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.

THE HAND SALUTE

The salute between a Marine Officer and an Enlisted Marine is more than a gesture of respect—it is a pact of mutual trust. When one Marine salutes another, it is an acknowledgement of the title both have earned.

A BREAKDOWN OF THE RANKS

The Marine Corps is comprised of Marine Officers and Enlisted Marines serving on active duty and in the Marine Reserve. Regardless of the service option, all Marines comprise an elite class of noble warriors.

1 MARINE OFFICER FOR EVERY 9.8 ENLISTED MARINES
1 MARINE SERVING IN THE RESERVE FOR EVERY 5 MARINES ON ACTIVE DUTY

Paths of Service

To serve in our Corps is to embrace the responsibility of keeping our nation safe and free. Whether as an Enlisted Marine or Marine Officer, on active duty or in the Marine Corps Reserve, your service option will define how you serve, not who you are.

PLATOON SERGEANT – PLATOON COMMANDER RELATIONSHIP

The senior Enlisted Marine in a platoon is the Platoon Sergeant. The Platoon Sergeant is normally a Staff Sergeant with a decade of experience leading Marines. The Marine Officer in charge of the platoon is the Platoon Commander. The Platoon Commander has been awarded a commission based upon demonstrated leadership potential and has the background and training to effectively communicate, plan missions and manage larger military organizations. The success of every mission is highly dependent on the teamwork between the two. See how these leaders of Marines work together in a Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Enlisted Marines and Marine Officers

Marine Officers and Enlisted Marines train together, deploy together and come to rely on one another during their time in the Corps.

ENLISTED AND OFFICER, EVERY MARINE IS A LEADER

Whether enlisted or officer, all Marines embrace the opportunity and accept the responsibility to lead. Honor, courage and commitment form the bedrock of every Marine's character, helping them make sound decisions in any situation. Though the leadership roles of Marine Officers and Enlisted Marines differ, all Marines are guided by the 14 Leadership Traits. Through training and experience, all Marines learn to serve with pride and lead with confidence.

ENLISTED COMMISSIONING PROGRAMS

There are programs in place to allow qualified and deserving Enlisted Marines to become Marine Officers. The Marine Corps encourages Enlisted Marines to further their education and talk with their chain of command about the opportunity to become a Marine Officer. To find out more about these enlisted-to-officer programs, contact your nearest Marine Recruiter.

SERVICE REDEFINED

Many Marines who have honorably completed their commitment later decide to continue or redefine their service, either on active duty or in the Marine Reserve. There are many opportunities for prior service Marines to continue the warrior lifestyle. Opportunities for prior service Marines include returning to active duty or serving in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR), as well as in the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) program. To get answers to questions about opportunities for those with prior service, request more information.

EXACTING STANDARDS

Enlisted Marines and Marine Officers wear different rank insignia but adhere to many of the same uncompromising standards. To be a Marine, either enlisted or officer, is to represent the very best our nation has to offer. All Marines are men and women who meet and exceed the highest of standards.

DIFFERENT ROLES. IDENTICAL MISSION.

Marine Officers and Enlisted Marines operate in the same occupational fields. Each field contains multiple Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs), or specific roles in the Marine Corps. Both Marine Officers and Enlisted Marines have opportunities in most fields, but they are trained to take on different roles within a field.