Become a Marine Corps Officer | Marines (2022)

AN EXCLUSIVE CHARGE. A COLLECTIVE PURPOSE.

This Nation places its trust in its Marines to achieve victory on every front. To stand out in front of them is the exclusive charge and critical responsibility of every Marine Officer. By bringing strategy and the will of our Nation to every battlefield, it is our officers who can be turned to for accountable leadership, decisiveness, and judgment. Earning the honor of a Marine commission and wearing the mark of a Marine Officer means ensuring the success of our missions and the well-being of our Marines.

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CAPT GOLINO, OFFICER SELECTION OFFICER

Marines are leaders who defy the opposition with resilience and the will to win. It was Captain Golino’s fighting spirit that once pushed her to overcome barriers on the football field—and these challenges would ultimately prepare her for the Marine Corps. Now, she uses that same determination to fight our Nation’s battles and find the next generation of leaders as an Officer Selection Officer.

PATHS TO LEADERSHIP

Not everyone has the willingness and determination, the judgment and the leadership, or the mindset and the skillset to stand out in front of our Nation as an officer of Marines. Those who think they may will find out quickly atOfficer Candidates School (OCS), where success is only achieved by giving everything you have.

The process of becoming a Marine Officer begins with your application as an Officer Candidate submitted by the Officer Selection Officer (OSO). The specific training path you will follow depends on where you are in your college education,your qualifications, and your occupational specialty preferences.

The four most common paths to becoming a Marine Officer are the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC), the Officer Candidate Course (OCC), the United States Naval Academy and the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC).

PLATOON LEADERS CLASS

The Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) undergraduate commissioning program allows college students who are currently enrolled full time in any accredited college or university to pursue a commission in the Marine Corps without interrupting academic careers. PLC is the most common path to becoming one of us and all training sessions take place in Quantico, VA. This path has two training options:

Two six-week summer training sessions for college freshman and sophomores

One ten-week training session for college juniors

(Video) HOW TO BECOME A MARINE CORPS OFFICER | Nick Koumalatsos

OFFICER CANDIDATE COURSE

OCC is a 10-week commissioning program in Quantico, VA for college seniors and graduates interested in earning the title as a United States Marine Officer. Upon completion, newly commissioned Marine Officers will begin active duty at The Basic School (TBS) as Second Lieutenants.

U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY

Aspiring Marine Officers may have the opportunity to earn a commission by attending the United States Naval Academy. This four-year undergraduate university challenges students to overcome physical and mental battles and prepares them to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion.

NROTC MARINE OPTION

The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Marine Option allows those with a fighting spirit the opportunity to earn a commission in the United States Marine Corps as they complete their studies at a participating college or university. If they rise to the challenge, they may become officers of the Marine Corps.

MARINE CORPS SCHOLARSHIP OPTIONS

The purpose of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Program is to educate and train qualified men and women with the fighting spirit to serve as commissioned officers. As the largest single source of Navy and Marine Corps officers, the NROTC Scholarship Program plays an important role in preparing mature young men and women for leadership positions in an increasingly technical Marine Corps.

High school students pursuing an NROTC scholarship should begin the application process in the spring of their junior year. By making college more accessible through scholarships, the NROTC program will allow you to devote your time to excelling in your studies.

The Frederick C. Branch Leadership Scholarship is named in honor of the first African American Marine Officer who was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 10 November 1945. This is a subset of the NROTC scholarship. It is available at 17 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to applicants at least 17 years of age who have graduated high school or its equivalent.

The Pedro Del Valle Leadership Scholarship is named in honor of the first Hispanic Marine Corps Lieutenant General. This is a subset of the NROTC scholarship. It offers four-year, three-year, and two-year NROTC scholarships and is available at three Hispanic Serving Institutes (HSIs).

(Video) Becoming a Marine Officer

Named in honor of the first female in the Marine Corps to reach the rank of General Officer. This scholarship is not tied to a specific university.

Named in honor of a Chamorro United States Marine from the United States territory of Guam and member of the U.S. House of Representatives. This scholarship is not tied to a specific university.

Named after the first Marine African-American aviator and the first African-American officer to become a Marine General Officer. This scholarship is not tied to a specific university and is available only to college freshmen and sophomores.

Created to empower the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, United States Naval Sea Cadets, Young Marines, and the Civil Air Patrol participants. This scholarship is not tied to a specific university.

