Mission success is heavily reliant on the decisions made by Marine Officers. When all eyes are on them, Marine Officers will have the presence to inspire, the judgment to command and the decisiveness to prevail. These officers fight shoulder to shoulder with the Marines they lead, instilled with the confidence to stand in front of—and in charge of—this elite warrior class.


Marine Officers are commissioned by the President of the United States and gain leadership experience far outpacing that of their civilian peers. Roles in the Corps are known as  Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), and each officer's MOS is assigned to them based on personal preference, personal performance, and most importantly, the needs of the Corps. These specialties are divided into three categories: Ground, Air and Law, and MOS training occurs after completion of The Basic School.

Initial Requirements

Marine Officers must be well organized but easily adaptable, contemplative but decisive, open-minded but sure. They must possess uncommon foresight and the wisdom to know when to consult the knowledge of their senior Enlisted Marines. Those who aspire to become Marine Officers must first meet several academic and physical requirements.


For those with both the desire and ability to lead a life filled with honor, courage and commitment, becoming a Marine-Option Midshipman in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Program represents the unique opportunity to begin this journey on a college campus. Request more detailed information from a Marine Recruiter about becoming a Marine Officer and college graduate through the NROTC Program. When filling out the form, be sure to check the box marked NROTC to indicate your interest in the Naval ROTC scholarship. 


The Frederick C. Branch Scholarship is an additional NROTC scholarship opportunity open to students planning to attend a participating Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Frederick C. Branch was the first African American Marine Corps Officer. In May 1943, while attending Temple University, Branch received a draft notice from the Army, but he was ultimately selected to be a Marine. He went on to complete Basic Training at Montford Point, NC, and was assigned to serve in the Pacific. His conduct earned him the recommendation of his commanding officer to attend Officer Candidates School. On November 10, 1945, Frederick C. Branch was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He went on to serve during the Korean War and attained the rank of captain before leaving the Marine Corps in 1955. In his honor, the Marine Corps offers four-year, three-year and two-year NROTC scholarships for students attending or planning to attend the following Historically Black Colleges and Universities:

  • Allen University
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Dillard University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Hampton University
  • Howard University
  • Huston-Tillotson University
  • Morehouse College
  • Norfolk State University
  • Prairie View A&M University
  • Savannah State University
  • Southern University
  • Spelman College
  • Tennessee State University
  • Texas Southern University
  • Tuskegee University
  • Xavier University of Louisiana


If you are interested in applying for the Frederick C. Branch Scholarship, and are planning to attend one of the HBCUs listed above, request more information from your local Marine Recruiter or Officer Selection Officer (OSO).