Advice For An Applicant With Waiver Issues

Applicant’s Question

I recently met with an OSO here in New York and began the OCS application process. I have great letters of recommendation, I’m in great physical shape. I’m 28 years old, and I shouldn’t have a problem scoring about 300 on the PFT.USMC-OCS-PFT-Pullups

However, I have some waivers for a work misconduct firing recently and also a misdemeanor petty theft waiver I’m submitting. I also have a 2.03 GPA which I know is really low.

Regardless, the OSO seems to like me and says he thinks I have a good shot a making it and becoming a great leader.

Any tips from you would be great and would be really appreciated. Thank you.


Your package has some holes in it with the misconduct and GPA. To be competitive on the board, your package needs to be able to explain those away to some extent. Can you counteract your GPA with a strong SAT/ACT or show GPA growth over several years? Can it be explained by working a job and caring for your mother while going to school in your limited time? Something like that.

For your misconduct, you need as many targeted, honest, clear letters of recommendation talking to the growth of your character as you can get. You’re right in not hiding or disputing what you did, but your package needs to explain how you are Marine Officer material today. Unfortunately, your recent firing does not look good at all to the board.

Other advice is to get a full 300 in the bag for your PFT and have a real heart-to-heart discussion with your OSO. His recommendation to the board can make all the difference so you need to treat that relationship with the high respect it deserves.

Your Thoughts

Do you have any other thoughts or advice? Feel free to comment below.

2 thoughts on “Advice For An Applicant With Waiver Issues

  1. I’m sorry, but I see no way this packet gets accepted. Think of the outrunning the bear analogy, you don’t have to outrun the bear you just have to outrun the guy next to you. Unfortunately for this guy, the 23-24 year old with a 3.2 gpa, 290 pft, and no waivers will be selected over him, and guys like that 23-24 year old are a dime a dozen in an OSO office.

  2. I know it might look bad, but don’t get discouraged. It certainly doesn’t hurt to try. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work… but recruiters are always looking to make a quota and if that cycle doesn’t produce many promising guys that time then you may actually have a shot. They’ll keep you around until you stop applying or become a less-decent candidate.

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