SCHOLARSHIP REQUIREMENTS:

Basic eligibility requirements for NROTC Scholarship Applicants:

  • Be a U. S. Citizen.
  • Be 17 years of age by 1 September of the first year of college and younger than 27 on 31 December of the year in which college graduation and commissioning are anticipated.
  • Be a high school graduate or possess an equivalent certificate.
  • Be physically qualified and be within height-weight standards.
  • Personally exemplify and display the following:
  • Character-Morally qualified and no record of military or civil offenses.
  • A score of 74 on the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT), a composite score of 22 on the American College Test (ACT) or a combined score of 1000 in Math and Evidence-Based Reading on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
  • Meet admission requirements of an NROTC-affiliated college or university of choice.

Oath of office

“I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So, help me God.”
(Video) United States Marine Corps Boot Camp Training - Officer Candidate School

INITIAL REQUIREMENTS

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Must be at least 18 years old at time of application

Must not have reached 28th birthday at time of commissioning

May be waived in some cases

Must be a citizen of the United States

Must pass a physical examination

(Video) How to Become An Officer In the Marine Corps

Must have a bachelor's degree or be a full-time student at a regionally or nationally accredited college or university

Must attend and graduate from Officer Candidates School

PRIDE OF BELONGING PRIDE OF PURPOSE YOUR PLACE IN OUR COMMON CAUSE

For freedom and against tyranny. For justice and against every obstacle in the way of our Nation’s prosperity. These are the battles Marines are determined to win—but make no mistake: no Marine Officer leads alone. The bonds that form between Marine Officers and the Marines in our command is one of our Nation’s greatest weapons, as it fuels the fight throughout our ranks and through every conflict. Those who earn a commission as a Marine Officer earn a proud membership in a warrior class like no other, out front and alongside our Nation’s most determined fighters.

Pursuing and achieving a commission in the United States Marine Corps requires more than a simple willingness—it requires an unwavering commitment to a purpose greater than self. When you become a Marine Officer, you fight with the trust of a Nation, to win on its behalf, and to prevail for its beliefs. Those who possess the grit and the leadership to make sound decisions that break through the noise of battle will discover their own purpose lies in the purpose of our entire Nation.

For nearly two and a half centuries, it has been our Marine Officers who have earned a storied reputation finding extraordinary ways of achieving critical victories. What is just as exceptional as the fights Marine Officers lead is the common cause that lives on the nametape above the left breast pocket of every Marine Officer. Not the one that identifies the fighter, but the one that identifies our country and its ideals. Not just Marine Officers, but United States Marine Officers.

TRAINING IN THE CANDIDATE POOL PROGRAM

We were not made into Marine Officers overnight. It was a journey that began with our Officer Selection Team ensuring we were ready for the battles ahead. If you are seeking a role within our officer ranks, the Candidate Pool Program will expose you to the physical, mental and academic challenges that must be overcome to succeed at Officer Candidates School. In this program, officer prospects will work together with candidates who are already partially trained and Marine Officers who are fully trained but awaiting selection or specific assignments. The Candidate Pool Program can be your first exposure to the sense of belonging that develops between those who fight for a common cause together.

(Video) Advice on Becoming a Marine Corps Officer

FAQs

How hard is it to become a Marine Officer? ›

Marine Corps OCS is not easy. In fact, the attrition rate is approximately 25% for males and nearly 50% for females. However, with dedication and a strong mindset – it is doable. It all depends on what you make the experience and how you handle everything being thrown at you.

What does it take to be a Marine Corps officer? ›

Eligibility Requirements

To commission as a Marine Officer, you must be a United States citizen between 20 and 28 and have obtained both a high school diploma and a bachelor's degree. Both enlisted and officer candidates must pass a criminal background check and have no felony convictions.

How long does it take to become a Marine Corps officer? ›

Most officers come straight from college. During college, candidates have to go to OCS through one of two options: a 10-week or two 6-week Platoon Leaders Course. If you're already done with college, then candidates go through the 10-week long course. The other routes are to join NROTC or attend the Naval Academy.

How many pull-ups do Marines do a day? ›

Men need to complete between 18 and 23 pull-ups on their PFT, depending on their age, to get full marks. Women need between four and 12 pull-ups on their PFT, also depending on age, to get the full 100 points on that event.

What happens if you fail OCS? ›

Those who don't pass the test the first time may retake the examination the following year by submitting a two-page repeat candidate form, an update of clinical practice hours, and current license verification.

What is the pass rate of Marine OCS? ›

“You can be dropped from OCS for a number of reasons,” said Wagner. “When dropped, the CO makes a decision on whether you have the option to reapply to another class. Typically 75% of the people dropped have the option to reapply. The success rate for someone who reapplies is not very high though, it's around 40-50%.”

