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Thread: MECEP Package Advice
08-23-11, 02:50 PM #1
MECEP Package Advice
I am interested in any sort of advise I can get my hands on, in regards to being a more competitive FY 2013 MECEP applicant. I am familiar with the FY 2012 MARADMIN, eligibility requirements, and package requirements, but I am interested in learning a little more about what areas I may be able to improve to make my package more competitive. I would also be interested in what fields are generally overlooked, so I do not waste too much time with them e.g. MCMAP, Completing ACT & SAT in addition to just AFQT, MCI's, etc. I will be waiting until FY 13 due to TIS & Rank requirements currently being unfulfilled.
15 Credit Hours (3.75 GPA) Eng & Math Req. Fulfilled
2yr 8mo TIS
Tentatively Meritorious Sgt
64 MCI's (Sgt Non-Res Complete)
4.7/4.7 Avg Pro/Con in Grade
4.5/4.5 Avg Pro/Con in Service
Awaiting New scores for ASVAB
Collateral Duty Inspector
Top 50% HS Grad Class
From the sounds of it, a lot of packages are criticized due to their incompleteness. I have contemplated contacting an OSO, but it may be a bit early in the process. My hopes are to have everything put together perfect for when the time comes, due the the extensive nature of the package.
I look forward to hearing some of your feedback.
08-23-11, 06:20 PM #2
Make sure you identify a school you want to go to that has an NROTC program. The program takes time to get into. If you don't know how to use Naval formatting on documents you need to get assistance with it to ensure you cover all the basics. Most of the documents you need Admin can print in a matter of minutes. If they don't let me know and I will get you what you need.
08-24-11, 07:12 AM #3
I have some really in-depth info on the package review process. I can send you what I got once I get back from leave on the 28th.
08-25-11, 02:33 PM #4
Beltayn, that would be awesome! I will shoot you a PM with my E-mail. Whenever you get a chance I would really appreciate it!
USMCCP, Do you how/where I could get a full list of NROTC schools?
08-26-11, 10:48 PM #5
I'd have to dig it up, but I think I have a "sanitized" copy of my MECEP package I could email you if your interested. Also, if for whatever reason your admin cant help you out when the time comes, email me your electrons and I'll look it over for you.
This link will let you know what school's you'll be eligible for: http://www.collegeprofiles.com/rotc-navy.html
Also, once selected, you'll get several letters from different NROTC's around the country trying to get you to go there.
For your package from what you put I'd say your looking alright, I'd work on the PFT, you're going to want a minimum of 280, as well as get some more college under your belt.
08-27-11, 07:05 PM #6
Some good gouge I've found:
Just spent two weeks at Harry Lee Hall choosing the next generation of Marine officers at the FY10 MECEP selection board. The board agreed to recommend 100 superbly qualified candidates. I've got some gouge on the process I'd like to pass along--it is applicable to both your future candidates and how you, as RSs and RO's, write FITREPs:
Your candidates record is distilled into a 3-4 min brief like the following:
Briefer: "Here is Sgt Marine. He has a tattoo waiver. He is a 7202 and currently serving at PP&O. He has 5 years time in service, and has been a Sgt for 18 months. He is currently 23 yo and should be 27 at the time of commissioning [MECEP requires a waiver for a commissioning date past 30].
As you can see from his picture, he is 71", 185 pounds and looks immaculate in uniform. His current PFT is 300 and his last two PFTs were 300. [Expect CFT to become part of the briefing process for FY11]
He has excellent test scores: SAT of 1400, ACT of 31, GCT of 135, and AFQT of 95. He graduated Omro, WI High School with a 3.5 and was 4th out of a class of 96. He attended 1 year at the University of Wisconsin and earned a 3.0 before enlisting. He's currently enrolled in Central Texas and taking Core Classes (Calculus, English II, Comp) and holding a 3.9 GPA with 4 classes remaining until he earns his AA.
