Applications are being accepted for one of the most demanding and competitive education opportunities available to Army officers — the School of Advanced Military Studies Strategic Planning and Policy Program, or ASP3.

Graduates of the multi-year ASP3 can expect to serve in key planning positions with the Army, various Defense Department activities, the White House national security staff, the intelligence community, State Department, Congress, the combatant commands or civilian think tanks and military schools.

The ASP3 is a five- to six-year regimen of graduate education and assignments that is offered by the School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Selections for the cohort of students who will begin graduate school in the summer of 2017 will be made by a board that meets Aug. 15-19 at the Command and General Staff College.

The application deadline is June 30. Candidate interviews will be conducted this summer, and selections will be announced in mid-September.

School officials are looking for candidates who have strong potential to be selected for promotion to colonel, and who have the intellect, drive and curiosity to make it through a demanding doctoral program.

Regular Army officers, regardless of career branch, are eligible to apply for ASP3 if they are members of year groups 1996 through 2004, have an outstanding academic record, and have operational deployment experience to such locations as Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa and the Philippines.

Upon selection for ASP3, officers apply to doctoral programs at top-flight civilian universities offering degrees in strategy-related disciplines.

Officers will make a permanent change-of-station move to attend school for two years and complete all requirements for a doctorate except the dissertation.

During this time officers also will attend two phases of military education at SAMS studying history, strategic theory and the practice of strategic planning.

Officers who are not selected for brigade or battalion command will serve developmental assignments with a Defense Department, joint or service headquarters.

After command or an operational assignment, officers will spend a year working full time on their dissertation before being slated for a utilization assignment as a strategic planner.

Some of the academic disciplines appropriate for doctoral studies under this program are history, political science, international relations, public policy, security studies, economics, political economy, political geography, applied philosophy, anthropology, sociology, communications, statistics, systems engineering, design, public health and international law.

For additional information about ASP3, officers should consult MilPer Message 16-026, dated Jan. 26, and access the SAMS website at HTTPS://PARTIS.LEAVENWORTH.ARMY.MIL/CGSC/SAMS/SITEPAGES/ASP3-HOMEPAGE.ASPX.