The U.S. Navy has been aggressively pushing a STA-21 ("Seaman to Admiral") program which encourages enlisted sailors to apply for an officer training program that includes a college education. In the past, the armed services had an OCS (Officers Candidate School) program that took selected applicants and put them through a rough 90 day training program. Those who passed became officers. But over the last two decades, the Department of Defense has insisted that all officers have a college education. Those officers who didn't have a degree were made to understand that if they didn't go to night school and get one, their promotion prospects were slim. The navy program solves the problem of what to do with enlisted troops with leadership qualities, and no college degree. Last year, the navy program had 1,400 applicants, and 431 were accepted. The candidates then go an intense eight week college preparation course. Those that pass that, and show leadership ability while doing so, are sent to a college. But even this is intense, as they have to do the normal four year of study in three years, and take ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Courses.) Once they get the degree, and pass ROTC, they rejoin the navy as ensigns.