Can We Guess How Qualified You Are for a Commanding Officer Position?

By: Teresa McGlothlin
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
Can We Guess How Qualified You Are for a Commanding Officer Position?
Image: SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

There are a few different ways to become a commanding officer. No matter where you are in your military career, there's a pathway that can lead you to the position you've always dreamed of holding. But are you ready to serve your country in that capacity yet? Once you answer these questions about your qualifications, you'll know if you're prepared to make the move. 

Whether you're becoming a commanding officer through ROTC or West Point, your duties are going to require a lot of attention. You'll need to exhibit a good moral compass, excellent physical abilities and the book smarts of a college grad. Being an officer is a huge responsibility, and you have to show your superiors that you are committed to your path before you can even be considered. 

As you march through our questions, think of them like boot camp for your brain. The answers you provide will decide whether or not you are qualified to move forward with your commanding officer plans. You've worked hard to get where you are, but have you gone far enough to get where you want to go? Share the skills you've learned throughout your career, and find out if you're ready for the job!

Q 01 Moral Compass Officers are required to have a good moral compass. Do you?
It depends who you ask.
I have a great sense of right and wrong.
I like to think so.
I make some questionable choices, but who doesn't?

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Q 02 Navigation Deck Officers Can you read a depth meter as well as a Navigation Deck Officer?
They're simple to read.
I've never seen one.
I'm better with radar, but I can read a depth meter.
I could with the right training.

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Q 24 ASVAB test When you took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, what was your strongest area?
Word knowledge
Assembling objects
I haven't taken it yet.
Mechanical comprehension

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Q 03 PSYOPS Program Do you currently rank high enough to qualify for the Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) program?
I rank higher than private first class.
I'm not in the military.
I'm not sure I could pass the physical.
I would have to enlist in the Army first.

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Q 04 Rucksack How far do you think you could run with a 35-pound ruck sack on your back?
15 miles
2 miles
12 miles
0 miles

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Q 05 Bilingual Being bilingual can give you an advantage! Do you speak more than one language?
I speak several languages.
I only speak one language.
I know a few words and phrases in another language.
I speak one additional language.

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Q 06 Years of service How many years of service do you have under your belt?
Over 12
Between four and six
Between eight and 10
Between one and four

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Q 07 M4 Are you a better shot with the standard issue M4 or the M16?
I'm pretty good with either one.
No one is a great shot with the M4.
I'm a little better with the M4.
I prefer the AS50.

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Q 08 Secret Security Clearance Is there anything on your record that could stop you from getting secret security clearance?
Of course not!
I'll have to check.
If there was anything, I couldn't hold the job I hold now.
That one time at band camp ...

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Q 09 Re-enlist Do you have at least 36 more months to serve before you need to re-enlist?
I have more than that.
That's cutting it close.
I don't have that long left.
I'm not currently serving.

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Q 10 ROTC Program Have you ever been a member of the ROTC program?
I started in high school.
I wish!
I entered it in college.
I haven't done any sort of military work.

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Q 11 Officer Training School Do you have a problem spending up to 17 weeks in Officer Training School?
Been there, done that.
That's a long time.
What're a few more months of my life? Sure.
I think I could do it in less time.

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Q 12 Air Force General Would you rather rise to the rank of Air Force General or Navy Admiral?
I'm more of a Marine.
General is the rank I want.
I would make a great Admiral.
Captain would suit me better.

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Q 13 Medicine Are you a professional in any of the fields that might make you a commissioned officer candidate?
I studied medicine.
I don't think so.
I would rather go through Officer Training School.
I have some skills in the intelligence field.

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Q 14 Bachelor's Degree Do you have a bachelor's degree, or are you planning to get one?
I have an advanced degree.
I'm working on it now.
I do!
I would love to go back to school.

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Q 15 Pull ups Which one of the Physical Readiness Test requirements would give you the hardest time?
Curl ups
Running
Swimming
Pull-ups

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Q 16 Finances Do you have the skills you need to keep track of a platoon's finances?
I'm the best at accounting.
I'm sure I would have a secretary for that.
I am good with money.
I wouldn't be afraid to try it.

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Q 17 Disobey order If you were given an order that you didn't agree with, would you disobey it?
If I had a better solution, yes.
I would never disobey an order.
No, but I might want to talk about it first.
I would do it, but I would report it later.

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Q 18 Kind of leader When you're in a position of leadership, what kind of leader are you?
Just
Strict
Fair
Bossy

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Q 19 Safety protocols At work, do you always adhere to safety protocols like officers are required to do?
Better safe than sorry.
I might skim over one or two of them.
I'm responsible for those around me. I have to be safe.
We don't have a lot of safety protocols.

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Q 20 Handle Unkempt Soldier If a subordinate soldier appeared unkempt, how would you handle it?
That soldier would be suspended from duty.
Something must be wrong. We'll chat.
I would point it out and expect it to be fixed immediately.
It would result in overtime for that soldier.

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Q 21 Writing skills Are your writing skills good enough to recommend an airman for a higher rank?
I could write a book.
I'm sure it's just a survey or something.
I love writing letters.
I would rather verbally recommend them.

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Q 22 Battalion moving inefficiently You think your battalion is moving inefficiently. How do you fix the problem?
We would have a meeting. I would yell.
I would realign the structure.
I would threaten to withhold privileges.
I would get to the bottom of the problem.

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Q 23 Motivation to be commanding officer What is your biggest motivation for wanting to become a commanding officer?
The pay
The prestige
The desire to better serve my country
Opportunity for advancement

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Q 25 Military Occupational Specialties Which one of these Military Occupational Specialities would you like to learn more about?
Primary
Necessary
Free
Exception

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Q 26 Stryker tank Stryker or Cougar? Which tank would you like to command?
I'll take any of them.
Stryker
The M1 is more my style.
I'll take the Cougar.

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Q 27 Sit ups Could you make it through the 200 situps required for SEAL training?
I sure can!
I used to be able to do that.
I can't do that many.
I guess I'll have to try it.

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Q 28 CPR Certification Do you currently have a CPR or a first aid certification?
They are both current.
I think they might be expired.
I'm certified in one of them.
I've never become certified.

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Q 29 Resume When is the last time you revamped your resume?
It was recently.
I don't have one.
It has been a few years.
I prefer to use a LinkedIn profile.

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Q 30 Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Would you volunteer to be one of Sentinels at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier?
Consider it done.
I'm not that great with infantry duties.
It would need to be a paid position.
Every soldier should have to volunteer for a shift.

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