Candidate Q: Not Competitive for the Board? Now What?

Candidate Question:

Upon graduating college in 2009 I began the Army OCS and Air Force OTS application.
At the time I knew very little about the various service branches and what life as a military officer would be like.

Around October of 2009 I received a job officer to work with an alumni for a military non-profit in the Washington, DC area.

At that point in time I decided to forgo the application processes and proceed with my job in Washington, DC.

After a rewarding two and half years working for this military non-profit I finally decided it was time to apply for the USMC Officer program. Working with many of the people that I had the chance to work with and discussing with friends in the services I realized I may fit best with the USMC.

Albeit a bit too late I applied for USMC OCS through a Virgina based OSO around three months ago.

With budget cuts, decrease in recruiting etc. the process has been more difficult than I would have thought.

The communication was not great, I provided very basic information including my college, GPA, test scores, physical features, etc. through a pre-screening form.

After around three weeks of trying to figure out the process and receive more information I was told I was not competitive enough for board selection.

The GySgt I was in contact with suggested contacting my local recruiting station to discuss the reserves and the enlisted commissioning program.

I do not believe I am bigger, better, or above the Marine Corps, Enlisted Service Members, any other branches of the military or any of the sort. However through my experience, knowledge, perseverance, strength, conditioning and above all my heart – I believe I could truly be a valuable member of the world’s greatest team, leading great men and women in whatever mission or duty that is given.

I have discussed with several other Marines (Enlisted/Officer/Retired/Active-Duty/Injured) and all believe I would be a great USMC Officer. I understand recruiting is incredibly low at this point, I fully understand the entire DOD, military, etc. budgets are all being slashed etc.

I come to you with a couple questions – some people I have discussed this matter with believe I should go through a OSO office in either Los Angeles or San Francisco where I have permanent family addresses. I wanted to see if you have any advice or if you would suggest this option even though I am currently located in Washington, DC.

Also if you have any suggestions to applying for the USMC OCS at this current time I would greatly appreciate it.

Response:

Very tough luck. A few thoughts.

First, don’t give up. Several Lieutenants who followed this blog as candidates were 300 PFTers who had to apply multiple times, but were eventually successful.

Secondly, if you don’t like the treatment or opportunity at one OSO, go to another one! Sometimes there are quotas at OSOs that will already be filled so they know right up front that they can’t take you. Sometimes it has been reported that for some classes, certain OSOs will only have female slots. If you only go to one OSO, then you’re out of luck (as a male) in many cases.

Lastly, on enlisting: it has been much harder to commission coming from enlisted than just from college as a civilian. If you enlist, you need to be okay with being a PFC or Lance Corporal for 4 years. Talk to some of your military friends who can open your eyes about what that life is like.

Your decision is your own to make. Good luck and keep persevering!

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