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ATSB and the Marine Corps

I'm on my way to getting a guaranteed flight contract. I got a score of 7/8/6 56. A while before taking the test, my Marine Officer Instructor told me it IS pass or fail and as long as you get the passing scores (5/6/6 is what he said I believe.. That or 4/6/6) and there are contracts left, you get a contract. This is for NROTC Marine Option Candidates, I'm not sure how it works for other things.


New Member
Does anyone know if the Marine Corps values aviation applicants with civilian flight credentials, such as a PPL or higher? I know the Navy and Air Force (especially the Air Force Reserves) tend to look favorably upon applicants that at least hold a PPL. I'm seriously considering talking to a Marine OSO about submitting an aviation package. Given how competitive the commissioning and aviation selection processes are, I thought maybe having a PPL or at least some previous flight time would make my application stand out. Any thoughts? Is it worth the time an money?


New Member
My Capt. told me it could actually go against you. He said that a lot of times this just means the applicant was taught bad habits and the civilian way to fly, not necessarily the marine way. Therefore, it could be even more difficult to break these habits. He's a C130 aviator so he does have a much more critical outlook than the majority of officers on the board. What's your other stats or overall application looking like? That matters a lot, and the test itself has a big impact.


Well-Known Member

Have you spoken with an OSO yet? They will be able to answer your questions better than anybody on here. Also take a look at www.marineocs.com, it is not a very active message board, but you can get some great information there.

Don't spend your own money on a civilian ticket to make yourself look better to the board. If you want to go the PPL route, do so because you want to and will enjoy flying GA. Otherwise, use that money to pay down any debt/build a better investment portfolio. Which from the looks of your bio should not be that hard. Use that time to do community service that can exercise your leadership talent and become a PT stud. Another option is starting some graduate studies, that helped me.

Just be aware, I am pretty sure they just had boards for OCC-217 (Fall 2014 class). If you have not started with an OSO yet I doubt you would be able to get everything together for your package prior to the deadline for OCC-218 (Winter 2015), if they even have active duty air spots. Here is MARADMIN 198/14 which shows package due dates, board convene dates, OCS report and grad dates through OCC-219.

As for the ASTB, it is pass or fail in the eyes of the Marine Corps, 4/6/6, I believe. I have no experience with the new versions of the ASTB, but there is an entire thread on here devoted to it.

Best of luck.



New Member
Kquick, your OSO's experience is noted. For what it's worth, I've logged a few flight hours with two different civilian CFIs. Both of them are prior military aviators (one Air Force, one Marine). They both made the point that having some practical flying experience prior to arriving at UPT, API, etc. would beneficial. Even if the selection board doesn't value a PPL, I'll probably continuing pursuing one anyway. I just like flying. Cessna or F/A-18, I don't care! If it has wings (or rotors), I'm interested.

As far as my stats go, I passed the ASTB, but barely. I originally took the test with the intent to make application for a commission with the Navy. My scores weren't competitive for the Navy's aviation programs. After some cursory research, I might be able to pursue an air contract with the Marine Corps. I'm prior service Marine Corps anyway, so that doesn't bother me at all. I have a background in radar and avionics. I served four years active and 2 reserve, with one combat tour to Iraq. I still run a strong PFT, generally in the low to mid 280s. I'm a POST certified firearms instructor. So I volunteer time for a training agency here in town. We teach CCW/CHL classes to citizens and work with police academy recruits. I applied for and was accepted into a competitive MBA program. I haven't started yet as the program's two years in length. I'll be almost 30 by the time I graduate, so I don't know what to do there.

Given that I'm 27 I can't really put this off any longer. If I want a serious shot at flying or even commissioning, I've got to move. Otherwise I'll be too old.

LFDtoUSMC, thanks. I will check that MARADMIN out and schedule an appointment with an OSO.

Steve Wilkins

Teaching pigs to dance, one pig at a time.
Site Admin
Does anyone know if the Marine Corps values aviation applicants with civilian flight credentials, such as a PPL or higher? I know the Navy and Air Force (especially the Air Force Reserves) tend to look favorably upon applicants that at least hold a PPL.
The PPL itself is worthless to the Navy/Marine Corps. You should not pursue a PPL because you think it will make your package more competetive. Do it because you enjoy it if you do it at all.

Mr. Penisburg

New Member
I see this is an old thread, but hopefully people are still around to help me out.

I'm applying for a Marine aviator/pilot/whatever you wanna call it slot. Ive taken the ASTB twice so far, and I got a 5/5/6 and a 6/5/6, which currently puts me 1 point shy of qualifying (minimun PFAR these days is a 6). I'm obviously doing ok (qualifying) on the AQR and the FOFAR, so I want to divert my study time to PFAR categories. Does anyone have any knowlege on how to improve that specific subcategory?