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Becoming a Marine Officer

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Marine Corps Officers are leaders of Marines in many Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs). This is a very select group with a prestigious path: Marine Officers are commissioned by the President of the United States and gain leadership experience far outpacing that of civilian peers.

Becoming an officer doesn't mean a career choice for life. But it can mean the beginning to a career path that gives your son or daughter the best leadership training and experience they will find anywhere.

Marine Officers are among the most capable leaders in the world. To join their ranks, your son or daughter must:
  • Be a college graduate
  • Meet certain academic requirements
  • Meet certain physical requirements
  • Complete Officer Candidates School

An Officer Selection Officer can give further detail on the eligibility requirements for officers.

Officer Candidates School (OCS) is the first test for future Marine Officers. It will evaluate candidates on their leadership potential as well as physical and academic abilities.
  • Training takes place during the summer and will not interrupt college studies
  • Candidates must pass the Physical Fitness Test, consisting of timed run, pull-ups, crunches and other qualifications.
  • Upon successful completion of OCS and their degree, your son or daughter will earn a commission as a second lieutenant, the initial rank of a Marine Officer.
After earning their commission at OCS, new officers train at The Basic School (TBS) to develop the leadership skills necessary to command a platoon of Marines.
  • Tests their tactical knowledge in order to decide, communicate and execute orders for each mission
  • Six-month program
  • Includes intensive field training and classroom exercises
An officer’s main day-to-day job involves leading Marines. Officers are assigned to their MOS based on Marine Corps needs and their individual performance, although they may be guaranteed assignment as pilots or lawyers.
  • Training for each MOS occurs after completion of TBS
  • MOSs are divided into three specialties: Ground, Air and Law
  • After their first tour of duty, officers take on leadership or staff positions inside or outside their MOS, or they are assigned to a military school.
  • Officers also have the chance to pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D.

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Comments (16)

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Nate Nathan Avatar

Supporter

I am dedicated to the Marines but the issue is that 85% of Veterans from Vietnam & Iraq tell me not to join the Marines after their service ended. Another thing is that how it says "Officers are assigned to their MOS based on Marine Corps needs and their individual performance" it is true that marines don't get many options for their career enlistment also. Not many MOS options to choose but specifically the freedom to choose your path.

Posted by: Nate Nathan on 03/17/2013

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Savannah Boisvert Avatar

Other

When I join, my goal is to be an officer. I know its gatta be tuff to become one! But I am willing to do what ever it takes to become one. URAH!!!

Posted by: Savannah Boisvert on 01/30/2013

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18

 
 
 

anthony allen Avatar

Former Marine

I am currently a 15 year old male sophomore at Sacopee Valley High School in Hiram Maine and I was wondering how to get a marine training booklet mailed to be so i can learn more about the marines

Posted by: anthony allen on 01/25/2013

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nathan mathews Avatar

Supporter

can you go from enlisted to officer? I've been wondering this for quite some time now. about 3 years actually.

Posted by: nathan mathews on 01/13/2013

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58

 
 
 

Mitchell  McGlamery  Avatar

Family

I'm currently enrolled at a Community College as a freshman. I plan on transferring to a 4 year University after obtaining an Associates degree. I was wondering how I go about trying to apply for OCS after completing my Associate's degree, and what program should I do? I'm not quite too familiar with the PLC and OCC program's, and I was wondering how I go about starting my plan of earning a spot into OCS. Can I do the 2 six week consecutive increments, summer before senior year and then after graduating? Or do I have to wait until I complete my bachelor's degree to do the full 10 week program at OCS?

Posted by: Mitchell McGlamery on 11/26/2012

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Kailee Healey Avatar

Other

I am a fourteen year old female high school student who was wondering which classes I should take to help my chances of becoming a Marine. I was also wondering which other activities I can possibly do to prepare myself for the Marines.

Posted by: Kailee Healey on 03/27/2012

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Emily Ordaz Avatar

Family

Your primary concern should be physical fitness. There are no classes that you could necessarily take that would help your chances. If you're thinking about taking the officer route then be sure to get good grades. Just read on what the Corps stands for and what is expected out of your character. Stay motivated, out of trouble, and never stop conducting research.

