Commissions within six months after joining the service are possible for qualified College men, Professor A. James Casner announced for the Army's Officer Candidate Schools.
Any enlisted man between 18 and 45 years old is eligible for the three month course after the regular three month preliminary training period.
Qualities of leadership are the principal requirements for admission, and academic training is an important secondary factor. All applicants must receive a rating of 110 or better in the Army General Classification Test.
The statement follows:
"The War Department announced today that the Army's Officer Candidate Schools are now open to all qualified enlisted men from 18 to 45 years of age. The minimum period of service required for admission to the schools has been reduced to three months.
"Specially qualified graduates may be authorized to take advanced training to fit them for early promotion. These changes are in accordance with the planned expansion of the present system for providing training officer leaders for the rapidly expanding Army.
Age Limits Broadened
"The age limits for admission to Officer Candidate Schools have been broadened considerably to coincide with the new induction and enlistment ages. This means that any man between the ages of 18 and 45 now serving in the Army, or inducted in the future, who is otherwise qualified, will be eligible as an officer candidate.
"Any civilian between those ages who is not now in the Army and who desires to seek a commission can enlist and attend a replacement training center with the knowledge that at the end of his training he can compete with his fellows for an opportunity to attend a further three months' course for a commission.
"In addition, the length of service required before becoming eligible for admission to candidate schools has been reduced to three months for all enlisted men, regardless of where assigned. Heretofore the regulation has been four months for men from replacement training centers and six months for men from other units.
Course Takes 3 Months
"The course at all Officer Candidate Schools is for a period of three months. Thus a soldier or a warrant officer may now receive a commission as an officer after six months' service.
"It takes at least three months to teach an individual the basic subjects every soldier must know, regardless of his grade and arm of service, and at least three months to then teach the same individual the fundamental duties of a commissioned officer.
"This period also affords a reasonable opportunity in which to determine whether or not the individual possesses the characteristics for leadership in battle. The course of training at the Officer Candidate School is limited to three months for the reason that accepted applicants have previously received their basic training as a soldier; hence, the first three months of basic training are actually time spent in training for a commission.
"A soldier will be eligible for selection to an Officer Candidate School throughout his enlistment. The three month's period of service is a minimum established to meet the requirements of the present emergency.
"Under this procedure, those whose development is slow or whose qualifications are not immediately recognized will be afforded a continuing opportunity to qualify for attendance at the school.
"The Officer Candidate Schools in all branches of the Army are in process of being expanded to accommodate the large number of candidates which the new regulations will produce. All men with necessary qualifications are urged to take advantage of this opportunity to become leaders in the new Army.
"Enlisted men, now serving, should apply for admission through their unit commanders. Men in civilian life who enlist or volunteer for induction may apply for officer training as soon as they enter the service, and will be eligible to begin this training three months after they enter the Army.
Leadership Ability Needed
"The principal requirement, stressed above all others for admission to Candidate Schools, is evidence of outstanding qualities of leadership. Although the educational background of a candidate is a most important element, in determining his selection, it is not determinative. While an academic degree may be a favorable factor, equivalent training and experience in civil life is equally acceptable to the Army