Service Options

Active or Reserve, enlisted or officer, as one of the Few, you will forever be known by the title you earn: United States Marine.

Ready at All Times

Ready to supplement the active-duty forces when needed, the Marine Corps Reserve is critical to the Marine Corps' ability to provide a balanced, prepared force. Marines in the Reserve go through the same intense training and work in the same Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) as their active-duty counterparts. However, with the ability to train part-time with a Marine Corps Reserve unit near home or school, these Marines can continue to pursue a full-time civilian career or an education. To get answers to your questions about joining the Marine Corps Reserve from a Marine Recruiter, please request more information


Marines in the Reserve maintain civilian commitments but are ready to support the Marine Corps in major combat assignments, humanitarian efforts and national emergencies. They must live up to the same standards as all Marines. Reserve Marines go through the same 12 weeks of Recruit Training, work in the same Military Occupational Specialties as active-duty Marines, and are required to meet nearly identical eligibility requirements. If you have questions about eligibility requirements in the Marine Reserve, a Marine Recruiter is your best source of information.


Marines in the Reserve are a vital element of the overall combat readiness the Corps demands. They may be called upon to strengthen active forces in peacetime and in time of war, provide support during national emergencies or lead community service efforts like the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. You can find out more about becoming an ambassador for our Marine Corps and your community in the Marine Reserve by contacting a Marine Recruiter.


Those who serve in the Marine Reserve remain part of their communities, not just as citizens who reside in them—but as Marines who serve them. Being a Marine in the Reserve requires the ability to balance both military and civilian commitments. By learning how to meet the demands of both worlds, Reserve Marines gain confidence in each. Honor, Courage and Commitment are the core values Marines live by—whether on a military installation or in the civilian world.

The Reserve Officer

A Reserve Officer must meet the same qualification process required of a regular, active-duty officer. Upon completion of OCS, TBS and MOS school, the Reserve Officer will be assigned to a reserve unit. Reserve Officers have the option to choose the location where they will serve, often near their hometown. They commit to training one weekend a month and two weeks a year. The rest of the time, the Reserve Officer enjoys a civilian life, but is ready to be called into action at any time.


After successful completion of Marine Corps Recruit Training and becoming proficient in their MOS, Marines in the Reserve begin their duties as a Reserve Marine. From this point forward, training periods are called drills, which usually occur one weekend every month and two weeks each summer (full-drill status). The last portion of their commitment is spent in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) where they are not obligated to participate in military activities unless specifically called upon to meet support requirements. Enlistment term options include:

  • The first six (6) years are spent in a drilling status with the last two (2) in the IRR. Those who wish to participate in the Post-9/11 GI Bill must choose this program.
  • The first five (5) years are spent in a drilling status and the last three (3) will be as an IRR member.
  • The first four (4) years are spent in a drilling status and the remaining four (4) in the IRR.


Some of the benefits and responsibilities you can expect in the Marine Corps Reserve include:

  • Marine Reserve units are often located near your home or school.
  • Training with full pay one weekend per month and two weeks per year.
  • Guaranteed Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) at time of enlistment.
  • Advanced MOS training and leadership opportunities that will help you in all aspects of your life, including your civilian career.
  • The same recruit training and formal schooling as active-duty Marines.

OCC Reserve

Reserve Officer opportunities are available through the Officer Candidate Course Reserve program. Becoming a Reserve Officer necessitates the same requirements as that of a regular, active-duty officer. The only difference is that upon completion from OCS, TBS and MOS school, the Reserve Officer will be assigned to a reserve unit instead of a regular active-duty unit. Just like Reserve Enlisted, for the Reserve Officer, there is a training commitment of one weekend a month and two weeks a year versus full-time active duty.