View Full Version : Question about Active Duty Life.

07-05-06, 07:38 PM
Hello, I thank you in advance for your time.

I will explain my situation. I am a college freshman about to start sophomore year. I want to eventually earn my degree, and Hopefully the Priveledge of leading Marines. Currently I am debating Reserve enlistment and attempting PLC and Active Duty Enlistment and attempting to finish my degree while Active. Even possibly considering MECEP. I have a question though about Active duty life(most likely in 03XX).

I am wondering how likely it is to have access to an internet connection for online courses or alternatively how many Marines have finished College credits while on Active duty. I really want to go active duty but I am 24(today) and runningout of time where I would be considered for OCS. Part of me thinks I should just enlist and forget about Being an Officer, but I really want earn that privelege.

So, any advice? is Active duty life all consumming to the point of not being able to get college done? (obviously I understand a deployment puts my plans on hold.)

07-05-06, 09:51 PM
Happy Birthday...!!! and
Welcome to Leatherneck...!!!

To answer a couple of your questions. The needs of the Marine Corps comes first you have probably heard that before. I don't know what you mean that you are getting too old though...?? You are young enough for most commitments that you would have to qualify for. MCEP would probably be your best way to go.

But give the site a few days and let people catchup. I was not an 03XX, but a lot of time is spent on training. I do know that for sure.

Good luck and keep posting

07-05-06, 09:58 PM
I managed to get some college credits, but it wasn't always easy. You have to plan ahead, and understand that 6 credits a year may be great.

LDO Capt
07-06-06, 03:21 PM
You can do it, it will take allot longer to get your degree, but it is possible. What you have to decide is thats what you want to do. I am not an 03, nor have I ever been one, but I have worked a flight line for over 20 years, hours that you wouldn't believe. I did not apply for a regular commision, once again its not what I wanted, I love my MOS and didn't want to leave it. There is no doubt that my degree helped in the Warrant Officer and LDO selection process.

Anyone can do anything they put their mind to, have a beer with the boys after a few days in the field or hit the books...Its up to you, no one else will make you do it.

Are you ready to accept that challange??

07-06-06, 04:08 PM
I had a friend on active duty with me, same MOS that did the MECEP program and went to college full-time (including pay!) just to attend college. She ended up a Combat Engineer and is still on Active Duty as a Major. I had several others that picked up classes here and there, depended on how much you got deployed. My particular MOS (2673 Korean Linguist) actually helped with college after I got out as I got a great deal of credit hours towards my degree AND I got the language requirement towards my BA waived as well. Just keep in mind the needs of the Corps come first, and you may find you won't have time at all for a college course, or you may have ALOT of time to take courses! It all depends (no guarantees).

07-06-06, 05:53 PM
Although I never took any college courses, I was a "computer jockey" for 8 years in the Corps. At every single duty station I was at there were Marines taking college courses at night or however they could. Many of them went on to greater things but the one thing in common with all of them was THEIR personal desire to "git er done", and so they did. If these people could do this in the early 70's I am quite sure you can do it today if that is your desire...

07-07-06, 12:37 AM
Thank you all for your help. Gysgtret In regards to my comment about age I mainly meant for MECEP If I understand correctly the cut off age is 26, and minimum rank is Corporal. Considering I am not even Enlisted yet I don't imagine I could make the cut off in two years. From what everyone is telling me it sounds like If I go enlisted then it will be possible but difficult to earn college credits.

07-08-06, 11:07 PM
I spoke directly to an academics instructor at OCS for you today. This is what he told me. Age does matter however, if you choose to go MCEP first you have to be enlisted. Second you have to be at your first duty station and have your MOS. The age can be waived most of the time and if you would like to go back to the school you are attending you can go up to 18 months under the MCEP. Waivers may be considered depending upon the whole person concept, i.e., GPA a (BIGGY HERE). Check it out and let me know what you think. Most recruiters may know this. When I was on recruiting we were required to know this but we could not do anything because it isn't directly dealing with recruiting.

07-12-06, 12:51 PM

Thank you for taking time out of your day to assist me. I appreciate the information. I had been wondering about Mecep and that cleared up a lot of questions.

07-19-06, 02:05 AM
If at all possible finish your degree and either get out and come back in as an Officer. It can be a quicker process and you'll have a better shot at choosing your field. AND you won't be competing against a bunch of NCOs who may possibly have higher pro/con avgs. If you are dead set on MECEP or PLC then good luck. Is the ECP program still an option? That's what I did. It's only for enlisted with a finished degree and it's way less competitive. MECEP you compete with guys who may or may not have completely finished school.

07-23-06, 01:25 PM
It is possible but difficult. A lot of the bases have some colleges that offer classes right on base. The selection of schools can be limited but for the most part the class credits will transfer to most other universities. As for being able to take classes on line, it shouldn't be difficult. There are either Internet cafes or if you have a computer you can get Internet service in your barracks room. If you want to go enlisted and get your degree you can go to the education office one you hit the fleet and ask about the SOCMAR Program. It's something I wish I had done.

07-23-06, 02:12 PM
One of your questions was how many Marines finished college credits on active duty. I was pretty motivated and I finished 28-hours in a 4 year enlistment. I did plenty of deploying. I know Marines that finished associates degrees in one enlistment, but that's takes a heck of an effort.

Sounds like you already have at least 24 hours. You would get at least 12 hours credit for your military experience (boot camp PE type credit, etc.) If you are obsessive about going to school on active duty, I think you could realistically get 40-hours in 4 years - maybe more. That's at least 76 hours. Of course, its possible you could go 12 hours a semester for around 3 years of your enlistment. I'm sure its been done; however, I don't know anybody that pulled that off.

You could get out go back to college and still meet the age requirements for PLC. You can do the last 40+ hours in one year (spring, summer, and fall). Its a tough year, but I know its possible, because I've done over 50 hours in a year.

MECEP is a great program. Personally, I had the GI Bill and wanted to go back to college with no strings attached. I still chose to go to OCS.

I guess the moral of the story is that you can go active duty, get your degree, and still have a shot at OCS - if you are 100% obsessive about getting your college done on active duty. There are plenty of distractions on active duty, so you've got to stay focused.

If you are in a hurry, I would consider forgetting about enlisting active or reserve and instead go PLC. Start taking 15-19 hours a semester and knock that degree out. You don't have to be a Reservist to apply for PLC. Most candidates aren't reservist. As a sophmore you can apply for PLC right now. The average age at OCS was probably around 24. I know its probably important for you to have the enlisted experience...if that's the case, I think you can definately pull it off on active duty or in the reserves.

Good luck!

07-23-06, 06:32 PM
Ah heck, the Marine Corps is run by NCO's and SNCO's not Commissioned Officers. Join the real ranks! :)

Just kidding sirs/mams. :nerd:

07-23-06, 06:57 PM
That's the truth, probably the best advice for anybody trying to get a commission.

07-27-06, 10:57 AM
Thank you all.

I was unaware that PLC was available to civilians. I was under the impression that all civilians were required to get there degree and then apply for OCS. That information gives me new options I hadn't even considered.

I think I am going to just keep working on school, and my Physical shape and see where I am at the end of this year. I start back to school on Aug 21. Maybe If I decide on reserves I will do it during the summer. A part of me really really wants to go active duty right now, and let the rest sort itself out, however I have allways wanted a commission.

Again, thank you all for your responses, I have alot to consider obviously.