Following boot camp, Sgt Marine went to MCT and on to primary MOS school, where he was the Honor Grad. He deployed to OIF twice and earned a NCM during deployment. He earned the billet of Senior Weapons Director, which is a 1stLt caliber billet and was nominated for the Aviation C2 Marine of the Year. He was Meritoriously promoted to Cpl in 2007 and combat Meritoriously promoted to Sgt in 2009. PME is outstanding, he's completed 11 schools and SNCO Career course as well as 41 MCIs. He wears the GREEN Belt. Adverse Material: Sgt Marine received a 6105 counseling at MCT for underage drinking in the barracks. He addressed that incident in his essay and shows contrition and responsibility to the event, and chalks it up to immaturity.
Sgt Marine has a 4.7/4.7 PRO/CONS for service and has three FITREPs. He has two reports in the upper third and one in the middle third. He has an excellent RO profile, with 342 below and 18 above. Both RS and RO's provided (2) breakout comments to include: Maj Smith (RS): SNM possesses maturity, initiative and drive to operate successfully at the officer level, as he's doing it right now. Strongest recommendation for commissioning programs; LtCol Smithy (RO) writes: "Concur with RS, Sgt Marine is highly recommended for the MECEP program."
Marine has three LORs, one from his company commander, one from his squadron commander, and one from a professor at CTC. All letters paint a picture of a mature, driven, creative Marine who has a real thirst for knowledge with limitless academic potential.
Sgt Marine's essay is neat, concise, and clearly articulates why he wants to be a Marine officer. I was particularly impressed with this part of his essay:
The Interview board recommended "With Enthusiasm" and further highlighted his composure, bearing, and desire to become a Marine officer. Received endorsement of "With Enthusiasm" up the Chain of Command. His squadron commander ranked him 1 of 2, the Group ranked him 1 of 8, and 2d MAW CG ranked him in the top third of 18 applicants. Wing CG further added "Sgt Marine scores a 300 on the Integrity PFT. He's clearly earned the right to the opportunity to become an officer of Marines."
Pros: High test scores, 300 PFT, excellent essay, honor grad/meritorious promotions, demonstrated academic excellence.
Cons: p. 11 for underage drinking 4 years ago.
Summary: He's a winner with a excellent record. I rate him a 6"
That's pretty much it. I presume that the same is the case for promotion and other boards, not only for enlisted Marines. However, here are the things I keyed on for MECEP selection:
1. Test scores. A 90 AQFT or a 1300 SAT is hard to ignore. Most officers today don't have that kind of test scores. That grabs attention. However, if your Marine has a 78 [Minimum to apply is 74], that is equally unimpressive. A Marine could really help his cause by taking the SAT and scoring highly. A smart kid will score highly on one of the tests and elevate his stock.
2. Demonstrated leadership. Not surprising, a Cpl acting as squad leader in leadership is impressive. Doing well in MOS schools and establishing a record of leadership successes adds a lot to the Marine's package. Too many Marines failed to articulate (or have someone write a letter articulating) their leadership opportunities.
3. Hidden facts: SRBs just don't do a good job of capturing the nuances of a Marine's career. If a Marine was an Honor Grad or Marine of the Quarter or even Meritoriously promoted, the briefer wouldn't know about it the Marine didn't include that in his Essay or have a Letter/FITREP articulate it. DON'T ASSUME the briefer will know these smaller, but very important details!!
3. FITREPs. Obviously a big deal. The applicant can't necessarily change this, but RS's and RO's can really help there Marines with key comments. Most RS's and RO's filled their Section I and Section K's respectively with a bunch of superfluous language that does nothing but make the Marine happy. Reviewers: Be concise and direct. If you've got a fast-burner who might be good for officer programs, put that in. Briefers are looking for promotability, officer selection, or SDA/independent billets. Retain? Obviously. I've considered writing: "Briefer: SNM exhibits outstanding integrity and leadership. He is imminently qualified for promotion, officer promotions, and independent duty. Brief him as a 6" That's really all it gets down to, so consider what you need to write and what is just filler.
