Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
Please explain exactly how you would assess candidates for officer training prior to starting it. In the US Army, candidates are assessed during their training as officer candidates and cadets for such qualities. They may be terminated from commissioning programs for lack of aptitude--mental, physical, and/or leadership. They may also leave the programs voluntarily. A USMA graduate has been assessed for 4 years prior to receiving a commission, a ROTC candidate is assessed for at least a year, more usually 2-4 years. The shortest assessment time frame is for Officer Candidate School (OCS) graduates at 12 weeks, but they have also had prior active service time as an enlisted member, which was used as part of the assessment for selection into OCS in the first place. Candidates for ROTC and USMA are also subject to assessment prior to being accepted into those programs.

A more important concern is who assesses the assessors? What qualities should they display?
USMA cadets are required to learn what they know as Worth's Battalion Orders:

One trusts that the cadets "internalize" the sentiments expressed by Major Worth. But as President Reagan said, "Trust but verify." In the course of their education and training, cadets are also evaluated by the tactical and academic faculty on their character development and expression. A significant portion of their academic instructors and all their tactical instructors are military members for just this reason.
This is good in theory but how many are actually removed because of lack of character? I don't know but I ask because of something I read in Rick's Best Defense a few years ago.

A guy wrote a story about how an upperclassman broke his arm during some kind of training evolution. It was an avoidable thing, the upperclassman was just a meathead who got real enthusiastic when given the chance to thump people with no possibility of getting hit back. People here probably all know the type. The point was, aside from some sour looks, nothing happened to the upperclassman. He was not removed despite what seems an obvious character flaw and went on to be commissioned.

That is only one story but the guy wrote it to illustrate the point that the system doesn't seem well equipped to remove the meatheads and perhaps the game players too.