Please contact me to discuss the community at your convenience, but below is a general statement about OCS applications that I provide to most initial queries:
CDR L. Seth Lawrence
CW and CWE Officer Community Manager
(901) 874-3123 (Comm)
We hold our OCS Boards quarterly with the next one being in March (applications are due ~30 days prior to that)
First let me give a basic explanation of how the boards flow:
(0) NRC informs BUPERS of quotas by designator and compiles all applications for a given board
(1) Each application is graded and the grader's comments are stored in a database that all voting board members can see
(2) Once grading is complete, all voting members (one from each IWC designator at minimum) vote on all applications using a 0-25-50-75-100 confidence score
(3) Results of all votes are compiled and listed in order of descending confidence score for board members
(4) Selections are made by each designator based on confidence scores without names present until allotted quotas are used
Comments regarding each applicant's record cover the following general areas in some way:
(0) General comments: Overview of record and anything recorder decides to highlight
(1) Personal Statement Summary: message summary, quality, grammar, ability to communicate, individualism displayed, understanding of designators desired, etc
(2) Clearance: Any flags from the record that could hold up or prevent clearance (finances, foreign born, foreign contacts, etc)
(3) Aptitude scores: OAR score
(4) Academics: GPA, Degree(s) and level, school attended, STEM course work
(5) Languages: Any foreign language proficiency, DLPT - academic - spoken in home - etc.
(6) Activities: COMREL, volunteer, command involvement, school involvement, FFA, Boy Scouts, etc
(7) Interviews: summary of CO endorsement, interviews conducted
(8) LORs: summary of all Letters of Recommendation that are included
The following is general guidance for competitive applications for the Information Warfare Community.
Performance - Consistent MP to EP above peers and promoting at or ahead of schedule;
OAR - 50-55 is good, 55-60 is better, 60+ is solid (45 minimum);
GPA - 3.0+ is good, 3.20 is better, 3.4+ is solid (2.8 minimum);
Degree - STEM degrees are continuing to grow as a focus area, but not yet mandatory;
School - Traditional schools tend to fair better than AMU, Phoenix, etc. types of institutions;
LORs - Solid LORs from community that you are desiring or leaders/mentors that know you are helpful
While the above data is a good place to start, the board grades the applications as a whole where one weak area can be overcome by other strengths; however, there is quite a bit of competition out there for limited quotas. At each board there are many strong candidates left on the table...so much quality and not enough quotas. Because of the competition, applications can be strengthened with officer appraisals or letters of recommendations from IWC officers, temporary duty/TDY/internships in IWC-related or STEM based programs, post-graduate education in IWC-related fields. A well-crafted personal statement is always key to a strong application and if multiple attempts to be accepted are required applicants are highly encouraged to strengthen their application each time vice submitting the same application.
I can provide the most recent board statistics for your reference upon request as well.
Hope that helps, but please feel free to contact me for any points of clarification or to address something that may have been missed!