LtGen Heckl from Cpl Jailine AliceaSanti

Is An Officer Career Right For Me?

What it means to be an Officer

There is on average of one Marine Corps Officer for every 16 Enlisted Marines.

No matter your MOS, education level, rank, ethnicity, or background, the role starts and ends with one main purpose:

Leading Marines

We've put together some things to consider before pursuing a commission.

Lt._Gen._Frank_E._Petersen_Jr._gives_his

What Do Officers Do?

Marine Officers are the official leaders in our organization.

 

They are appointed and commissioned by the President of the United States, serving at his discretion. 

Officers will serve as commanders of units (Platoon commander, Company Commander, Battalion Commander, etc.), as unit staff officers (Battalion Adjutant, Maintenance Officer, Operations Officer, Communications Officer, etc.), and in special staff or Officer-in-Charge positions. 

In these roles, it is an officer's job to lead Marines of all ranks, establish policy, direct tasks, oversee and manage programs, and manage the morale, training, readiness, fitness, discipline, and welfare of their assigned areas. As leaders, there is far less opportunity to "do" all the fun and high-speed things you see in recruiting commercials. Your job is to train and enable your Marines to be proficient when it's time to kick in the door.

Although technical skills and career trajectories may vary, Marine Officers will work to support commanders by running directorates such as personnel administration, intelligence, operations, and other roles such as legal and public affairs, or command actual troop units for tactical employment.

There are lots of privileges with being an officer, but also substantially more responsibilities.

Major with Campaign Cover from Cpl Joshu
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Leading Marines

No matter the assignment, Officers are expected to lead from the front. This means setting the example and enforcing the standard. 

 

Any officer who has crossed the parade deck of OCS or patrolled the hills of TBS has heard the saying: "Ductus Exemplo" --  Lead by Example.  

 

To be the example Marines deserve, Marine Officers must be in top physical and mental shape. 

 

They must also posses superior analytical skills and self-control.   Marines look to their officers to display the characteristics that epitomize our organization.  

Only once an officer proves they personify the characteristics expected of them will they be allowed to lead Marines. 

 

They will be expected to employ and supervise the technical and tactical capability of the Marines which they are responsible for. 

Officers are charged with two tasks when it comes to Marines: 1) Mission Accomplishment 2) Troop Welfare

 

We lead from the front, we eat last, and we look after our Marines.

 

The opportunity to lead them is the experience of a lifetime and should never be taken lightly.  

Who Are We Looking For?

We are looking for a few good men and women.

The one who believe in something larger than themselves. The ones looking to work for more than just a paycheck.

They must be smart, physically fit, moral, possess integrity, empathy, discipline, and the ability to care for others under their charge. They must be equal parts warrior and scholar, counselor and disciplinarian, educator and teammate.

 

The Marine Corps is the least technical of all the service branches. We don't care about your college degree, your ethnicity, your politics, or much else besides your personal character, leadership potential, and if you can stand tall in front of the young men and women of this nation when they ask "what now, sir/ma'am?"

Male TBS Lt on Land Nav from LCpl Sarah
F-35 Cockpit from LCpl Karis Mattingly.j

What Is Your "Why"?

One question any Midshipmen, Officer Candidate, or Second Lieutenant will always be asked: Why do you want to be a Marine Officer?

 

Everyone will have their own answer.  Whether it be to lead in combat, family tradition, or a chance at a new challenge, everyone will have different motives to become an officer.  Some don't really know, yet each prospective officer will need to look deep into why they want to become an officer.  

Their are numerous challenges on the path to earning a commission, so individual purpose and self-motivation will be your keys to success.

© Copyright Before the Corps, 2020
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