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					                                         U . S . M A R I N E C O R P S . JR O T C
                                Category 4 – Public Service and Career Exploration
                                     Skill 2 – Opportunities in Public Service




                        Marine Officer Career Progression
                                                                  limited conditions, officer transfers are authorized
                                                                  from other services into the Marine Corps; for
                                                                  such transactions special regulations and
  PURPOSE                                                         procedures apply which are beyond the scope of
                                                                  this lesson.
  This lesson will inform you of requirements
  and ways to b ecome an officer, and explain
  some of the typical duties expected of an                                  “There are few honors that this
  officer during his or her career. Education                        country can bestow that are higher than the
  requirements for various officer ranks are also                    trust we place in military officers”
  b riefly discussed.                                                               James Webb Secretary of the Navy
                                                                                                          June 1987


                                                                  Roads to Officer Commission
                                                                         To obtain a commission in the Marine
                                                                  Corps, you may follow any one of the several
                                                                  pathways:
                                                                  U.S. Naval Academy

                                                                            The U.S. Naval Academy is open to
                                                                  civilian preparatory school, high school graduates,
                                                                  and qualified enlisted personnel from the Marine
                                                                  Corps and Marine Reserve. At present, up to 16
                                                                  2/3 percent of each graduating class of
Introduction                                                      midshipmen may be commissioned in the Marine
                                                                  Corps.
        Commissioned officers are the senior
leaders of the military. The President of the                     U.S. Military and Air Force Academies
United States appoints them and the Senate
confirms them to hold positions of authority in                            Limited numbers of graduates of West
the armed forces. To be eligible for a commission                 Point and of the Air Force Academy are also
in the Marine Corps, you must be a U.S. citizen,                  eligible for regular commissions in the Marine
morally, mentally, and physically qualified, and                  Corps, with preference going to former Marines
your application must be approved by Marine                       or children of Marines. Admission to a service
Corps Headquarters. If you are already a veteran,                 academy is primarily through a special
you must have an honorable discharge, and if you                  appointment. Competition for these limited
are a member of the reserve component of any                      number of appointments is very keen and
other service, you must obtain a conditional                      interested cadets should begin the application
release from that organization. Under certain                     process very early.




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                                       U . S . M A R I N E C O R P S . JR O T C
                               Category 4 – Public Service and Career Exploration
                                    Skill 2 – Opportunities in Public Service



Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps                          TBS where the newly commissioned officer
(NROTC)                                                         undergoes six months of intensive training to
                                                                convert the Marine lieutenant into a professional
        Any college student enrolled either as a                military officer. As part of their professional
scholarship midshipman in the Naval Reserve                     leadership training, all Marine lieutenants are
Officers’ Training Corps (NROTC) or as a                        trained to be capable of serving as a rifle platoon
“College Program Student, NROTC,” can, if                       commander. An officer receives his or her MOS
selected for the Marine Corps, obtain a                         at TBS, except for those who may be pre-
commission.                                                     designated for flight school or already attended
Platoon Leaders Class (PLC)                                     law or medical school. The MOS a lieutenant is
                                                                assigned is determined by class standing and the
         The Platoon Leaders Class is a summer                  needs of the Marine Corps.
officer-candidate program designed to train
college men and women either as ground officers
or as prospective pilots or naval flight officers
(NFO) in Marine aviation. PLC training is limited
to two summer periods of six weeks or one
summer period of ten weeks at Quantico, Virginia.
PLC candidates are recruited and processed by an
Officer Selection Officer who routinely visits the
college campus. PLC candidates may be eligible
to receive a monthly financial stipend while in
college, and their pay entry base date begins
before they even go on active duty. Over the
years this amounts to a substantial increase in
money earned.
Officer Candidate Course (OCC)

         The Officer Candidate Course is
conducted for college graduates who are over
twenty years of age and less than twenty-eight on
1 July of the year in which commissioned.
         The course provides the practical military
training needed to qualify for the specialized
training to be received as a second lieutenant. It
consists of ten weeks of intensive training at
Quantico, Virginia.
The Basic School (TBS)

        All Marines officers must attend The
Basic School (TBS) at Quantico, Virginia. It is at




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                                  U . S . M A R I N E C O R P S . JR O T C
                           Category 4 – Public Service and Career Exploration
                                Skill 2 – Opportunities in Public Service



