The ceremonial belt worn by Military Intelligence Corps officers is manufactured in the branch colors of Oriental Blue and Silver Gray, which were approved by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel for the Army Security and Intelligence Corps in October 1962. The colors were retained when the branch was redesignated the Military Intelligence branch on July 1, 1967.
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Each year, the Army selects a group of officer candidates for entry into the Military Intelligence (MI) Corps—but not all of them will begin officer training in that branch. That’s because Military Intelligence is one of eight “donor” branches in the Army’s Branch Detail Program, a system designed to help fill the numerically substantial need for Lieutenants in the combat arms branches while simultaneously ensuring branches which meeting the manpower requirements of branches that require higher numbers of field-grade officers.

The Branch Detail Program is part of the Army’s officer personnel assignment system, which is a subsystem of the Officer Personnel Assignment System created to “to place the right officer in the right job at the right time.” Here’s how it works: the Army identifies candidates suited for those branches that have low requirements for Lieutenants but high requirements for Field-Grade officers; in addition to MI, these branches include Adjutant General, Finance, Military Police, Ordnance, Quartermaster, Signal, and Transportation.

So while some newly commissioned officers who have been selected for the Military Intelligence Corps will head directly Fort Huachuca in Arizona to attend the MI Officer Basic Course held at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School, others will be detailed to one of five combat-arms branches: Air Defense Artillery, Armor, Chemical, Field Artillery, or Infantry. These officers will attend the basic course of their branch, then serve a 48-month tour in which they’re given ample opportunity to assume leadership role. (Note: these officers are encouraged to specify to which branch they would like to be detailed, and the time they spend in the basic course of their branch counts toward the 48-month tour requirement.)

While these officers were identified and pre-designated to eventually become officers in the Military Intelligence Corps, it is incumbent upon them to maintain contact with Military Intelligence officers in the units in which they are serving; they should also seek to S-2 assignments (Intelligence staff) whenever possible. Upon completion of their branch tours, these officers attend an MI Officer Transition Course and an Officer Career Course. Successfully completing these courses effectively brings them back into the MI branch, at which point their career progression possibilities are the same as if they had entered directly into the MI Corps upon graduation from the United States Military Academy or the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps.

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