How difficult is Marine OCS? ›

How Hard Is Marine OCS? Marine OCS is one of the most difficult officer training programs out there. It requires you to be physically and mentally tough while running on little sleep. One former Adjutant described the attrition rate for women at 50% and men around 25%, stating that it was, “pretty hard.”

Is OCS harder than boot camp? ›

I know someone who went from enlisted to officer and went through both, said bootcamp is mentally tough but OCS pt wise is much harder.

How competitive is OCS Marines? ›

OCS Selection Rates

Speaking from the Western half of the country – the overall selection rate was 70.1%. The average PFT was 277 and average GPA was 3.14. Prior enlisted Marines did extremely well. Air, Law, and Reserve had very high selection rates while active duty Ground was much lower.

How old are most Marine captains? ›

Marine Captain Age Breakdown

Interestingly enough, the average age of marine captains is 40+ years old, which represents 55% of the population.

Do Marine officers pick their MOS? ›

Though officers indicate their preferences, MOSs are assigned based on individual performance and the needs of the Marine Corps. Your major in college does not determine your MOS and there is no guarantee you will get your preferred MOS.

How fast do officers rank up in the Marines? ›

Time-related eligibility is as follows: O-2 to captain, 0-3 is four years in service and two years in current grade; captain to major is nine to 11 years in service and three in grade; major to lieutenant colonel is 15 to 17 years in service and three in grade; and finally, lieutenant colonel to colonel is 21 to 23 ...

Why do Marines run 3 miles? ›

The Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test, or PFT, evaluates stamina and physical conditioning. It includes 3 parts: pull-ups or push-ups, crunches or plank pose, and a 3-mile timed run. Pull-ups and push-ups are essential to building the upper body strength necessary to win battles.

How many pushups can a Marine do? ›

Male/female push-up standards (max/min)
Male Marine Push-up Standards/Age
Age GroupMinimumMaximum
17-204282
21-254087
26-303984
5 more rows

Do Marines lift weights? ›

CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii – Staff Sgt. Brett Garmon, G-4 air staff noncommissioned officer, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, utilizes the bench press and weights, while safely being spotted by Master Sgt.

Why do people fail Marine OCS? ›

These individuals often get dropped for a variety of reasons. Some don't meet the required academic standards (anything below an 80 is failing at OCS), some don't make the leadership grades, and sometimes you see people dropped for integrity violations (cheating on a test, lying, contraband, etc.).

Can you have your phone in OCS? ›

Are we authorized to bring cell phones? Candidates are authorized to have cellular phones while at OCS. Use of phones is limited by the training schedule and to certain locations.

Is there a GPA requirement for OCS? ›

The most competitive packages have a GPA of 3.0 or above, particularly if the recruit is in one of the preferred majors below and has completed a calculus and physics sequence.

What percent of people graduate OCS? ›

Probably around 10% through OCS. Getting accepted to US Army is hard, though. Maybe 50% accepted, but once accepted graduation is high. USMC gets 60-70% of its new 2nd lieutenants though PLC/OCS.

What do Marine officers get paid? ›

The salaries of Marines Officers in the US range from $10,469 to $263,230 , with a median salary of $47,907 . The middle 57% of Marines Officers makes between $47,907 and $119,200, with the top 86% making $263,230.

What do you do after OCS? ›

After completing the rigorous training at OCS that develops our sense of belonging and purpose, newly commissioned officers report to The Basic School (TBS). In this six-month course, Marine Officers are no longer being screened, but trained to be competent and capable leaders our Corps and country can count on.

Do you get paid during OCS? ›

You'll be paid as a PO2, at roughly $2,000 USD per month. You won't receive BAH or BAS while at OCS as that money goes toward the luxurious Nimitz and Nay Bed and Breakfast.

Is OCS School Hard? ›

Yes, Army OCS is very difficult to complete. Recruits go through a few stages to receive their distinction as an Army Commissioned Officer. First, you start out as a Basic Officer Candidate (BOC). The basic training phase provides an orientation on the training program as well as tests to act as baselines.

Do direct commissioned officers go to bootcamp? ›

Commissioned officers are not required to attend boot camp. To receive a commission as an officer, you must have at least a bachelor's degree in any subject. You will still be required to attend officer training to learn Navy values and the leadership skills you will need as an officer overseeing enlisted sailors.

Do you get weekends off at OCS? ›

Do you get any time off during OCS? You will have MOST weekends or parts of them off. When you are released for the weekend you must be back by 2100 Sunday, lights out is 2200.