MECEP                                                                         WARFARE/ TR AFFIC CONTROL
                                                           FIELD 73           N AVIGATION OFFICER AND
                                                                              ENLISTED FLIGHT CREWS
     Marines commissioned through the                      FIELD 75           PILOTS/N AVAL FLIGH T OFFICERS
MECEP program incur a four year obligation.                FIELD 96           SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
                                                           FIELD 9700        IDENTIFYING AND REPORTING
Marine Corps Officer Occupational Fields                   & 9000            MOSs


FIELD 02    INTELLIGENCE                                   From the Ranks
FIELD 03    INFANTR Y
FIELD 04    LOGISTICS                                               The Marine Corps pioneered the award of
FIELD O5    MARINE AIR GROUND TASK                         officer commissioned to meritorious enlistees long
            FORCE (MAGTF) PL ANS
FIELD 06    COMMAND AND CONTROL                            before the practice was accepted among the other
            SYSTEMS                                        three services. In the Marine Corps, the door
FIELD O8    FIELD ARTILLERY                                remains open through several programs.
FIELD 11    UTILITIES
FIELD 13    ENGINEER, CONSTRUCTION,
            FACILITIES, AND EQUIPMENT
FIELD 18    TANK AND ASSAULT AMPHIBIOUS
            VEHICLE
FIELD 21    ORDNANCE
FIELD 23    AMMUNITION AND EXPLOSIVE
            ORDNANCE DISPOSAL
FIELD 25    OPER ATION AL COMMUNICATIONS
FIELD 26    SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE/GROUND
            ELECTRONIC WARFARE                             Marine Enlisted Commissioning           Education
FIELD 28    GROUND ELECTRONICS                             Program (MECEP)
            MAINTENANCE
FIELD 30    SUPPLY AD MINISTRATION AND
             OPER ATIONS                                            Under this program, qualified enlisted
FIELD 31    TR AFFIC MANAGEMENT                            Marines are assigned to a special preparatory
FIELD 33    FOOD SERVICE                                   course and then to college, during which they
FIELD 34     ANAGEMENT
FIELD 35     MOTOR TR ANSPORT                              remain on active duty. On successful completion
FIELD 40    DATA SYSTE                                     of college, preceded by summer officer candidate
FIELD 41     MARINE CORPS EXCHANGE                         training, they receive commissions as second
FIELD 43    PUBLIC AFFAIRS
FIELD 44    LEGAL SER VICES                                lieutenants in the Marine Corps Reserve.
FIELD 46    VISU AL INFORMATION
FIELD 55    MUSIC                                          Limited Duty Officer (LDO)
FIELD 57    NUCLEAR, BIOLOGIC AL, AND
            CHEMIC AL                                               Warrant officers of the Marine Corps
FIELD 58    MILITARY POLICE AND                            may apply for LDO commissions in specialized
            CORRECTIONS
FIELD 59    ELECTRON I CS MAINTEN ANCE                     fields, such as administration, intelligence,
FIELD 60    AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE                           infantry, logistics, artillery, engineers, tanks,
FIELD 63    AVIONICS                                       amphibian tractors, ordnance, communications,
FIELD 65    AVIATION ORDNANCE
FIELD 66    AVIATION LOGISTICS                             supply, food, motor transport, and aviation.
FIELD 68    METEOROLOGIC AL AND
             OCEANOGR APHIC SERVICES                       Warrant Officer
FIELD 70    AIRFIELD SERVICES
FIELD 72    AIR: CONTROL/SUPPORT/                                 Senior sergeants and staff non-
                                                           commissioned officers may obtain appointment as




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                                        U . S . M A R I N E C O R P S . JR O T C
                                Category 4 – Public Service and Career Exploration
                                     Skill 2 – Opportunities in Public Service



