In follow-up to the example application that Got Accepted to Marine OCS in 2012, we are publishing a letter sent in from a candidate with a strong resume who was unfortunately not selected this time around.
My OSO sent in 13 books for 211. Only 1 was accepted, and that was a reserve spot. I was not selected. In case anyone is curious, here are some of my good stats:
3.96 GPA from a competitive university
Master’s degree in economics
Fluent in Spanish
Took a leadership training program at a wilderness survival school
And some bad stats:
3 waivers: age, tattoo, drug
Not many community service-type activities
No team sports
First time applying
I imagine the board looked at my application and said, “wow this guy is really smart and fit but 3 waivers? Seriously?” I’m reapplying for OCC-R 212. Reserve is better than nothing, so here’s hoping…
Although usually a 300 PFT, 3.96 GPA, and masters degree would be a slam dunk, your application needs to be consistent across all facets, not just sparkling in several categories and deficient in others, such as bad recommendations, waivers, whatever it may be. An age waiver is a negative but can be overcome. Tattoo waivers are a shot in the dark. You never know if it will be held too much against you. Drug waiver? Now the bad news is piling up. Drugs are a huge deal in the Marine Corps. Good luck ever getting past a board with a drug waiver.
Lack of team sports and volunteer activities should be viewed as “tie-breakers” if your packet is on the board vs. an identical package, then the other intangibles will be weighed against each other.
Hopefully this post helps clarify the board process to some. Good luck to all in this very tough application environment!