4. Essay. This is the wild card that can make or break a Marine on the fence. There were plenty of Marines that I rated a 5 that became a 4 after a poor essay and likewise went from 4 to a 5. 6s were usually 6s because everything was excellent. Three keys to a successful essay
* Discuss why you want to be a Marine Officer. I'm not going to put words in their mouths, but you guys know what needs to be in there.
* Highlight areas that might not be readily available in the SRB, such as Honor Grad, Marines and NCOs of the Quarter, Meritorious promotions etc. This is their opportunity to sell themselves.
* Discuss their past mistakes. Some of the best essays I read were by Marines who made stupid mistakes (shoplifting in high school, NJP as a LCpl, drug waiver for entrance, etc). Addressing these issues head on and discussing how they learned from their mistakes is actually rewarded in this forum. We as leaders all made these mistakes and either got caught and learned from them or didn't get caught but learned the lesson anyway.
5. PFT. If a Marine is hovering around the 230 range for his career, forget it. S/He can do excellent in every respect, but if we don't think he'll make it through OCS, he won't get the slot. I 285+ PFT is ideal, but the candidate really needs sustained average above 265 to be competitive.
6. Actual College. Lots of strong candidates did atrociously in high school, finishing safely in the bottom 5% of their class. However, they got great college scores. Be careful, however. A 4.0 from two classes in basic comp at Central Texas College does not equal a 3.0 from Univ of Texas in Calculus. Reviewers check the transcripts. Again, if a candidate has some tough core college classes, he should highlight that in his essay. Point here is that good college grades can demonstrate the capacity for complex learning even if the candidate was a poor HS performer.
7. History of success. Lastly, I personally took a look at an intangible for "winners." We all know who they are--guys who aren't the smartest, fastest, or that don't even test that well. However, these are the guys that GSD--Get S#@! Done. They finish at the top of their class in every class and are the go to guy for a lot of things. They are usually the Color Guard NCO and the guy you want to represent you unit. In other words, a winner. These guys simply WILL NOT FAIL at college or OCS. Sometimes, a good CO's letter will highlight that and sometimes it comes from the letter. If I thought the guys was a winner, I always bumped him into the 5 or 6 ring.
08-27-11, 07:06 PM #7--As far as your major, it doesn't really matter as long as it is accredited. So basically, no "General Studies" degrees. I wanted to do electrical engineering but with a family I didn't think I could pull it off. So I went with building science (construction management). I joked about changing to music education and the MOI told me that was fine. But I didn't. I changed to Finance and graduated a full year early.
Tuition Assistance and VA Benefits
--You may not use TA while in MECEP. This doesn’t apply between selection for the program and actually starting MECEP Prep. You may use your VA benefits while in MECEP.
Things you can do to help yourself
--The most important thing is (went through this my last year I applied) that the title 'education officer' does not convey any special knowledge on the individual. Start now reading MCO 1560.15L (MECEP order) and the last year or two's MARADMINs regarding the programs. Learn them inside and out. Practice putting together an application yourself (formatting everything you need to type) so that next year when it comes time, you will have an idea of what everything should look like. Typically the role of the education officer involves signing TA paperwork and not much else. Don't let an education officer who is uneducated on enlisted commissioning programs screw up your chances of getting in.
--Start working on your personal statement. Start thinking now about which schools you might want to pick. Make 3-5 choices, if not more, have 1 or 2 serious picks and a few backups. I can't tell you how many times I changed my mind. Sometimes it was because I just realized I didn't want to live in the town the school was in, in one instance I called the MOI for basic information on their NROTC program and he threatened me on the phone because I wouldn't give him my SSN.
