Candidate Q: Rejecting Your Commission After OCS?

Hi Sir,

I’m in the pre-candidate stage with my recruiter, and planning to attend OCS in January. I am very excited about doing this and have wanted to have a chance at becoming a Marine Officer since I was a kid.

Having read a lot of information on your website and in other places while educating myself about the OCS process, I understand that if you complete training, you don’t have to accept your commission. If a candidate did not accept their commission, what kind of discharge would they receive?

The opportunity to attend OCS and become a Marine Officer is something that I want more than anything I’ve ever wanted before. To throw the opportunity away after earning it would be a huge waste for me. Now, it was my decision to do this, and I understand how this looks, but I’m asking because my parents were curious and I want to be able to answer their questions out of courtesy to them because I feel they have the right to be informed about my plans.

Thank you for your constant work on providing this website as a helpful resource for candidates!


Sounds like you’re in the Applicant Stage.

Since you are not a Marine until you accept your commission, you do not get discharged. You will receive pay for your time at OCS and you can leave voluntarily–no-fault. You did no military service, so no discharge. When you become an officer, you will be officially admitted to the Marine Corps. OCS is basically an internship, if you want to think about it like that.

Attending OCS can have a transforming, eye-awakening affect on candidates. Those who decide the Marine Corps is not for them do good by themselves and the Corps. They also did not waste 10 weeks, as that experience will stay with them forever.

Great question to ask. It’s a surprising part of the OCS experience.

Keep up the good work!

2 thoughts on “Candidate Q: Rejecting Your Commission After OCS?

  1. I received my commission in 1972. At that time I received an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps as an E5.So it would seem that I had been in the Marine Corps receiving E5 pay prior to my accepting my commission.

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