View Full Version : Marine Officers: If you could go back...

08-04-06, 06:56 PM
To all Marine Officers reading this, that never enlisted: If you could have, would you?

And to all Marine Corps Officers that have enlisted, do you think your enlistment helped you at all?

The reason I ask this is because I have come on yet another very tough decision when it comes to joining the Corps: Should I just go NROTC, head straight for a Commision, and possibly regret never having enlisted, or enlist, and have to put college on hold for a while when I get deployed,possibly get nothing out of it, and waist the Corps time and money?


08-05-06, 12:06 AM
Where's the O'S. Don't be bashful, answer the question.

08-05-06, 01:13 PM
I didn't go to boot camp and honestly you really can't tell whether an officer went to boot camp or just went to OCS (www.ocs.usmc.mil (http://www.ocs.usmc.mil)). It all comes down to the individual and what you're looking to eventually accomplish. However, I can say this much about officers that were prior enlisted. Either they're good or they're bad, there's not much middle ground.

If you have your mind on going to college then maybe try going reserves on a split program (92 day program) then going through the Platoon Leaders Course with a Officer Selection Officer in your area. However, if you think you will get the NROTC scholarship then go for it because you will definately make out better if you go that route.

I hope this helps.

08-08-06, 06:20 PM
I've got a somewhat decent chance at getting a NROTC Scholarship, But if I don't, would it still be better to sign up without the scholarship, and wait until the board hopefully gives me a scholarship my sophomore year?

08-09-06, 02:04 PM

Zulu 36
08-09-06, 04:29 PM
I don't know what to advise, my friend. I enlisted at 17 on a delayed entry program as I didn't have money for college - or the desire to go at the time. I wanted to be a Marine and enlisting was the fastest route.

I was offered a chance to go into the MCECP when I was a sergeant, but turned it down as I was getting sour on the post-Vietnam Marine Corps. I liked being an NCO and felt I could be successful in a civilian career. I was right, although I stayed in the reserves and stayed as an NCO too.

I don't regret my choices - not that it would do any good at this point.

08-09-06, 06:05 PM
I took the OCS route after college...Decided to do college because I had the oportunity and no one in my family had done it before. Never really thought much about doing anything other than that at the time...I got the college degree; all it really did for me over the years was make me eligable for OCS.

Being a Marine is a calling and being a leader in the Marines has nothing to do with whether you are an officer or not. I have seen numerous outstanding leaders in the Corps in the NCO, SNCO and yes even in the lower ranks and some had college degrees. During my career, I asked several SNCO's with exceptional leadership abilities that were just outstanding Marines to put in for the officer program; in each case they respectfully told me they didn't want to be an officer. Looking back on that, it was probably a good thing for the Corps...They preferred to be a Marine that wore stripes...GOD Bless them too!

Want the truth...looking back on my situation...I should have enlisted out of HS in 68 gone to Nam and taken it from there. Maybe got a stripe or two and if being an officer was what I wanted to do I could put in for the enlisted commissoning program...the Corps use to and has gone back to selecting a certain number of qualified enlisted Marines into the officers ranks... Or there was the Warrant Officer Program...Maybe become one of the select few that become "Gunners"...I believe when I came in in the early 70's they only has 12or 13 Warrant Officer Gunners left. I believe the program has changed since and more have been selected and joined the warrant officer ranks. I had the degree, Viet Nam was winding down, so I decided to use it to join that Corps...figured I would stay in a couple of years and then use my degree to get a federal law enforcement job...ended up staying in the Corps because I loved being around Marines, especially the the enlisted Marines. Going to college before or after the Corps or even while in the Corps and looking back might have made no difference in my case...sometimes I still regret not going in after HS and Nam.

REMEMEBR being a Marine is a calling...that title "Marine" is what really matters...my doesn't say MARINE officer, it's just Marine. Whether you are a Private or a General you are just a Marine first...and the rank has nothing to do with now good a Marine or leader you are or were...I became a Marine before I became an officer and I am damn proud of that title...That's all that mattered to...just being a Marine.

I worked with prior enlisted Marines and alot of Naval Academy and NROTC types...the fact of whether they were prior enlisted or not had nothing to do with whether they were better or worse than those of us that weren't...I saw good ones and bad ones...backgrounds really didn't make a difference...the prior enlisted gents going through OCS with me had an advantage knowing a little something more about the Corps, but that's all. The training and the daily challenges weren't any different for them..it was all hard, all the time. Most of them came back into the Coprs after using the GI Bill after Viet Nam because they wanted to lead Marines...some made it, some didn't.

Don't make the decison to become an officer before you think through whether you first really want to be a Marine. Yeah being an officer of Marines was real special because the Marines you lead make it that way. Standing up in front of a formation of Marines is a feeling that is second to none...But I can assure you that being a Marine NCO is alot of fun and a damn hard job too!

If you are considering the officer program because of the money forget it...Being a Marine and a leader of Marines isn't about money. As far as long term benefits as an officer and having a degree, I guess they are a few...As I look at my family situatiuon, I have three brothers all of whom are or were ploice officers up north in the NYC area...none finished college, one was in the Marines with me. He was a L/Cpl and on the Silent Drill Team and at Camp David. My younger brother is a NYC Port Authority Officer and one is another retire chief of police...They all make or made more mooney than I did when I was on active duty and they all will or have a better retirement program and benefits then I do...For them this was their calling and it had it's rewards...But being a Marine is real special to me and it was my calling...maybe not with as many financial rewards, but alot of other rewards those who never served in or with MArines will never know.

It's all about just wanting to be a MARINE...It's about a Calling and if you don't have it don't fake it...it will eventually surface and your "Calling" will guide you to your leadership position in the Corps with or without a degree.

08-09-06, 06:20 PM

Retired master sergeant of Marines, Mark A. Schallow here.

I see you say you live in Jacksonville which appears under your screename. So, do you reside in the great Jacksonville of North Carolina, or one of those other ones, i.e., Florida?

If you live in the great Jacksonville of NC I will have to invite you to the next Rathole Party.

If interested, send me a PM!

LDO Capt
08-09-06, 07:14 PM

Outstanding Sir thanks for the read.

Capt G