenant Wilsey is also recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate.

Once we pin these gold bars on we will almost be “Mission Complete” on the class of 2012. We had two commissionees in December, a total of 21 this week and last, and if all goes well the 24th member of this year group, Patrick Hughes, will commission at the end of the Leadership Development and Accessment Course (LDAC) this Summer. Not bad for a small school from the real upstate New York.

Congrats to all…

“FROM THE FRONT”

GKB 2012 Clarkson graduates

Here are the Cadets that will take their oath tomorrow and commission into the Army. The following day they will graduate from Clarkson University. A good group of Army Leaders.

Lieutenant Chris Coveleski

Lieutenant Coveleski is commissioned into the Transportation Corps. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Suppy Chain Management with a minor in Law Studies. He will attend the Transportation Officer Basic Course at Fort Eustis, Virginia. He will serve in the New York National Guard with the 42nd Infantry Division Intelligence and Sustainment Company.

Lieutenant Russell Austin

Lieutenant Austin is commissioned into the Infantry. He will graduate with distinction and receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He will serve at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Washington this summer prior to attending the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Campbell, Kentucky with the 101st Airborne Division.

Lieutenant Austin is also a distinguished military graduate signifying his high standing in the class and national order of merit list.

Lieutenant Matthew Edgette

Lieutenant Edgette is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will graduate with distinction and receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Heidleberg Germany with the 18th Engineer Brigade.

Lieutenant Michael Fensterer

Lieutenant Fensterer is commissioned into the Armor Branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Supply Chain Management. He will attend the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. LT Fensterer also leaves Clarkson with a perfect 4-0 record as the goalie for the the Army team in our annual ice hockey game against Air Force.

Lieutenant Timothy Nevin

Lieutenant Nevin is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degrees in Innovation and Entrepreneurship with a minor in Project Management. He will serve at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Washington this summer prior to attending the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He will serve in the Reserves with the 382nd Engineer Company, Sappers out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Lieutenant Chris O’Connor

Lieutenant O’Connor is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Carson, Colorado with the 4th Engineer Battalion.

Lieutenant David Pecka

Lieutenant Pecka is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He will serve in the Reserves with the 479th Engineer Battalion out of Fort Drum, New York.

Lieutenant Joshua Risewick

Lieutenant Risewick is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Hood, Texas with the 36th Engineer Brigade.

Lieutenant Jonathon Waterman

Lieutenant Waterman is commissioned into Military Intelligence branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree. He will attend the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He will serve in the Reserves with the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion in Mattydale, New York.

Lieutenant Jennifer Zanghi

Lieutenant Zanghi is commissioned into the Medical Service Corps. She will graduate with great distinction and receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. She will attend the Medical Services Officer Basic Course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas prior to attending flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama in order to train as a medevac pilot.

Lieutenant Zanghi is also recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate signifying her high standing in the class and national order of merit list.

Congratulations to all the Golden Knights…stay tuned for our Commissionees from SUNY Potsdam and St Lawrence who will commission next week.

Fall 2012 – Spring 2013 scholarship board dates

Here they are, the dates for this fall/winter’s board dates. If you are applying for a four year high school Army ROTC scholarship that will start in the fall of 2013 these are the dates you should pay attention to. If you are a high school student finishing up your junior year and going into senior year in the fall, these are your dates.

1st High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 1-Oct-12
1st High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 12-Oct-12
1st High School Selection Board 15-Oct-12
2nd High School Selection Board Deadline for Documents 26-Dec-12
2nd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 4-Jan-13
2nd High School Selection Board 7-Jan-13
4-Year High School Application Deadline for SY 13-14 10-Jan-13
Final (3rd) HS Selection Board Deadline for Docs — Missing Items 28-Feb-13
3rd High School Board-Ready List PMS Deadline 8-Mar-13
Final (3rd) High School Selection Board 11-Mar-13


So, what does all this mean. If you have a strong file you should be shooting to have your file complete by 1 October and reviewed by the first board.

Look at SAT/ACT dates. If you don’t do so well the first time you take those tests your second shot is usually some time shortly after the October board, so you should be shooting for the second board and submitting improved scores if your file isn’t strong. Here’s where you can get some help with those tests, use it.

If you wait until the second or third board your chances are diminished because there will obviously be less allocations available after each board.

As you go through the process make sure you read about all the components (this blog is a good source of information, if I do say so myself) and stay in touch with at least one of the recruiting officers at one of the schools on your list. Notice I said recruiting Officer, and not recruiter…there is a difference.