Becoming a Marine at USNA
During your time at the Naval Academy you have the opportunity to participate in programs that will provide further exposure to the Marine Corps. You will learn about the Marine Corps' mission during your second class summer while on PROTRAMID. If you are considering a Marine Corps commission you must attend Leatherneck during your 1st class summer. On a case-by-case basis, midshipmen will be authorized to attend MAGTF instead of Leatherneck. Information and guidance on these programs can be obtained from the company mentors assigned to each company in the Brigade. We also encourage you to approach and talk to any of the Marines on the Yard about the Marine Corps. To learn more about the selection process for becoming a Marine Corps Officer from the Naval Academy, explore Marine Selection.
Career Options for Marine Corps Officers
As a 1st class Midshipman, you may choose a career in the Marine Corps as a Ground Officer or a Marine Corps Aviator. After graduation, you will attend The Basic School to become more proficient in the professional knowledge and skills necessary to be effective in leading Marines. Upon graduation from The Basic School, you will have the opportunity to serve in one of many Military Occupational Specialties (MOS's) throughout the Marine Air Ground Task Force. To see what options are available to you, and to learn more about each, explore the official Marine Officer Career Tool and view each of the sections below.
The Basic School
If you are selected to serve a leader of Marines you will attend The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Va. Upon completion of TBS, second lieutenants will proceed to either flight training or training for their military occupational specialty (MOS). Once all specialized training is complete, you will be prepared to join the Operating Forces.
The Basic School provides the foundation of professional knowledge and skills necessary for you to effectively command and lead Marines. In the six-month course, TBS will transform you from a newly commissioned officer into a skilled and capable leader. TBS places particular emphasis on the warfighting skills required of an Infantry Platoon Commander. Senior officers will mentor second lieutenants throughout the course of training in TBS, thus giving you the opportunity to develop your own leadership style.
The Basic School provides training that builds leaders.
- You will face a demanding swim test at TBS, which includes swimming 40 meters with full gear and weapon, jumping off a 3-meter platform in boots and utilities, and retrieving another Marine's pack from a distance of 25 meters.
- You will spend about three weeks on the rifle and pistol range honing marksmanship skills.
- You will learn to hike in full combat gear beginning with distances of three miles and building to 15 miles with rifle, pack and helmet.
- You will train with live ammunition both on static ranges and moving, live-fire exercises.
- You will lead Marines in offensive exercises.
- You will put all of your military training to the test near the end of the course in the five-day offensive/defensive exercise and a four-day combat exercise, which begins with a helicopter assault.
As a Marine Corps ground officer, there are a variety of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS's) available to you. Approximately half way through TBS, you will have the opportunity to indicate preferences for an MOS as well as a geographic duty assignment. You should begin thinking about this opportunity now and give this matter the serious consideration it deserves.
A few points to consider:
- The Marines aboard the Naval Academy represent a significant number of the MOS's available and are eager to discuss them with you
- Formal instruction at TBS will introduce you to most occupational fields
- The officers who serve at TBS represent the majority of occupational fields and welcome your questions at any time
- MOS's are awarded on merit and the specific needs of the Marine Corps; most officers will get one of their top three choices
- Entry-level MOS schools range in duration from six weeks to six months
- After successful completion of TBS, your first assignment will be to an MOS school
- The varied nature of these assignments help produce well-rounded Marine Officers capable of leading in many different areas
You will be one of the few people in the world qualified to wear the Marine Corps Wings of Gold. You will push your own limits and those of your aircraft as you carry out the mission of Marine Aviation, that of close air support for the ground combat element. With some aircraft capable of flying twice the speed of sound - and often no more than 500 feet off the ground - you will clear the way for Marines advancing toward a target.
In addition to flying their aircraft, pilots are assigned leadership positions within the squadron such as Operations Officer or Maintenance Officer.
Because of the precise demands of the aircraft and their integral role, Marine Corps pilots undergo the longest and most extensive training in the Marine Corps.
Specialized training for Marine Corps Pilots and Naval Flight Officers takes place in three phases: