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Basic Overview

Applications to Platoon Leaders Class or Officer Candidates Course are submitted through your local Officer Selection Office or OSO. The first step in the application process is to conduct an interview and basic screening with your OSO. If you pass the initial screening and appear to be basically qualified you may begin the application process.   Click the following to download a flow chart explaining the application process.
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As part of the application process you will undergo a physical examination, background check, and possibly some other tests to determine if you meet our physical, mental, and moral qualifications. You will also have to complete the application form and submit required medical, academic, vital, and legal documents as necessary. Once the application is complete it is ready for submission.
The application process for Marine Officer typically takes about one month, but can last a few months depending on what kinds of waivers might be involved in the application. The length of time it takes to complete an application is usually a direct result of how proactive or not an applicant is in submitting required paperwork.
Once the application is submitted, it is sent to a selection board made up of Marine Officers. The selection board meets a few times a year to select the best qualified candidates for Officer Candidates School. It usually takes a couple of weeks after the board convenes to find out if an application has been selected.
Once selected you become a candidate. At this point you are guaranteed the opportunity to prove yourself at Officer Candidate School. You will be required to maintain certain moral and academic standards in order to remain in the program. You will continue to prepare mentally and physically for OCS until the day you ship.
If you apply, but are not selected you may re-apply as many times as you wish. Often, re-applications show commitment and dedication to becoming a Marine Officer, but you better show improvement in whatever deficiency caused you to not get selected initially. Re-applications generally reflect positively on you, but if you don't improve yourself between applications it will reflect very negatively on you.

Application Process in Detail

Prospect Phase - During this phase, you will gather information in order to make a well-informed decision. The Officer Selection Office will initially screen you to determine your qualification to apply for a Marine Officer Program, conduct an interview or perhaps several interviews, and answer all of your questions. Before an interview can be conducted your OSO will fill out a Prospect Applicant Card to conduct the initial screening and gather basic information about you. The aim in this phase is to ensure that you know enough about the Marines to make a well informed decision, and for both you and the Officer Selection Officer to confirm that you are, indeed, Marine Corps Officer “material.” Married prospects are encouraged to bring their spouse to the interview(s).
Information about Marine Officer Programs can come from a variety of sources, but the best source, by far, is the Officer Selection Office. Other resources include publications, pamphlets, and brochures, insights provided by current and former Marine officers, Marine Corps Officer Programs DVD, and the Marine officer web-site: http://www.marineofficer.com. Your goal should be to learn as much as you can about our programs and what Marine officers do in order to make a sound decision about whether to pursue an application for one of our programs.
Once you make your decision to apply and your OSO completes his screening of you to determine if you are basically qualified you will enter the applicant phase.
Applicant Phase - During this phase, you will apply for acceptance to a Marine Officer Program. You will choose which option (Ground, Pilot, Naval Flight Officer or Judge Advocate) you want to apply for, but keep in mind that some options are much more competitive than others. The process consists of several different steps, to include mental testing (as required), a physical exam at a Military Entrance Processing Station, a physical fitness test, a background check, and gathering your academic credentials. This phase can be accomplished in a short period of time for applicants who meet the qualification standards. At times, an applicant will not initially meet the standard in a particular area. Through dedicated time and work, these prospects can rise to meet the standards for qualification.
The Marine Corps is looking for the applicant who is willing to demonstrate dedication and determination. This phase culminates when the applicant’s “package” is sent before the National Marine Officer Candidate Selection Board for review and competitive consideration. The Board convenes several times throughout the year to select the most highly qualified applicants.
Whole Person Concept -The Marine Corps not only evaluates test scores but also considers external activities such as community activities, school activities, sports participation, and work experience to select those candidates who will attend Officer Candidate School.  Once selected, you become a Marine Officer Candidate.

Common Marine Officer Program Application Forms

  • Application to Officer Programs
  • EPSQ Security Questionaire - OCC applicants only
  • Character Reference Cover Sheet
  • Character Reference for Dean
  • Character Reference for Employer
  • Character Reference for Professor
  • Character Reference for Other
  • Academic Certification Form- Verifies status at college and ACT/SAT Scores.
  • Blank 680- Request for examination or test
  • Blank DD 2807-2 - Medical prescreen form
  • Medical Pre-Screen Program - Program to fill out 680 and DD 2807 automatically
  • DD 368 Conditional Release from Service - Military Reservists Only
Candidate Phase - This phase is broken down into three stages: pre-OCS, OCS, and post-OCS. During the pre-OCS period, you continue to learn what will be expected of you at OCS and prepare yourself to meet those expectations. The Officer Selection Office will continue to prepare you both mentally and physically for the rigors of OCS.
The OCS period starts when you “ship” from the Officer Selection Station to Quantico, Virginia. Your Pay Entry Base Date starts here…an important date impacting your future pay as an officer. You will attend OCS for either two six-week sessions or one ten-week session, depending upon when you enter the PLC program. OCC applicants attend a 10-week course that is offered in January, June, and October. OCS is designed to test you to ensure that you possess the physical capabilities, character, intellect, and leadership potential required of all Marine Officers.
As stated previously, upon completion of OCS you will return to school if you are in the PLC program. OCC and PLC Law applicants will receive their commission upon graduation from OCS and either begin active duty immediately or go to law school if accepted to one of our law programs. Approximately four to six months prior to earning your Bachelor’s Degree, you will make the decision to accept or decline your commission. If you accept your commission, you will be appointed to the rank of Second Lieutenant and assigned to active duty (ground officers and lawyers for three and a half years; aviators for six to eight years upon graduation from flight school).
Marine Officer Initial Training Phase - All Marine officers begin their active service by attending The Basic School (TBS) for a period of about six months. As the name implies, TBS will give you the basic skills needed to serve as a company grade officer in the Fleet Marine Force. At OCS, you prove that you possess the potential to be a Lieutenant of Marines. Upon graduating from college, you become one. At TBS, you learn how to be an effective lieutenant before assuming your first assignment leading Marines.
Upon completion of TBS, you will be assigned to your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) school. Officers with an aviation guarantee will begin flight training in Pensacola, Florida. Officers with a Judge Advocate guarantee will attend Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island. Ground officers are assigned their particular MOS near the completion of The Basic School – a decision that takes into account your personal desires, your performance at TBS, and the needs of the Marine Corps. You will attend the appropriate MOS school based on this assignment. Upon completion of your MOS school, you will be assigned to the Fleet Marine Force.