Whats the best way?

December 12th, 2004  

Topic: Whats the best way?

I want to be an officer of Marines. How I am going to approach it is up for grabs. I do, however, want to experience the enlisted side first, for my own reasons. So, I was thinking of taking one of the following routes:
1. After High School, join the Marine Reserves and go to college while in the Reserves. After college, apply for OCS.
2. After High School, go straight to college, after college enlist, within my first enlisted ( a year or two out of SOI) apply for OCS.
3. After High School, enlist in the Active Marine Corps, and get into MECEP.
Which one of these routes would be the best one to take? Or, are there any other routes I could take, would have me be an enlisted man, then officer.
Also, how hard is it for a Marine, with a four-year college degree, to apply for OCS while active enlisted, or reserve enlisted?
If this helps, I want the MOS of 0311 while enlisted then 0302 while officer.
Thanks for any and all help.
December 13th, 2004  
You missed the one with the higher chances of recieving a commission. Enroll in college, and enroll in PLC or NROTC.

MCECP only has a limited number of slots. I personelly have not seen an enlisted Marine apply for OCS and be accepted while still serving their contract. I have seen 2 go to MCECP. MCECP is extermely competetive.
December 14th, 2004  
Thanks for your input.
December 15th, 2004  
Here is your best chance for success in all your stated goals.

Enlist and contribute to the Montgomery GI Bill. Take your entrance exams very seriously. They are the key to getting the MOS you desire and any extra enlistment incentives available at the time. Remember, enlistment incentives change depending on the status of the overall USMC recruiting mission at the time you go to the MEPS.

Leave the USMC and go to college at a school with a NAVY ROTC program. Apply for and recieve a four-year scholarship. Here is where your High School grades and the college entrance exam will be most important. Be excellent in the USMC, this is key to getting one or more senior officers to consider you "officer material". Their recmmendations WILL help you receive the sholarship. Save your money in the Marines. The scholarship and the GI BILL will give you a very large amount monthly, but it may not cover everything, depending on the school. Some states give veterans in ROTC the advantage of in-state tuition for all students. Personnally, I would recommend either of my Alma Maters, the University of Washington and Syracuse University. Contact the Professor of Naval Science at least a year out. They have recruiting mission requirments too, and will help you out if they consider you a good prospect.

While in Navy ROTC, you will have the opportunity to take the "Marine Option" where you will receive a commission as a 2LT in the USMC instead of an Ensign in the USN. Graduate with a BA in four years. The USN ROTC preferrs its students to receive degrees in science or engineering. This is not so strict for the Marine Option Cadets, but an engineering degree will take you a lot farther than a degree in European History in most every case. Choose wisely.

This is an eight year plan and will require focus and determination. Good luck.

Sorry, missed one thing.

Your four years of enlisted time will count for pay and toward your 20-year active federal service retirement. The four years as a contracted cadet will not count toward retirement, but it will count as four more years of "fogeys" for pay. So, when you become a 2LT, you will be paid at the maximum for the pay grade O-1E with 8 years for pay.

Also, when you complete your active duty requirement as an officer, if you desire to leave and do something with your degree, you can join the USMC reserve (or do some paperwork and join the Army Reserve or National Guard) and your 4 years of ROTC will most likely count as 4 "good years" toward your reserve retirement.

Also, take advantage of the summer programs in the ROTC. Go on cruise, go to Jump School if you can (probably based on an OML, so do well in both classes and military subjects). Sure, summers are fun, but these opportunities are once in a lifetime and can be very helpful when you finally step out the doors with gold bars on your shoulders.

Again, good luck!
December 16th, 2004  
Thank you very much, I never though about doing that.
So, I would enlist for four years, after the four years get out and get into a NRTOC Marine Option program, then get commissioned. My four years served as an enlisted man will count toward my retirement...that's a good option. I'll be doing some thinking.
Thanks again and thanks for the good lucks.