The Marine Commissioning Programs offered provides opportunities for enlisted Marines, college students, and high school students to earn the coveted title of Marine Officer. The Marine Corps takes incredible measures to ensure that its Officers are trained and evaluated properly prior to leading Marines.
Platoon Leaders Class (PLC)
If you are currently enrolled in college, PLC is likely going to be your best bet. The program consists of two 6-week Officer Candidates School sessions. In most cases, you will attend one session during the summer after your sophomore year and one session between your junior and senior years. However, this could vary quite a bit depending on your situation. Some PLC candidates end up waiting two or more years between sessions due to medical or other reasons. Attending PLC Seniors before you graduate college means returning to school prior to commissioning. If you attend after graduating you will commission immediately and go straight to The Basic School.
If the college you are at has an NROTC program you may want to compare the two options.
Officer Candidate Course (OCC)
If you already have a college degree and you are not an enlisted Marine then OCC is the commissioning program for you. The course consists of a 10-week session at Officer Candidates School. Essentially, the OCS program is the same as that of the two 6-week sessions for PLC. OCC is a bit shorter because there is only 1 week of in processing and 1 week of out processing whereas PLC has 2 weeks of each.
Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC)
NROTC offers prospective Marine Officers the opportunity to train for Officer Candidates School while attending college. Most Marine Option Midshipman are also able to receive scholarships to attend college. In addition to the scholarship benefits, Midshipman are only required to attend one 6-week session of Officer Candidates School in the summer before their senior year. However, being in NROTC means that you will have significant time commitments to your unit. This could impact your desire to join clubs and other social organizations. It is definitely possibly to enjoy college while in NROTC, but it is more difficult.
U.S. Naval Academy
The U.S. Naval Academy is a military university that immerses students in an environment far different from other colleges. Prospective Marine Officers enrolled at the U.S. Naval Academy are not required to attend Officer Candidates School. However, becoming a Midshipman at the academy does not guarantee that you will be able to commission into the Marine Corps. Rather, it is an opportunity to become an officer in either the Navy or Marine Corps.
Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP)
Enlisted Marine who already have a bachelor’s degree have the opportunity to become Marine Officers through the ECP. Marines accepted into the program attend Officer Candidates School and commission immediately.
Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Educational Program (MECEP)
The MECEP gives enlisted Marines without a college degree the opportunity to attend a university while remaining on active duty. Accepted Marines attend a 10-week session at Officer Candidates School prior to starting their education. Marines in MECEP become attached to NROTC units where they act as additional staff members.
Note: Prior to 2013, Marines in the MECEP attended one 6-week session of OCS prior to their senior years in college. Marines in the program now attend OCS prior to attending college.
Reserve Enlisted Commissioning Program (RECP)
The Reserve Enlisted Commissioning Program allows Enlisted Marines in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR) Program to apply for assignment to Officer Candidates School. Upon completion Marines will be commissioned as officers in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
Meritorious Commissioning Program Reserve (MCP-R)
The Meritorious Commissioning Program Reserve allows commanding officers to nominate qualified Enlisted Marines in the Corps and in the Marine Corps Active Reserve (AR) Program for assignment to Officer Candidates School. Upon completion Marines will be commissioned as officers in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.