Posted by: Emily Ordaz on 07/02/2012

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Chelsey  Clark Avatar

Supporter

I am a 15 year old high school students who dreams of becoming an Marine Officer after college. I know that the physical demands/requirements are intense. I just want to know what king of training and/or exercises I can start doing to make sure I can reach the phhysical trainibg requirements or even exceed them?

Posted by: Chelsey Clark on 02/21/2012

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michael kreuser Avatar

Friend

i am at age 15 and wanting to become a Marine Officer. I wanted to know what classes to take in my highschool career then at the age of 17 I was wondering if i could start training ahead of time even before i graduate my senior year. and i also plan on joining as an Enlisted but because i will not have a bachelors degree when i am 17 is it possible to switch over to an Officer after i get a bachelors degree in college? and if so do i have to go through the 12 week program again to make the switch over to an Officer? Thank you for your help.

Posted by: michael kreuser on 07/14/2011

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180

 
 
 

Biagio Bucciferro Avatar

Other

I am interested in becoming a Marine Officer and I am going to be in high school this coming school year. What classes can I take to help me prepare for the Marines? Thanks.

Posted by: Biagio Bucciferro on 06/10/2011

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183

 
 
 

Davis Bunting Avatar

Other

I start NROTC Marine Option this fall and what helped me, in my opinion I can't really be sure, is the diversity of my life. I took challenging classes (either honors or college classes) and was part of a ton of extra-curricular activities, sports teams, and having a job. It never hurts to have at least a sense of what the military is about so JROTC or Sea Cadets (seacadets.org) is a plus. From what my OSO and what a retired LtCol who I would call my mentor told me was they want to see balance in your life, so doing well at everything you do and doing a lot of it. You don't need to be a 4.0 student to get a scholarship, I graduated high school with a 3.0 and a 24 on my ACT. Hope this helps.

Posted by: Davis Bunting on 06/27/2011

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137

 
 
 

NICK SALIMBENE Avatar

Friend

Marine Officers are among the most capable leaders in the world. To join their ranks, your son or daughter must:
•Be a college graduate
•Meet certain academic requirements
•Meet certain physical requirements
•Complete Officer Candidates School
What if you do not complete or pass the Officer Candidates School? What are my options?

Posted by: NICK SALIMBENE on 05/30/2011

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133

 
 
 

Community Manager Avatar

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Nick, young men and women have several paths to earn a commission at Officer Candidates School, including Platoon Leaders Course (PLC) and Officer Candidate Course (OCC). The best resource for information about specific Marine Officer requirements is a Officer Selection Officer. You can also visit http://bit.ly/hu19FA for more information on Officer Commissioning Programs. Thank you for visiting LifeAsAMarine.com.
-LifeAsAMarine.com Community Manager

Posted by: Community Manager on 05/31/2011

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133

 
 
 

Jared McCullough Avatar

Family

I am interested in becoming a Marine Officer. I realize that first, I must obtain a college degree. So if I were to sign up to be a Reserve Marine, I could fulfill my degree while serving and later attend OCS? Also, does a Reserve Marine stay on base or nearby while obtaining a degree? Finally, I will be 27 years old this month... is there an age cut-off in becoming a Marine Officer?

Posted by: Jared McCullough on 05/02/2011

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155

 
 
 

Jared Wood Avatar

Other

I'm a prospective Marine and I was wondering if you enlist before going through PLC or if you go through PLC before enlisting and then enlist after college?

Posted by: Jared Wood on 04/14/2011

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155

 
 
 

Davis Bunting Avatar

Other

I was looking into almost the same thing and what I was told is that you can do Reserves while doing PLC but it's not guaranteed. You can go active and when you've fulfilled your commitment do PLC. The upside to this is that you'll be a Mustang and generally have more respect from your enlisted Marines as you have "walked in their boots." However, the most surefire way to become a Marine Officer is NROTC, and every Mustang I every talked to has told me that if you have the option to go directly into an officer program, then do it.

Posted by: Davis Bunting on 06/27/2011

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