warrant officers (WOs) in specialized fields.                    at positions where a great amount of expertise and
Because qualifications for LDO and WO vary                       experience is required.
appreciably from time to time, the requirements
                                                                 Company Grade
for such appointments are not summarized here.
Temporary Officer                                                        Lieutenants and captains are company
                                                                 grade officers. Lieutenants most often serve as
        In addition to the established programs                  platoon commanders. The platoon commander is
discussed so far, authority exists in law to issue               responsible for all matters pertaining to the care
temporary commissions as second lieutenant and                   and growth of the platoon. This includes the
above to selected warrant officers and enlisted                  well-being of personnel, operational training, and
men in order to meet pressing or particular needs.               the maintenance of any organic equipment.
                                                                 Lieutenants serve in different billets such as
                                                                 company executive officer, staff positions, and as
Commissioned Officer’s Rank                                      platoon commanders. This is based on their areas
Structure                                                        of experience.
         The officer’s rank structure is divided                           The captain is the highest level of the
into: Warrant Officers, Company Grade Officers,                  company grade officer ranks. They primarily serve
Field Grade Officers, and General Officers. The                  in two billet areas. Captains usually serve either as
company grade is made up of captains and                         a company commander or as a staff officer on a
lieutenants. The field grade ranks consists of                   battalion or regimental staff. At the headquarters
majors, lieutenant colonels, and colonels. At the                level, there are five staff sections. These sections
top of the officer rank structure are the four                   are administration (S-1), intelligence (S-2),
general ranks. These ranks include brigadier                     operations (S-3), logistics (S-4), and civil affairs
generals, major generals, lieutenant generals, and               (S-5). Staff officers perform two functions: direct
generals.                                                        their assigned sections and perform as advisor for
                                                                 their area to the commander. The Captain as a
Warrant Officer                                                  commander is responsible for the personnel,
                                                                 equipment, and operational commitments of a
          There are four levels of the warrant                   company-sized unit.
          officer ranks. These levels are warrant
                                                                         As a senior company grade officer, the
          officer (WO-1) and chief warrant officer
                                                                 captain will want to attend a “Career Level
          (CWO-2 through CWO-5). Marine Corps
                                                                 School” to further his or her professional military
          warrant officers are normally appointed
                                                                 education. A few such schools are: Amphibious
from the NCO ranks. Though warrant officers
                                                                 Warfare School, Advanced Artillery School,
"come up through the ranks," it should be
                                                                 Advanced Communications Information Systems
understood that they are not enlisted personnel.
                                                                 Course, and many more.
They are commissioned officers subject to the
same special responsibilities as are other officers.
A warrant officer is a technical, expert who fulfills
billets in highly specialized fields. They are placed




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                                        U . S . M A R I N E C O R P S . JR O T C
                                Category 4 – Public Service and Career Exploration
                                     Skill 2 – Opportunities in Public Service



Field Grade                                                      organizations as with Marine Forces Atlantic
                                                                 (MARFORLANT) and Marine Forces Pacific
            As officers are promoted, they serve in              (MARFORPAC). General ranking officers also
             a great variety of billets depending on             serve in staff billets on the commandant's staff.
             their    experience      and    military            Brigadier, major, and lieutenant generals occupy
            occupational specialty. There are two                all of the previous billets mentioned. However,
chief billets occupied by majors: the executive                  there are only two Marines who hold the rank of
officer at the battalion level and staff officers at             general. The commandant who is in charge of the
the regiment or battalion level.                                 Marine Corps and the assistant commandant who
        Lieutenant colonels serve as battalion                   is the "right hand man."
commanders and as staff officers at higher
headquarters. The highest rank of field grade is
the colonel. Colonels command regiments or their                 Conclusion
equivalent and serve on division, group, and wing                         During this lesson, you have learned
headquarters staff.                                              about officer commissioning programs, the
                                                                 different rank structures in the Marine Corps, and
         Majors also continue their professional
                                                                 officer education. This information provides you
education by completing the resident or
                                                                 with a better understanding of the rigorous
correspondence course of an “Intermediate Level
                                                                 process involved in becoming a Marine Corps
School.” The Marine Corps Command and Staff
                                                                 officer. 
College, The Army Command and General Staff
College and The Navy’s Naval War College are
just a few of the military school’s a major may
attend. Even Lieutenant Colonels are expected to
continue their education. At this stage in his or
her career the officer attends a “Top Level
School” such as the Marine Corps War College,
The Army War College, or The Air War College.
While colonels seldom attend a formal school,
they may fulfill a fellowship or special assignment
to enhance their professional knowledge.
General Grade

                As previously mentioned, there are
                 four ranks of the general grade.
                Marine generals command Fleet
Marine Force (FMF) units such as infantry
divisions, aircraft wings, and force service support
groups. They also command non-FMF units. An
example of a non-FMF billet would be
commander of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
General grade officers also command higher-level




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       U . S . M A R I N E C O R P S . JR O T C
Category 4 – Public Service and Career Exploration
     Skill 2 – Opportunities in Public Service




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