In order to remain on active duty after your initial obligation you must have completed all doctoral degree requirements and have obtained a state psychology license. Those who do not meet these requirements are subject to separation from service or reclassification into a different military occupational specialty for the remainder of any service obligation.
There is no pressure to make a career commitment to the military in order to attend an Army Internship. The decision to remain on active duty following the initial 3-year term of service is a personal one, based on professional practice preferences and family considerations. For many Army psychologists, a 20-30 year active duty career "evolves" as the rewards and benefits of the military lifestyle consistently outweigh other career options.
A normal tour of duty is three to four years, with assignments available in the continental United States as well as in locations including Alaska, Hawaii, Germany, Italy, and Korea. Each assignment is unique with a specified "mission." A typical career includes several different types of assignments such as direct support of combat units, chief psychologist at small military hospitals, faculty member or director of training at an Internship or Residency program, and assistant chief or chief of a medical center psychology department.
In addition to the variety of assignments which provide a rich diversity of clinical experiences, the Army offers post-doctoral fellowships to active duty psychologists in the areas of Clinical Neuropsychology (offered at San Antonio Military Medical Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Tripler Army Medical Center), Clinical Health Psychology (offered at Tripler Army Medical Center), Clinical Child/Pediatric Psychology (offered at Tripler Army Medical Center), and Forensic Psychology (offered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center). Fellowships are available to active duty psychologists who have completed their doctoral degree and obtained their state license; fellows are selected via a "best qualified" process.