Can I Enlist After Getting Dropped From OCS?

Candidate Question:

Will getting dropped from OCS permanently disqualify me from enlisted service?


No. Every service is always looking for a few good men and women.

You are allowed to enlist, if you really want to, after getting dropped from OCS. However, it’s roughly the equivalent of getting your degree, applying to a white-collar job at some Fortune 500 company’s corporate office, bombing the interview, then applying to be a cashier right along with the 17- and 18-year old high school graduates. If your goal is truly becoming an officer, then you should not be satisfied with an option for a wildly different career path as a “safe plan B.” Almost everyone naturally fits as an officer or enlisted. They are wildly divergent experiences in the military and especially in the Marine Corps.

Also, there’s this.

Future Jarheads: Officer or Enlisted?

Also check out the discussion on Future Jarheads about the two career paths, Officer or Enlisted?

If standing on yellow footprints at Parris Island is your goal, then make it your single-minded goal
If standing on yellow footprints at Parris Island is your goal, then make it your single-minded goal


4 thoughts on “Can I Enlist After Getting Dropped From OCS?

  1. I highly disagree with the answer to this question. We had a lot of guys in my OCS class who were previously dropped and chose to enlist. Their desire to be a Marine propelled them to excel at boot camp and then at OCS when they were inevitably accepted into the ECP program. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and had I been dropped I would have enlisted as well. The ECP program doesn’t get a lot of applicants so their packages get accepted pretty frequently.

      1. The selection rates are very low! Anywhere from 5 to 15 out of 50-60 accepted. Most of them being senior Sergeants or Staff Sergeants.

  2. I enlisted at age 24 because I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do. The Corps gave me a direction and the discipline that I needed. I can tell you that I know many 2nd Lt’s that should never have been officer material. I have no idea how they made it past the Sgt Instructors. I also know a Lt. right now who is nowhere near mature enough to lead Marines, yet he is expected to lead. I’d never trust him. My daughter is going through OCS right now. She should commission after her Sr’s camp next summer. I have told her that it is a privilege to lead Marines and if they don’t respect you, they won’t follow. If a candidate gets dropped from OCS, maybe there was a reason. If they still want to be a Marine, maybe a few years as enlisted will make them a better leader. There are some great NCO’s who should be officers, but don’t have the college degree. It’s sad that a piece of paper is what stands in the way of some great leaders.

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