How long is Marine Corp OCS? ›

OFFICER CANDIDATE COURSE

OCC is a 10-week commissioning program in Quantico, VA for college seniors and graduates interested in earning the title as a United States Marine Officer. Upon completion, newly commissioned Marine Officers will begin active duty at The Basic School (TBS) as Second Lieutenants.

Where are Marine officers stationed? ›

It's been said that 80% of the Marine Corps is stationed in the Camp Lejeune, NC area, Camp Pendleton, CA area, or on Okinawa, Japan.

What is a high Asvab score for Marines? ›

To join the Marine Corps as an enlisted member, you must usually take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and get a good score. The maximum ASVAB score is 99. For enlistment into the Marine Corps, you must get a minimum ASVAB score of 35.

What GPA do you need for the Marines? ›

How high of a GPA do you need to join the Marines? The minimum required high school GPA is 2.5. Besides, you must score no lower than 920 on your SAT and 19 or more on your ACT.

What brings you to OCS? ›

Entrance to OCS is obtained through the Platoon Leaders Class and Officer Candidates Course programs. Candidates who enter the Platoon Leaders Class attend either two six-week sessions or one ten-week session during college.

How tall is Marine captain? ›

Captain is the 20th rank in the United States Marine Corps , ranking above First Lieutenant and directly below Major. A captain is a Commissioned Officer at DoD paygrade O-3, with a starting monthly pay of $4,637.

Who is the oldest active duty Marine? ›

Dorothy Cole, the oldest living Marine, proudly wore the service's Eagle, Globe and Anchor as she celebrated her 107th birthday. Cole was born on Sept. 19, 1913 in Warren, Pa. A service video showed her wearing her Marine Corps League attire from Detachment 1175 in Concord, N.C.

What is the oldest age to join Marines? ›

The oldest you can be to enlist for active duty in each branch is:
  • Coast Guard: 31.
  • Marines: 28.
  • Navy: 39.
  • Army: 35.
  • Air Force: 39.
  • Space Force: 39.
14 Jun 2022

Can you back out of the military after you swear in? ›

Once a person has sworn in the second time as part of shipping out they may still be able to get out of the military, but it will involve much more time and energy. People who believe they are in this status can contact a GI Rights Counselor at 877 447 4487 to determine what options they have.

What military branch pays the most? ›

The Army offers the highest base pay, while the Air Force offers more opportunities for special pay. So, it really depends on what you're looking for in a military career. If you want to make the most money possible, then the Army is probably the best branch for you.

Can Marine officers be snipers? ›

The three-week sniper leaders course prepares junior officers and noncommissioned officers in the employment of Marine snipers. The training includes tactical decision-making, orders development, counterinsurgency operations and familiarization with weapons and optics.

What rank do most Marines retire at? ›

As a result, many career officers who are eligible to retire after 20 years of active service retire at this rank. Lieutenant Colonel is the 22nd rank in the United States Marine Corps , ranking above Major and directly below Colonel.

What rank are you after 4 years in the Marines? ›

Staff Sergeant (E-6) - 4 years TIS and 24 months TIG. Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) - 6 years TIS and 3 years TIG. Master Sergeant/First Sergeant (E-8) - 8 years TIS and 4 years TIG. Master Gunnery Sergeant/Sergeant Major (E-9) - 10 years TIS and 3 years TIG.

What percentage of officers make major? ›

Field Grade Officers

As they move up in grade, the competition for advancement increases, and promotion percentages decrease substantially. For example, roughly 80 percent of captains reach the rank of major. From major to lieutenant colonel, this percentage drops to 70 percent.

Is there a height requirement for the Marines? ›

For the Marines, height standards for male applicants range from 58 to 78 inches. Height standards for female applicants range from 58 to 72 inches.

How do Marines get in shape? ›

How to Get Physically Fit for the Marines
  1. Set your goals. ...
  2. Run five days per week. ...
  3. Incorporate a full-body weight training program into your routine at least twice per week to increase your overall strength. ...
  4. Do body weight exercises. ...
  5. Train your core muscles. ...
  6. Stretch before and after every training session.

How fast do you have to run a mile in the Marine Corps? ›

A) The required pace for each event is as follows: Marine Corps Marathon – 14 min per mile and must make gauntlets. MCM50K - 12.5 minute per mile through mile 12.25 and then 14 minutes per mile for remainder of distance.

What do Marines call push-ups? ›

Official Marine Corps Pushups - YouTube

Can you switch from Marines to Navy? ›

Once one goes on active duty, with the exception of a few commissioned officer specialties (such as a physician), one cannot simply transfer from one branch of the service to another. You have to complete a Request for Conditional Release from your current branch of service.

