Becoming a Marine

Officer Path

To earn your commission as an Officer of Marines is to prove your footsteps are worth following, leading Marines to victory through every battle.

Learning to Lead.

Fighting to Win.

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The battles faced at Officer Candidates School are intentionally difficult. It’s how the Marine Corps determines what you’re made of when times are toughest. The weight our Marine Officers carry is not in the packs they wear, but in the critical decisions they are responsible for making.

The battles faced at Officer Candidates School are intentionally difficult. It’s how the Marine Corps determines what you’re made of when times are toughest. The weight our Marine Officers carry is not in the packs they wear, but in the critical decisions they are responsible for making.

Officer Eligibility

The path to becoming an Officer of Marines begins with the Officer Selection Officer (OSO). Your OSO will answer questions and help you decide which commissioning program (Ground, Aviation or Law) best suits you and the needs of the Corps. Once you have made the commitment to become a Marine Officer, your OSO will guide your physical training regimen and prepare you for the challenge of becoming a battle-proven leader among the Few.

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    Initial Requirements:

    • Must be at least 18 years old at time of application
    • Must not have reached 28th birthday at time of commissioning
    • Must be a citizen of the United States
    • Must pass a physical examination
    • Must have a bachelor’s degree or be a full-time student at a regionally or nationally accredited college or university
    • Must attend and graduate from Officer Candidates School (OCS)
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    Initial Requirements:

    • Must be at least 18 years old at time of application
    • Must not have reached 28th birthday at time of commissioning
    • Must be a citizen of the United States
    • Must pass a physical examination
    • Must have a bachelor’s degree or be a full-time student at a regionally or nationally accredited college or university
    • Must attend and graduate from Officer Candidates School (OCS)
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    Terms of Commissioning Contract Options

    3 years active status; 5 years inactive

    8 years active status (Aviation)

    For more information about contract options, contact your Officer Selection Officer.

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    Terms of Commissioning Contract Options

    3 years active status; 5 years inactive

    8 years active status (Aviation)

    For more information about contract options, contact your Officer Selection Officer.

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    Officer Commissioning Paths

    The two most common paths to becoming a Marine Officer are the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC), which candidates may attend during summers while they’re in college, and the Officer Candidate Course (OCC), which candidates who have already earned a college degree attend. These paths represent the first step to earning a commission as a Marine Officer.

    PLATOON LEADERS CLASS (PLC)

    The Platoon Leaders Class is the most common path to becoming a Marine Officer.

    Open to college freshmen and sophomores: Must complete two six-week training sessions at OCS.

    College Juniors: one 10-week training session at OCS.

    OFFICER CANDIDATE COURSE (OCC)

    Open to college seniors or graduates: Must complete one 10-week training session. Upon completion, newly commissioned Marine Officers will advance to The Basic School as Second Lieutenants. 

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    Officer Commissioning Paths

    The two most common paths to becoming a Marine Officer are the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC), which candidates may attend during summers while they’re in college, and the Officer Candidate Course (OCC), which candidates who have already earned a college degree attend. These paths represent the first step to earning a commission as a Marine Officer.

    PLATOON LEADERS CLASS (PLC)

    The Platoon Leaders Class is the most common path to becoming a Marine Officer.

    Open to college freshmen and sophomores: Must complete two six-week training sessions at OCS.

    College Juniors: one 10-week training session at OCS.

    OFFICER CANDIDATE COURSE (OCC)

    Open to college seniors or graduates: Must complete one 10-week training session. Upon completion, newly commissioned Marine Officers will advance to The Basic School as Second Lieutenants. 

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    Officer Commissioning Paths

    NROTC (MARINE OPTION)

    If you are one of the few selected to participate in this program as a Marine-Option Midshipman, you will have the distinct opportunity to pursue this noble path while earning a degree on a college campus. Open to college-bound high school seniors and graduates: Must complete the NROTC Program and one six-week training session at OCS.  Learn more about NROTC in this video.

    MECEP (MARINE CORPS ENLISTED COMMISSIONING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM)

    MECEP is one of the most common programs Enlisted Marines use to become Marine Officers. Open to Marine Sergeants and above on active duty and in the Active Reserve (AR) program, eligible Enlisted Marines must also possess a minimum of 12 college credits and complete one 10-week training session at OCS.

    ENLISTED COMMISSIONING PROGRAMS

    The Marine Corps encourages Enlisted Marines to further their education and talk with their chain of command about the opportunity to face and win each battle as a Marine Officer. Open to active and active Reserve Marines who are Lance Corporals and above who have earned a Bachelor’s degree. Must complete one ten-week training session at OCS.

    NAVAL JUSTICE SCHOOL

    Find out how you can fight to win in the practice of law as a Marine Officer and Marine Corps Judge Advocate.

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    Officer Commissioning Paths

    NROTC (MARINE OPTION)

    If you are one of the few selected to participate in this program as a Marine-Option Midshipman, you will have the distinct opportunity to pursue this noble path while earning a degree on a college campus. Open to college-bound high school seniors and graduates: Must complete the NROTC Program and one six-week training session at OCS.  Learn more about NROTC in this video.

    MECEP (MARINE CORPS ENLISTED COMMISSIONING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM)

    MECEP is one of the most common programs Enlisted Marines use to become Marine Officers. Open to Marine Sergeants and above on active duty and in the Active Reserve (AR) program, eligible Enlisted Marines must also possess a minimum of 12 college credits and complete one 10-week training session at OCS.

    ENLISTED COMMISSIONING PROGRAMS

    The Marine Corps encourages Enlisted Marines to further their education and talk with their chain of command about the opportunity to face and win each battle as a Marine Officer. Open to active and active Reserve Marines who are Lance Corporals and above who have earned a Bachelor’s degree. Must complete one ten-week training session at OCS.

    NAVAL JUSTICE SCHOOL

    Find out how you can fight to win in the practice of law as a Marine Officer and Marine Corps Judge Advocate.

Talking with Your OSO

Before deciding if a commission as a Marine Officer is something you’re willing to pursue, have a conversation with an Officer Selection Officer (OSO). If after talking with your OSO you both decide becoming a Marine Officer may be right for you, he or she can take you through the necessary steps and help you prepare for the intense battles ahead.

Long form video highlighting the role of a Marine Officer Selection Officer.
Long form video highlighting the role of a Marine Officer Selection Officer.

Before deciding if a commission as a Marine Officer is something you’re willing to pursue, have a conversation with an Officer Selection Officer (OSO). If after talking with your OSO you both decide becoming a Marine Officer may be right for you, he or she can take you through the necessary steps and help you prepare for the intense battles ahead.