Becoming An Officer

Interested in Becoming an Officer in the Marines?

The Why – The What – The How

The Why: Find your motivation

What attracts you to becoming a Marine Corps officer? Before you make a life-altering commitment, you need to examine your motivation and your perception of military life versus the reality. First, let’s consider your motivation. Many things go into possible motivation, and here are a few examples:

  • Are you patriotic? If you don’t feel like “giving back” to this country, how will you feel when you are forced to make sacrifices for it?
  • Are you a team player? Most Marine officers played on sports teams, and all of them have to be able to work well with others and for the benefit of a group, not just themselves.
  • Do you crave leadership? As an officer you will hold much responsibility and probably command many Marines.
  • Does the phrase “baddest fraternity on the planet” make you excited or does it make you uncomfortable? The Marine Corps is a proud warfighting gun club absolutely true to its stereotypes.
  • Are you going to college? A degree is mandatory for commissioned officership.
  • Do you just like Call of Duty and Act of Valor? Leadership in the Marine Corps is not a video game. It is tedious, difficult, rarely glamorous, and frequently frustrating. If you are just an armchair military buff, joining the service would be a huge blunder.
  • Do you crave meaning? As President Reagan echoed, “some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.”You will make a difference as an officer.

A new 2nd Lt takes the oath

So you want to be in the military? How about the Few, the Proud?

Have you educated yourself on all your options? If you’re not even sure if the Marines are right for you, make sure to study all the military branches to find out where you would fit in best. See a discussion of differences between serving in the Army or Marines from our friends at Future Jarheads: Should I join the Army or Marines?


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