Officer candidates choose from one of several paths to earn their commission, the official authorization that appoints them as a Marine Corps Officer.
Whichever path they choose, officers always advance. Both on and off the battlefield, officers lead the way with a sense of purpose and pride. The path
to earning a commission begins with your Officer Selection Officer (OSO), your best source of information regarding your specific circumstances. Your
OSO will also help you decide which career path is right for you. Once you've completed training and earned your college degree, you'll receive
your commission as a Marine Corps Officer.
All officers must have a degree from an accredited, four-year college or university before earning their commission. However, college students attending a two-year college may transfer to a four-year college and still be eligible. Additionally, college students can begin their path towards earning a commission while they are still in school. The Marine Corps encourages and fully supports the pursuit of higher learning and provides many incentives to assist with college tuition and other expenses.
There are various Military Academies in the United States that can lead to commissioning in the Marine Corps, including the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, MD. For students attending the USNA, tuition is fully funded in exchange for an active-duty service obligation upon graduation. Candidates seeking admission into the USNA must generally apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination from a Member of Congress.
Enlisted Marines who demonstrate exceptional leadership and a desire to always advance may talk with their Chain of Command about becoming a Marine Corps Officer. Depending on your education level, experience and goals, there are multiple programs that allow Enlisted Marines to become Officers. Some of the Commissioning Programs for Enlisted Marines include the Enlisted Commissioning Programs (ECP), the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Educational Program (MECEP), the Reserve Enlisted Commissioning Program (RECP) and the Meritorious Commissioning Program Reserve (MCP-R).