What does the Marine Corps offer me?

Opportunity: What does the Marine Corps offer me?

Becoming an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps offers one of the most important opportunities you could ask for: the chance to prove that you are the best, that you have the mettle to be a leader in the most demanding of circumstances. The management skills, leadership ability, and discipline you acquire by successfully completing an officer commissioning program in the Marine Corps will prepare you for a rewarding career, both in the Corps and beyond.

In just 10 weeks of Officer Candidates School, the Marine Corps gives you the kind of challenges that will convince any employer that you are management material–a test that often takes years to pass in the corporate world.

But Marines will quickly tell you that the Corps is really not about a “job thing.” As valuable as the job opportunities are, Marine Corps officers say that their greatest reward is the pride of being part of an elite group known around the world for its honor, integrity, and valor. It’s a pride that’s personified in the image of the Marine in uniform: dress blues crisp, medals shining, eyes focused, shoulders firm. Sharp.

Becoming a Marine Corps officer takes hard work, commitment, and patience. You’ll undergo a rigorous training program that will test your physical and mental strength. No one who’s been there will tell you that preparing to be a Marine officer doesn’t mean sacrifice.

But here are two important things that you won’t have to give up:

You won’t have to give up your identity.–While the Marine Corps has a firm commitment to eliminating all racial bias from its environment, you don’t have to take off your identity when you put on your uniform. In act, as a Marine officer, you will play an important role in learning and teaching others about working and living with a diverse group of people.

As Major Mike Davis, an African American with 16 years in the Corps, puts it, when you become a Marine, “you do have to conform to a different set of standards, but you are the same individual.”

You won’t have to give up your dignity.–There’s no question that Marine Corps officer training is a tough, demanding, “in your face” kind of experience. It’s no place for faint hearts and thin skins. But it’s also no place for put downs, name calling, or ethnic slurs. Marine Corps training policy doesn’t allow them. And the type of stress that you will have to submit to is designed to teach you how to function well under pressure, how to prioritize a heavy task load, how to maintain your composure and focus on the goal–skills that will serve you well both in the Marine Corps and in the outside work world.

The opportunity that comes with being a Marine officer is won with excellence. If you meet the challenges and excel, you will reap the rewards.

Copyright Black Collegian 1996

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