Direct Commission to FA50

Direct Commission to FA50


What is direct commissioning?

Direct commissioning is an Army program that allows civilians with specific high-demand skills to join the Army as commissioned officers.

The Army has had direct commissioning programs for the medical fields, legal fields, and chaplaincy for many years. In late 2019, it began offering direct commissions to other branches as well, to attract qualified civilians. 

Typical applicants for Force Management hold a four-year degree, master’s degree, or doctorate in Business, Finance, Project Management, Organizational Leadership, Public Policy or Public Administration. 

What skills are the Army seeking for the Force Management Functional Area Direct Commissioning Program?

We are looking for officers from a diverse background of undergraduate disciplines and work experience who have the technical aptitude to grasp complex, abstract ideas and understand key leadership actions that must be taken to adapt the Army as change occurs. 

Although not inclusive previous experience in the following preferred Fields of Work is recommended: Project / Program Management; Consulting; Resource Management; Organizational Behavior; Innovation Development; Organizational Design and/or Structure; Resource Requirements Determination and/or Management; Strategic Planning, Programming, Budgeting, & Execution.

In addition we are looking for officers with the following Knowledge Skills and Abilities.

Knowledge of:

  • Decision making processes
  • Innovation and organizational change processes
  • Strategic change management

Skills in:

  • Resource management
  • Synchronizing, coordinating, and integrating planning team efforts
  • Developing programs of actions and milestones (POAM)
  • Business analytics, transformation, and resource management as a project manager

Abilities to:

  • Advise senior leaders on second and third orders effects of resource management or change management decisions
  • Determine requirements for mission required capabilities and modernization efforts as part of transformation analysis
  • Think strategically
  • Solve complex problems

What do Force Management Officers do?

Force Management is a critical operating function for the Army. It encompasses the many processes that generate future requirements and ensure the Army is efficiently and effectively organized, manned, equipped, trained, and sustained.  Force Management Officers understand the art and science of “how the Army runs.” The Force Management Functional Area provides critically skilled officers who integrate and implement changes to the force. Force Management Officers are problem solvers for Army and Joint senior leaders.

What are the requirements and training for the Direct Commissioning Program?

There six basic requirements and two training courses for direct commission into the Force Management Functional Area. Applicants must:

  • Be United States citizens
  • Be younger than 41 years of age
  • Be able to obtain and maintain a Secret security clearance
  • Have at least a four-year college degree
  • Complete an Army physical and meet fitness standards for Army service
  • Complete an application to become an Army officer
  • Complete the Army’s six-week Direct Commissioning Course
  • Complete the Army's twelve-week Functional Area Basic Leadership Course

How long do officers commissioned under the program serve in the Army?

Officers must complete a total of eight years of service with at least three years on active duty, followed by service in the U.S. Army Reserve or Army National Guard.

How do I apply for the program or get more information?

To be considered for a commission, you must submit a PDF application and take part in a phone interview and an in-person interview, then be selected by a board of officers.


Follow these steps to apply for the Army Force Management Direct Commissioning Program:

1. Download the application (pdf)

2. Fill out the application electronically

3. Once you have completed the application, email the form to the following mailbox:

4. Attach your completed pdf application, along with the following:

  • A recent photograph of you wearing professional attire. The photograph may be a headshot or a full body photo.
  • Proof of undergraduate and graduate degrees. A full official transcript must be issued by your academic institution’s registrar and must include your name, the institution name, the degree conferred, and the date or expected date to be conferred.
  • Professional Certifications. All professional certifications must be submitted for consideration.
  • Your current resume or CV
  • Prior military service documents (if applicable). Prior service applicants must submit all enlisted and officer evaluation reports. Applicants who have been discharged must submit a copy of their DD Form 214 and/or discharge order(s).
  • Letters of recommendation (optional). Submit up to three letters of recommendation.
  • Writing sample or cover letter. This is your opportunity to tell the panel that reviews your packet who you are. Ensure you include any relevant information that is not addressed in your resume.

5. Ensure that all personally identifiable information (i.e., social security numbers, home phone numbers, addresses) are redacted throughout.

6. After your application is sent, check your email for confirmation instructions. You should receive a receipt confirmation within seven working days.