--Definitely ask around your squadron and see if there are any MECEP grads you can talk to. I never really talked to officers unless I had to, but once they started to find out I was leaving for MECEP, most of the officers in the squadron stopped by to tell me good luck and give me hints to make it through college, OCS, and TBS.
--Once the board gets closer, you should have by that point contacted a couple of your serious choice schools and talked to the MOI. This may have changed but when I was trying to get in, I was told that a few MOIs from around the country are there during the selection process, so it never hurts for someone to know your name and know that you've been actively trying to find out about their program.
--Between now and when you apply, talk to whatever officers write your fitrep. Tell them your intentions and ask them if they can make appropriate (positive) comments about your potential for service as an officer, and to give you a break out (such as "in the top 5% of Sgts I have ever worked with" or "one of the top 3 SSgts I have ever had in my command") on your next fitrep(s). That advice was given to me both by MCRC and by the enlisted career counselors.
--Also, don't know if I mentioned this earlier, don't be afraid to 'draft' your own endorsements and report of interview board. You know best how to highlight your strengths and if you give the board and the CO some good things to work with they just might use it. My last year, I wrote my board report, squadron CO's and group CO's endorsements. The board read it and signed WHAT I GAVE THEM. So did the squadron CO. The group CO made one minor change to fix some wording he didn't like and signed what I had written.1) Personal Essay- Limit this to two pages, do not include any frivolous info. Keep it personable, positive, and commentary. Include "Why you want to be a Marine officer? and why you think they should select you to earn a commission on the Marine Corps' dime.
2) Make sure your official photo is current and on file.
3) High School transcripts- highlight your class standing and GPA. This will help the screener, and will win you some cool points. Those two are the only two things they care about on the t-script.
4) Letters of Recommendation- Have at least three in your package. Make sure they're from commissioned officers that were in your chain of command, or are in your chain of command. Letters of Rec from third cousins who served in the Army Air Corps thirty years ago will not even be looked at.
5) Make sure your OMPF is squared away. Order a copy and go over it with a fine-tooth comb. They will pull this and have it at the board for review. The more complete it is, the better your chances.
6) Ensure your command, or whomever does your first endorsement, gets confirmation of receipt after they send it up to the next higher level. You may need to stay on top of them to get this done, but you need to make sure that it isn't just sitting on someone's desk (because this HAS happened).
7) Make sure your SAT is current and you score 1000 or better. If you took the AFQT you must score 74*. *This may vary from year to year, check the most current MARADMIN.
8) A 22-min run time on the PFT will make you money on getting picked.
08-28-11, 02:26 PM #8
Wow, a lot of good info in here. I really appreciate it! This was exactly what I was looking for when I created this thread!
Sir, if you don't mind sharing, I would greatly appreciate it! I would hate to see my whole package go down the drain because it was incorrectly formatted. I am currently working on the weak points you pointed out, in hopes of having a package that really stands out when the time comes.
My E-mail address is Zac4g63@Gmail.com
08-30-11, 03:58 AM #9
I looked around, and I think that most of my files are in the back of my storage unit, so that email is going to have to wait until I'm done with TBS in late October. Sorry about that, but I will get it to you once I have access to all my stuff.
05-31-12, 07:24 PM #10
I know Its been a little while, but I'm finally starting to put my package together and was wondering if you still had any of that stuff sir? I have started obtaining some of the enclosures that will go with it and formatting the package, but theres still probably an endless amount of questions that could be asked. Any guidance that will help my package get as far as possible is greatly appreciated!
06-01-12, 08:21 PM #11
Sure, I've got it on my computer at work, I'll get it to you Monday. There have been a few changes since I put my package together so it wont be a 100% solution. The MCRC website has all the information you should need. If you google MCRC and MECEP it should pop up with all the additional information you'll need.
03-09-13, 07:39 PM #12
MECEP Package or Recommendations
I'm interested in submitting a package for MECEP next year. Is anyone able to give me some insight on how to or where i can get enclosures for the Package.
03-10-13, 11:37 PM #13
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