Applications are being accepted for a new professional development initiative that will provide up to 18 months of fully-funded graduate studies to basic-branch captains and majors of the active component.

About 50 officers of the Operations, Operations Support and Force Sustainment functional categories will be selected for the Performance Based Graduate School Incentive Program that begins in the fall of 2016 or spring of 2017, depending on class start dates.

In announcing the PB-GSIP, Human Resources Command said the program "will allow our 'top performers' to obtain a fully-funded, 15- to 18-month master's degree as a resident student at an accredited U.S. institution."

Officers selected for participation by a board that convenes May 12 will pursue degrees in one of the following 10 academic disciplines: business administration, history, psychology, public administration and policy, computer science, international relations, philosophy, human resources, education or sociology.

The annual tuition cost cap per officer is $43,000.

Application fees will be the responsibility of the officer, and only traditional, U. S. resident graduate school courses will be approved for the program.Officers will not be allowed to enroll in night courses, weekend courses, online courses or any overseas or foreign schools.

As with other civilian education programs, officers who participate in PB-GSIP will incur an active-duty service obligation of three days for every day spent in school.The obligation will be served consecutively with any other civilian education ADSO.

To qualify for the PB-GSIP program, officers must meet these non-waiverable requirements:

• Be an active component captain or major who is a member of a branch in the Operations, Operations Support or Force Sustainment functional category of the Officer Personnel Management System.

• Captains must have credit for completion of the Captain Career Course, and have at least one key developmental assignment at the grade of O3.

• Majors must have credit for completion of Intermediate Level Education, and at least one key developmental assignment at the grade of O4.

• Officers are not eligible for this program if they have a graduate degree earned through another Army-funded program, not to include degrees earned through the GI Bill or the Tuition Assistance program.

• Have official college transcripts uploaded and readable in iPERMS (Integrated Personnel Records Management System) before submitting a request to compete.

Applications for PB-GSIP must be received at the Human Resources Command by Feb. 16. For procedural details, consult MilPer Message 14-340, dated Dec. 3.

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