In the military, there is a demarcation line between the enlisted and the officer ranks. But now, the Army’s Green to Gold Program provides an opportunity for eligible enlisted Soldiers to complete their first bachelor’s or master’s degree as an ROTC cadet and then commission as an active-duty Army officer. According to Major Matt Burmeister, Professor of Military Science at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, the program helps Soldiers put their career skills and experience to use while further developing their leadership skills for a new opportunity.
Burmeister says they focus on earning their degree while learning to lead at a higher level and succeed as commissioned officers. “Soldiers commonly believe they must have an associate’s degree in order to qualify for the Green to Gold program,” he adds. “That’s absolutely not true. They can have anywhere from no college credit to already having a bachelor’s degree and everything in between. Green to Gold options are tailored to the Soldier depending on their qualifications and needs — all that is required to begin is the Soldier’s desire to pursue this opportunity.”
One of the biggest strengths of the program for Soldiers with families here, Burmeister said, is that while Green to Gold cadets are attending school full-time, their families are able to stabilize at Fort Leonard Wood for at least two years, rather than having to move to a new location. Green to Gold cadets don’t have to attend Missouri S & T to be part of the Missouri S & T Army ROTC program. They can remain at one of the on-post schools.