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thedrifter
07-28-06, 09:36 AM
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (July 27, 2006) -- The Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program’s existence is no mystery to most enlisted Marines, but many don’t know how it works.

The MECEP program is outlined in Marine Corps Order 1560.16L and the requirements to enter the program are explained in detail.

Until recently, the program was only open to enlisted Marines who were corporals or higher, but as of last year there is no minimum grade requirement.

MECEP applicants must have an Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test general technical score of 75, must be between the ages 20 through 26 and must be a high school graduate, according to the order.

Also, Marines must take the Scholastic Aptitude Test and receive a score of 1,000 combined math and verbal, which can be taken at most Marine Corps installations’ education office.

They must also complete a series of tasks before submitting the package to the Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, which include a commanding officer review board letter, officer recommendations, photographs, medical examination, a handwritten essay and a contract for obligated service after completing school.

When Marines are selected for the program they maintain the rank they left active duty with and receive basic pay and basic allowance for housing at the location of the university they attend, according to the order.

Also, they are responsible to pay their own tuition either through use of the Montgomery G.I. Bill or other financial means such as loans or saved income.

MECEP Marines must also attend a university that has a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment directly affiliated with the school. They are also required to report to the local recruiting station for administrative purposes and must complete their bachelor’s degree in four years, according to the order.

After graduating, the Marines attend Officer Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., and upon completion they are commissioned a second lieutenant in the active Marine Corps and are obligated to four years of service.

“It’s one of the best programs the Marine Corps has to offer for Marines who want that extra leadership challenge,” said 1st Lt. David A. Merles, who completed the MECEP program and is currently operations officer for Combat Logistics Battalion 22, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group. “It’s also a demanding program. I went to the Citadel and had a good Marine Officer Instructor.”

Merles had some words of advice to enlisted Marines interested in the program.

“It’s a serious commitment for yourself and the future Marines you will lead,” said Merles. “While you’re at college, you have to ignore the temptations and keep your eyes on the prize.”

Ellie