View Full Version : Stuck on a crossroad (between enlisting/going to OCS)

02-09-10, 08:32 AM
Good Morning Marines of the forum,

Im stuck here having to decide between enlisting and then becoming a Mustang,

the story is that in the end of July im finishing college with a degree in history, and a steady GPA of 3.02. Talking to my recruiter (enlisting) the soonest i can ship out would be in October. which is fine for me, the sooner the better.

On the other hand, my goal is to become a Marine Officer, (dont get me wrong though, If im a Marine, id be content) So in just the last few days ive gotten into contact with the states OSO and the Marines in the office.

without writing a whole book, the basic gist of what they told me was the likelyhood of me getting accepted into the next available class (In October) is very slim. On top of that theres a huge waiting list and frankly im not in the best of phyical condition (Must Run More!)

So this is where im stuck, whether to get into the Corps, get my licks for a few years. then hit Corpral, and decide if i want OCS then.
Or, Apply and PT, Apply and PT till i get accepted,(and even then, risk failure at OCS and not becoming a Marine period.)

To you enlisted Marines, how often do you all come across PFC's/LCpls with degree's?

thanks for taking the time to read/post,

02-09-10, 08:42 AM
I'll put my 2 cents in, you could go enlisted first and become an officer later but that is totally up to you I guess that way you would know both sides of the coin, Good Luck.

02-09-10, 09:40 AM
i have 2 Marines in my MOS school that have degrees but decided on enlisted instead of OCS. One of then is going to go after a little while and the other doesnt want any part of it. Good luck on whatever you chose to do!

Phantom Blooper
02-09-10, 09:47 AM

I will say it again...

Can't anyone on this forum make the decision for you.

You will get varying opines from every Marine on here.

The enlisted will say go enlisted.

The officers will say go that route.

You need to make your own decision.

Remember...there will be no guarantee if you go enlisted that you will be able to go the mustang route.....

Talk to an enlisted recruiter and talk to an OSO and then make your decision.

In my day there were allot of PFC's and LCPL's with degrees and going to college on base and on ship.

Statistics don't have them...however night college classes on base were always packed....and many received bachelors that I knew of.

You will find a diversity in the Marine Corps....don't assume that just because an enlisted Marine of junior grade isn't interested in the officer route that he doesn't have the credentials to be one.

When you come to a crossroad in life....shoot an azimuth and take the best road for you....remember though in todays world they all will be bumpy.....and the funding for fixing the bumps should come within.....the Marine Corps is a brother/sisterhood......but the competition is feirce....so be prepared and stay motivated!:evilgrin:

Lisa 23
02-09-10, 09:53 AM
My nephew has a degree and he's enlisted.
But like Phantom Blooper said, it's a decision that YOU have to make. The Marines here can't make that decision for you.
Good luck to you!

02-09-10, 10:47 AM
i appreciate the replies, it wasnt my intention to give the impression that im reaching out for someone else to decide for me.

ive almost made my decision,(im just waiting for my OSO contact to call me back)

other than that, i never considered how diverse the Corps can be.
thanks again Ladies and Gents.

02-09-10, 11:03 AM
With all the new policies coming out, in 3-5 years, you may not be eligible to switch from enlisted to officer, due to some tatto, or you know, what ever else they decide to dq you for. If you want to be a Marine Officer, I would say go for it now. You don't have to join as soon as you get out of college. Since you need to work on PT, the wait would be perfect for you.

02-09-10, 05:56 PM
if you will have your degree soon and you want to be an officer then don't mess around with enlisting first.

this is my personal opinion from my own experiences, takeit for what its worth to you

02-09-10, 07:11 PM
You need to make your own decision.

Weigh the (perceived) benefits/challenges of both options, and do what is best for you.

02-09-10, 10:11 PM

There are a lot of things you have to consider. I did 12 years before going the MECEP route, and had no plan on doing more than my initial four years. I will bring up some pros and cons of each route.

We dont live in a vacuum. What I mean by that is that time is ticking. I assume that you are 21-22 years in age if by normal college progression. If you choose to go enlisted first you are looking at going to OCS as early at 25? and as late as 27? Let me tell you that the Corps will age you quickly depending on your MOS. I was a grunt, so aging was in "overdrive." OCS at 27 and TBS at 30 beat the crap out of me. I made it and was able to hang but let me assure you that a 30 year old body does not have the "bounce back" that a 22 year old does.

Job Guarantee/ Job Security - Enlisted you can pick an Occ Field, a job set option, and have other guarantees. That can be good and bad. However on the officer side of the house its a mix of performance combined with luck. I have included a link to show what I am referring to.


Hopefully lady luck will be on your side.

Sacrifices will have to be made either route you take. You will never be a Drill Instructor, if that was even a faint consideration, as an officer. You will never March a platoon calling cadence after OCS. You will not be able to mold new officers, and be the sanity check for them when they want to show the platoon how great of shape they are in, as any good platoon sergeant will do. You will do plenty of investigations and will be responsible for everything that your unit does or fails to do, whether you knew about it or not. You will bail Marines out of Jail, speak for them at their NJP, and answer to god if you lose any lives. But that is why you get paid the big bucks.

Now on the other hand, the benefits of being an officer is that you have the final say at your level on any and everything that happens. Even though you may not think it at first, you do. You award the Marines who do well, and work with your platoon sergeant to fix the ones who don't. You must learn to be a leader or you will be eaten alive. But again, that is why you get paid the big bucks.

In either case, it is a hard row to hoe. (country for "tough") And either direction you go, you must understand that you are paying for the privilege to wear the cloth of our nations finest fighting force.


02-10-10, 12:39 AM
I would wait it out and get your ass in shape.

02-10-10, 01:13 AM
Well, since the chances are slim for the October class and it appears to be a long waiting list, go enlisted, then OCS. I think it would make you a more effective officer/leader if you had a taste of what life is like for those you are about to lead.