He's already been in the Army for 10 years. Now, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jacob McCormack is making a big transition — he's working on becoming a commissioned officer while earning his bachelor's degree in communications. He's part of the Army's Green to Gold Active Duty Option Program, a two-year program that allows eligible, active-duty enlisted soldiers to remain on active duty as they complete a bachelor's degree or a two-year graduate degree and earn a commission as an Army officer.
I joined the military basically because I wanted to get out of the small town I was from and, also, I was tired of working low-end jobs for salary and I wanted to try something different. I wanted to learn new skills and a tradecraft, so I chose the military and the Army specifically.
I decided to go to Bowie because I was stationed here at Fort Meade. Bowie State is in the general vicinity, so I decided to stay local. I purchased a home here and, also, additionally my wife has a great job.
Balancing cadet life with Bowie State University requirements with my undergrad requirements is challenging. Time management is involved, you have to be able to balance your requirements with your education as well your requirements as a cadet but, ultimately it's doable, we have athletes, people in student government. I do volunteer work outside of school as well, so balancing and time management is a huge piece in making student life and cadet life work.
I don't think of it as starting over as a second lieutenant, because I still have that experience and knowledge that I bring to the table. I think my experience and knowledge will contribute greatly to working with my future platoon sergeant having filled that position previously, so we should be able to work fluently to increase the readiness of the unit.
Video by Army Staff Sgt. Vanessa Atchley