Planning a Marine Commissioning Ceremony
You graduated PLC and walked across the parade deck. Now, you’ve graduated college and are ready to officially become a 2ndLt. Unlike your OCC peers, the events, location and timing of your Marine commissioning will be almost entirely up to you to plan.
Take note, even though uniforms come “tailored” you will need to get them redone by a tailor in your area. Add another two weeks onto the processing time from the Marine Shop or TBS for personal tailoring. Another consideration, most Lieutenants are going to commission from the PLC program about the same time. There is a big wave of Marines getting commissioned after spring and fall graduation. So, keep this in mind when ordering uniforms.
When your uniform arrives make sure your OSO and OSA check it over. I saw one 2ndLt commission without anyone realizing his EGA’s were both facing outboard.
Any officer with an active commission may commission you. It does not have to be your officer selection officer.
In fact, your Officer Selection Officer and Officer Selection Assistant do not even need to be physically present. Any officer (regardless of service branch) who has not resigned their commission (i.e. active, reserve or retired) can be the commissioning officer. Just make sure your OSO is informed if you want someone else to do it. Your OSA will be your default first salute, if you don’t have someone else in mind.
Venue is entirely up to you. Common ones include community centers, churches, cemeteries, and private residences. Ideally, it will have a sound system to play the National Anthem, Marines Hymn, and Anchors Away. These are part of the ceremony. Some people also want a slideshow.
The ceremony is up to your discretion. Required events include, the oath of office, pinning of your rank, first salute (don’t forget a silver dollar), and your closing remarks. Otherwise, you can plan these events and any additions as you want.
For the Marine commissioning ceremony you will need to acquire matching full size American and Marine Corps flags. If your OSO is close by, they will likely bring these. However, if your OSO is flying to your Marine commissioning ceremony, safe to assume you will need to find these yourself. Check with a local OSO, Recruiting station, VFW or Marine Corps league for the flags and stands.