Why are Marines so fit? ›

The Marines use daily workouts on the ship to break up the monotony and also keep them in shape for their demanding jobs. One Marine described his workout schedule. “My routine days vary between strengthening and cardio exercises,” said Cpl.

How many pull-ups do you have to do in the Marines? ›

Men need to complete between 18 and 23 pull-ups on their PFT, depending on their age, to get full marks. Women need between four and 12 pull-ups on their PFT, also depending on age, to get the full 100 points on that event.

How much can a Marine squat? ›

Bench press 225 lbs. Military press (a variant on the overhead press) 135 lbs. Straight bar curl 115 lbs. Squat 315 lbs.

How competitive is OCS Marines? ›

OCS Selection Rates

Speaking from the Western half of the country – the overall selection rate was 70.1%. The average PFT was 277 and average GPA was 3.14. Prior enlisted Marines did extremely well. Air, Law, and Reserve had very high selection rates while active duty Ground was much lower.

What is the age limit for OCS? ›

Requirements to Join OCS

You must be a U.S. citizen and have your bachelor's degree by the time you are commissioned as an Officer. The general age requirement is between 19 and 32. You also have to be eligible for a secret security clearance.

Do Marine officers get deployed? ›

Marine Officers and Enlisted Marines train together, deploy together, and come to rely on one another during their time in the Corps.

Do Marine officers go to bootcamp? ›

Marine Corps Officer Candidates School

College students in this four-year military scholarship program attend class, receive military education and participate in Marine Corps training courses while working toward their degree.

What GPA do you need for Marine OCS? ›

Pass the ASVAB, with an EL score of 115 or better; or have an SAT score of 1000 or better; or have an ACT of 45 (math+english). Pass a physical examination. Pass, and be competitive, a rigorous Physical Fitness Test (PFT). Be a full time student with better than a 2.0 GPA.

Is there a GPA requirement for OCS? ›

The most competitive packages have a GPA of 3.0 or above, particularly if the recruit is in one of the preferred majors below and has completed a calculus and physics sequence.

How difficult is USMC OCS? ›

How Hard Is Marine OCS? Marine OCS is one of the most difficult officer training programs out there. It requires you to be physically and mentally tough while running on little sleep. One former Adjutant described the attrition rate for women at 50% and men around 25%, stating that it was, “pretty hard.”

Do you get paid during OCS? ›

You'll be paid as a PO2, at roughly $2,000 USD per month. You won't receive BAH or BAS while at OCS as that money goes toward the luxurious Nimitz and Nay Bed and Breakfast.

What Asvab score do you need for OCS? ›

Applicants for Army OCS (Officer Candidate School) must score a minimum of 110 on the Army's GT Line Score of the ASVAB. Marine Corps.

Can I go to OCS without a degree? ›

Army Reserve (USAR) OCS candidates do not require a BA/BS degree, but must have at least 90 semester hours toward a BA/BS. USAR Officers commissioned prior to degree completion must complete their baccalaureate degree prior to their consideration for promotion to Captain (O-3).

Who goes to war first Army or Marines? ›

The Marines are often the first on the ground in combat situations, leading the charge when conflict arises. They also serve on Navy ships, protect Naval bases and guard U.S. embassies. Marines patrol during a simulated embassy reinforcement.

Is the Marine Corps going away? ›

The Downsizing Has Already Begun

The process to eliminate the Corps as being a separate service branch may have already taken its first step. In March 2020, the Marine Corps Commandant announced the Corps would shrink in size. Under the plan, the units scheduled for deactivation include: 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines.

What military branch pays the most? ›

The Army offers the highest base pay, while the Air Force offers more opportunities for special pay. So, it really depends on what you're looking for in a military career. If you want to make the most money possible, then the Army is probably the best branch for you.

Is OCS harder than boot camp? ›

I know someone who went from enlisted to officer and went through both, said bootcamp is mentally tough but OCS pt wise is much harder.

Do Marine officers choose their MOS? ›

Though officers indicate their preferences, MOSs are assigned based on individual performance and the needs of the Marine Corps. Your major in college does not determine your MOS and there is no guarantee you will get your preferred MOS.

Do you get leave after OCS? ›

You incur leave days (2.5 a month) while at OCS, however, you will not be able to use them. When you graduate OCS, they will be “sold” and you will get the value of the days you have accrued. This ensures that if you don't commission you will not have a leave balance on MOL.

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