What does it take to become a Marine Corps officer?

Preparation: What does it take to become a Marine Corps officer?

First of all, becoming a Marine Corps officer requires at least a bachelor’s degree. So staying in school and getting your diploma should be a top priority if your goal is to become one of the few and the proud.

The Marine Corps offers five major commissioning programs:

Platoon Leaders Class (PLC). For freshmen, sophomores, and juniors.

You’ll complete two six-week summer training sessions (or one ten-week session for juniors) at Officer Candidates School, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia. All travel and living expenses are paid for by the government, and you’ll receive payment for your time. Plus, you can apply to receive $150 per month for a nine-month school year in exchange for additional active duty obligations. There also are special PLC options for positions in aviation and law.

Officer Candidates Class (OCC). For seniors and college graduates.

College seniors and graduates can attend a 10-week session in the fall, winter, or summer and be commissioned as second lieutenants upon completion. All travel and living expenses are paid for by the government, and you’ll receive payment for your time. This program also offers the law and aviation options.

Marine Option Naval Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (NROTC). For those who are just about to enter a college or university, there is a Scholarship Program available at more than 50 schools nationwide. Participants receive tuition, textbooks, fees, and an allowance of $150 per month for a maximum of 40 months. You will attend a training program each summer you are in school. However, the Scholarship program requires early application in your senior year of high school.

If you are already in college, you can choose the College Program under the NROTC Marine option. This program pays a $150 per month allowance during the junior and senior years, but no tuition or fees. It requires one six-week summer training session.

Women Officer Candidates Program (WOC). For juniors, seniors, and college graduates.

This program involves the same 10 weeks of summer training offered in the Platoon Leaders Class for juniors and the Officer Candidates Class for seniors. Those who complete the session following the junior year are eligible for financial assistance as seniors. This program also offers law and aviation options.

“The way women are trained is evolving to where the requirements of women and men are more equal,” says Colonel Al Davis, commander of Officer Candidates School.

U.S. Naval Academy. Graduates of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, receive the Bachelor of Science degree. Upon graduation, you are commissioned as either a Navy ensign or a Marine Corps second lieutenant.

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