The Army launched a new branching system this year that gives Cadets the ability to highlight their talents and determine whether they best fit into one of its 17 branches. Cadets will undergo an interview process to assess their emotional and intellectual strengths. The Accessions Division of USMA teaches Cadets and their mentors about the Army branches and the New Talent-Based Branching System. The program is a prerequisite for the Simultaneous Membership Program.
What Does Army TBB mean?
Army TBB stands for “Talent Based Branching.” This system allows Cadets to spotlight their strengths and take control of their careers. With this system, the branches no longer try to fit Cadets into specific roles or jobs. Instead, the branches work to match their skills with the needs of the Army.
The process starts with the Army ROTC’s Cadets requesting their branch of choice during senior year. After that, they complete interviews with the branches they’re interested in. The interview process is designed to give the branches a better understanding of the Cadet’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to determine whether or not the Cadet is a good fit for their branch.
SIGNAL (SC) Officers in the Signal Corps lead all facets of communication, including radio and cellular systems, satellite technology, lasers, and more. They also oversee military intelligence operations, signals, electronic security, and counterintelligence.
INFANTRY (IN) Officers in the Infantry Branch are responsible for leading and controlling the Infantry and combined armed forces during land combat. The branch requires a high level of self-discipline, initiative, and confidence.
TRANSPORTATION (TC) Officers in the Transportation Corps are experts in the systems and vehicles used to move soldiers and supplies. They are responsible for all aspects of Army transportation, from maintenance to control tower operations to tactical field missions.
What is Talent-based Branching?
The Army is implementing a new system that will allow cadets to be assessed in one of 17 branches. The system, called Talent Based Branching, is designed to allow the branch to see how a Cadet would fit into their career field. The Army hopes to improve the quality of officers and increase satisfaction with the branching process.
In the past, the branching process was a feudal, top-down, information-starved process. In the new ATAP system, the Army will collect detailed information on each officer’s unique talents and skills and the talent demands of each basic branch to create a “talent market.” This will allow commanders to select officers that best match their needs.
As part of the new system, Cadets will be required to interview the different branches to determine which is a good fit for them. During the interview, the Cadet will discuss their interests, hobbies, and personal talents to help the branch determine if they are a good match. In addition, the Cadet will be asked to list any prior military experience and rank their top three choices of branches. The Army is implementing this system to increase the number of commissioned officers and ensure that all of its officers are in the right career fields.
Cadets go through a job search process during their Junior year, commonly referred to as “branching.” It’s similar to the way students fill out a Common App. They complete an online application and take the Talent Assessment Battery, a series of questions revealing traits like spatial intelligence. The branches are then able to see the profile and judge whether the cadet would be a good fit for their organization.
Once the cadet has identified their top three branch preferences, they will start preparing for interviews by tailoring their file showing off extracurricular activities and leadership experiences that align with those of their preferred branches. The cadet will also begin to study their branch’s unique culture and the requirements of becoming a Second Lieutenant in that specific branch. For example, EOD Officers are:
- “Hands-on Soldiers.”
- Requiring technical and mechanical aptitude.
- Acute sensitivity to visual details.
- The ability to orient to three dimensions.
PsyOp Officers are imaginative and enterprising, promoting government policy through information and influence campaigns and shaping target audience behavior with tailored messages.