Given the officer`s discretion over timing and program, the CSP Graduate Option is fundamentally different from any other educational opportunity provided by the Army.

In this new environment, the Assignment Officer has the opportunity to work in conjunction with the officer to provide wise counsel that will contribute to both the Army and the officer achieving their goals. Below are some guidelines:

  • Talk often to your graduate option holders to gauge if and when they intend to exercise their guaranteed right for graduate education. This will help you forecast impacts on officer availability and project talents in future years.
  • Encourage officers to begin their application process the year before their planned attendance. Officers must apply to graduate school and gain acceptance prior to receiving orders to graduate school.
  • On an individual basis, help officers consider the value commanders within your branch place on particular graduate programs. Communicate developing trends and provide guidance about disciplines that are in demand. Since officers retain the right to attend a school and program of their own choosing, it is possible for branches to grow a specific talent set simply by communicating the need to CSP officers.
  • Counsel CSP officers on graduate school timing. Both the officer and assignment officer should plan for a two-year assignment to graduate school. Due to CSP, your branch will have a higher retention rate to eight years, but dependent upon the flow through graduate school, your branch may have fewer officers available for assignment in any individual year.
  • While most officers will want to attend after a Key and Developmental assignment like company command, and sometime between their sixth and eleventh year of service, specific developments within the branch and the Army may cause them to alter their timing. By carefully timing graduate school, officers and assignment officers could avoid long waits for PME, address family emergencies or develop specialized talent for a follow-on job, amongst other things.
  • In rare instances where company grade KD completion occurs after the 11th year of active commissioned service, the officer may request deferment of graduate school attendance beyond their 11th year of service. Deferment requests are reviewed thru the G1 on a case-by-case basis and granted only when not inimical to the needs of the Army.

NOTE: Deferring the start of graduate school after the 11th year of service requires serving longer than 16 years on active duty in order to satisfy the graduate school ADSO.