1000w_q95 (56).jpg

Getting Ready

Preparing to Start your Officer Journey

Unlike the Enlisted Marines with the Yellow Footprints, Officers can take any number of paths to earning their commission.


No matter which route you take, there are common things you can prepare for. 

Leadership & Character Evaluation

Physical Training

5 Paragraph Order

1000w_q95 (57).jpg
1000w_q95 (58).jpg

Leadership & Character Evaluations

As a candidate and an actual Marine Officer, you will consistently be evaluated on your ability to lead Marines.

When you begin your process of pursuing a commission, consider what your values are and what actions embody those. When you meet with your Officer Selection Officer, Blue and Gold Officer, or approach your Chain of Command, be prepared to discuss what you believe and how you live that every day.

As a candidate, Midshipmen, and Marine, you will receive evaluations on your performance. Factors like judgment, decision making, initiative, setting the example, and more are critical factors used in determining your fitness for a commission.

You will be evaluated not only on your leadership of subordinates, but of peers. Your peers and evaluators will judge your character, moral integrity, and overall performance. Prepare to have every action scrutinized.

Be honest and unafraid to uphold the standard. The fact you are the type of person even considering becoming a Marine Corps Officer likely means you are already different than most of your peers at whatever your current stage of life.

Relax and live your life in line with your values. The rest will sort itself out as you navigate the process.

Physical Training

The Marine Corps is built on discipline.  Being physically fit is to master oneself. Through your commissioning program, TBS, and into the fleet, your Physical Fitness will be paramount. 

We have broken down the physical fitness requirements you will want to strive for in order to earn your commission at our Physical Preparation page.

The importance of being physically fit before you approach your OSO or shipping to OCS cannot be overstated.

1000w_q95 (59).jpg
1000w_q95 (60).jpg

5 Paragraph Order

As Officers, anything you say to a Marine junior in rank is construed as an order. Written orders are the most significant.

The Military standard format is known as the 5 Paragraph Order

An introductory orientation section, followed by:

  1. Situation

  2. Mission

  3. Execution

  4. Administration and Logistics

  5. Command and Control

This will be one of the most important skills you will be evaluated on at OCS and TBS, so getting familiar early will set you up for success on your journey.

To master the Five Paragraph Order, click here.