Officer Development School

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This is the Document Release Information
Article Number: 7CAV-R-033
Scope: Officer Development School (ODS)
Version: Version 1.1
Effective Date: 30 NOV 18
Last Modified Date: DDMMMYYYY
Approving Authority: Regimental Commanding Officer
Point of Contact: Regimental Chief of Staff


The purpose of this document is to lay out the standards for the selection, training, and evaluation of potential officer candidates.


The Regimental Chief of Staff is the Officer-in-Charge of the Officer Development School and is the final authority on grading of officer candidates and commissioning new Second Lieutenants. The oversight of Officer Development School is delegated to the S7 Department and an S7 - ODS Lead.


As per 7CAV-R-005, the minimum requirements for application to the Officer Development School are as follows:

  • Minimum rank of Specialist (E-4)
  • Completion of NCOA (Phase I and II)
  • Completion of Server Admin Course
  • Any individual prerequisites set by Company Commanders for their assigned seats
Exceptions may be made by General Staff or Officer Development School Lead.


Selection begins with an ODS announcement. This is done when the eligibility lists for any of the MOS' are low on numbers or as required by the Regiment. The flow for selection is as follows:

  • An ODS class announcement is posted
  • PM sent to Battalion Staff assigning the number of open slots per company
  • After an ODS class announcement is posted, eligible candidates simply PM the next person in his or her chain-of-command to apply
  • This will be forwarded up the CoC to the Company Commander for review
  • Company Staff confer with Platoon Staffs and the Company Commander sends his or her choices to their Battalion Staff
  • Battalion Staff will review and the Battalion Commander submits the group names from all companies to the Regimental CoS and ODS Lead
  • Confirmation PM sent by ODS Staff to candidates


Training is conducted over a 3-day period, usually consecutive weekends. Training covers the following:

  • Day 1 - Duties & Responsibilities:
    • Role of the Platoon Leader
    • Relationship with the Platoon Sergeant
    • Making Changes and Developing a Plan
    • Regimental SOP's
    • Duties and Responsibilities of the Platoon Leader
    • Billet Promotion SOP's and Guidelines
    • Training and Platoon Training Plans
  • Day 2 - Plans and Orders:
    • METT-TC
    • Troop Leading Procedures
    • Orders
  • Day 3 - Managing Subordinates:
    • Building Morale and Motivating Troopers
    • Leadership Discussion


There are three parts to the ODS evaluation covering topics from each day of the training:

  • Test 1: Candidates are required to submit a plan about a pre-determined topic.
  • Test 2: Candidates are required to submit an essay about a pre-determined topic.
  • Test 3: Candidates must complete a plan for the movement and maneuver of a platoon in a mission scenario provided.


Scoring is standardized and is heavily weighted towards original ideas and one's ability to communicate his or her ideas and plans. Each test is scored out of 100, added together out of 300, and then averaged to a percent, 0 to 100%. 60% or higher is a passing grade.

Ranking and Officer Pool

Successful candidates are placed on an eligibility list called the officer pool and ranked in order of their scores on the evaluations. Scores within 5% are considered a tie. Candidates whose score is considered non-competitive are encouraged to re-attend Day 3 of ODS and re-do the evaluations in order to improve their score.

ODS graduates in the officer pool for longer than 1 year can be reviewed, removed from the officer pool, and/or asked to re-appy at the discretion of the Regimental Chief of Staff.


The process for commissioning a new Second Lieutenant begins when an opening for a Platoon Leader position occurs. The following then occurs:

Eligible Candidates

The list of all eligible officer candidates is submitted to Battalion Staff by the ODS Lead and/or Regimental Chief of Staff. The intention is to have Battalion and Company Staff provide feedback to the CoS on each individual to aid in the decision-making process. When an opening needs to be filled, Battalion Staff is to submit a request to the ODS Lead/CoS to fill the open position.

Decision Making

When a Platoon Leader position opens up in an MOS or Company: Company Commanders, Battalion Staff, and the Regimental Chief of Staff choose an officer candidate from the eligibility list to be commissioned with considerable weight given to score. The factors taken into account when deciding upon the successful candidate include but are not limited to the following:

  • ODS scores at least six percent ahead of all others take precedent unless the candidate is otherwise unsuitable
  • Performance in a leadership billet over a consistently long period of time
  • Performance in secondary billets over a consistently long period of time
  • Awards for contributions or service to the Regiment
  • Activity levels
  • Number of courses taken and operations attended
  • Prior Counseling Statements, Letters of Reprimand, or other official disciplinary actions within a reasonable time-frame

The Regimental Chief of Staff is the final authority on grading of officer candidates and commissioning new Second Lieutenants.

The commissioning of new officers at the Regimental or secondary department level is handled by General Staff and based upon the needs of the Regiment

Former Officers and ODS Graduates

Former officers are eligible for commission or attendance at ODS under the following criteria. All former ODS graduates are not required to re-take Day 1 or 2 unless specified below.

  • Discharged/Retired ODS Graduates: Officer candidates are removed from the officer eligibility list/officer pool upon discharge or retirement. To re-enter the eligibility list/officer pool, all former ODS graduates that discharged or retired and re-enlisted will require:
    • Their 90 day "no leadership billet" billet moratorium to have have passed per 7CAV-R-001
    • A recommendation from the Battalion Commander for the MOS they are applying
    • Approval by the Regimental Chief of Staff
  • Former ODS graduates in this category who already completed ODS may apply for the same MOS they served in and may either: re-take Day 3 and the evaluations to better their prior score, or go with their prior score. If they are applying for a different MOS, they must take Day 3 and the evaluations again.
  • Former Officers: Former officers who did NOT complete ODS must complete ALL 3 days of ODS and the evaluations.
  • Lost position due to down-sizing: A former officer who completed ODS and applies for the same MOS they served in are eligible for first chance at a new position when it becomes available. If they apply for an MOS they didn't test for originally, they must re-take the evaluations, and if they pass, they get first offer as well for their new score.
  • Removed from billet for reasons: These will be considered on a case-by-base basis.
  • Exceptions to the above may be made at the discretion of the General Staff depending on the needs of the Regiment.