The decision to stay in the Army or leave to pursue other opportunities is unique to each individual officer.  Also unique to each officer is how you value each of the three CSP incentives.  The three considerations below apply to all CSP programs.

As each of you weighs your options, please consider the following things:

1. Do you intend to stay in the Army through Company Command?  If the answer to this is yes, then these options cost you nothing. You are likely going to be on Active Duty Status for about 7 years once you finish command as most officers command a company around their 6th year of service. This puts you right at your commissioning ADSO plus the three-year CSP ADSO. Plus, you will also be earning full GI Bill benefits AT THE SAME TIME.

Why should you consider doing Company Command?
There are few opportunities that parallel this experience. At a very young age, you will be responsible for more than 100 Soldiers, their families, and their well-being. This is an unparalleled developmental experience that is not only tremendously enjoyable, but will also change the way an officer views the world.  If after completing Company Command, you decide to leave the Army, you will likely be at 7 to 8 years of service and could leave active duty with little to no obligation remaining in the reserve component.  Moreover, the civilian labor market places great value on officers who have had a company command. Head Hunters tell us that an Army officer with company command experience is one of the most marketable people they work with.

2. There is little Certainty about What Reserve Duty Will Look Like In 3,4, or 5 Years
Cadets who are not sure they want to exchange 5,4 or 3 years of reserve duty for active duty, should consider what their reserve commitment will look like.  Every commissioning officer has an eight year military service obligation, or MSO. Given that the nation is at war there is still the chance of being called to active service while finishing your MSO in the guard, reserve, or in the individual ready reserves (IRR).  With these three CSP options the Army seeks to increase your satisfaction while affording you the opportunity to see a new post, gain valuable company command time and the GI Bill, and complete your MSO on active duty with the soldiers you've trained and led.

3. The Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are tremendous
The new Post 9/11 GI Bill gives you an opportunity to pursue further education OR  transfer your benefits to your spouse or children.  The key here is that you must serve 36 months on active duty to gain full benefits. For scholarship cadets (ROTC and West Point), you do not begin earning GI Bill benefits until after you complete your commissioning ADSO, so you must serve 36 months (3 years) beyond your initial commitment to gain full GI Bill benefits. This eligibility requirement works concurrently (at the same time) with any CSP ADSO. Simply, scholarship cadets who participate in Branch of Choice, post of Choice, or Graduate School option get two very valuable things as they serve the three year ADSO – Branch/Post/Grad School AND full GI Bill benefits. Once you serve 6 years on Active Duty you can give your benefits to your spouse. At ten years of service you can give them to your children.

For Graduate School Option holders this should be particularly enticing. Because the Army will send you to graduate school at no cost to you, you can build a future for your children by transferring your benefits to them. Given the price inflation on university tuition, this is a great opportunity to invest in your family's future.

Bottom Line: Serving a 3 year ADSO for a career incentive simultaneously qualifies you for full GI benefits for yourself or full transferability of your GI benefits to your family.