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USMC Enlisted to OCS? opinions and thoughts

enlist/Reserves or just straight apply for OCS?

  • straight apply

    Votes: 4 80.0%
  • go reserves

    Votes: 1 20.0%

  • Total voters

Noel Dandoy

New Member
Greetings all, this is my first ever post here so please bear with me and let me introduce some personal details. I'm 19 years old and currently finishing up my sophomore year of community college. I have just been accepted to a handful of CSUs and UCs and will be transferring out this fall. I need some assistance in orientating myself as to which route to take for a commission. I've been eyeballing Marine PLC for quite some time now largely due to their almighty guaranteed air contracts. Among the schools I've been admitted to, none offer NROTC. I'm majoring in business economics and currently hold a 3.4 GPA. Physically fit for the most part. After looking at the PFT numbers, I can say with confidence that a 280 or higher on the PFT could be easily achieved given a few weeks.
Okay so here's my concerns. Would enlisting as a reservist increase my chances of getting into PLC?...or am I better off saving myself the trouble and applying as a normal college student. I understand the answer to this question stems from whether or not I really want to be a marine first and foremost, and the truth is I do! I want to lead. I haven't spoken with an OSO yet, but the recruiter I've been chatting with has told me that a lot of guys get into PLC after having enlisted as a reservist and finishing their degree. I'm a little on the fence about this because I know that at the end of the day, he wants my signature. I just have this feeling that going to basic, TBS, ect. sounds like a handful when you're trying to finish up a bachelors degree. However, I'm willing to go through with it if it'll up my chances during the selection process. What do you guys think? Should I go reserves? Should party it up a bit in college first?

While my post mainly pertains to USMC, I would still heavily consider the USN. Thought?


Well-Known Member
On the USN side if you want to be an officer do not go enlisted, the search function would also answer many of your questions.


I also wanted to add that Marines isn't the only service that offers a "guaranteed" aviation slot. The only extra step they have is that you go through your flight physical before you go to OCS. When applying to OCS, you can put down communities you want to be selected into; and if you are, it means that should you graduate OCS successfully, you will have a seat waiting for you in flight school. Navy is only different from the standpoint that you do your flight physical after you commission.


Need to correct myself: You have your first flight physical on the Navy side in Newport RI when you report to OCS. So there's always the chance that you could get Whammied which is why some people gravitate toward Marine aviation. You get the flight physical out of the way before you even apply.


Well-Known Member
You're 19 so you have sometime to work with. I would say go talk to an OSO and figure out the best path for yourself. You have to be enrolled at a 4 year school to even apply to PLC so that needs to be priority numero uno. I know several guys that went the enlisted into the reserves then ended up going to OCC after. It would be a tight crunch for you if you're trying to enlist and then go PLC. I will say I know it will help your package if you're GPA isn't all that great, but if you have a 3.4 right now and can maintain that at a four year institution then you don't have too much to worry about on that front. PT is PT, just work on it, and always aim for a 300, if you fall short not too big of a deal. I have friends that were accepted with 280s, and not many guys I know can actually run a 300 PFT (including myself). My opinion is work hard in school, get some leadership and volunteering experience, hold a job, and just shoot for PLC-Air. Do your best to get into PLC since OCC contracts are a bit more competitive. Also, TBS would come after you have your degree. You will be going to basic and SOI while in school though which could become a headache will trying to finish a degree. Once again, go put on a decent pair of slacks and a good shirt and talk to an OSO though, if he is a good one he is going to figure out the best way to get you an air contract in the Corps if he thinks you're a good fit. Remember, we don't recruit officers, we screen.

When applying to OCS, you can put down communities you want to be selected into; and if you are, it means that should you graduate OCS successfully, you will have a seat waiting for you in flight school.
Just want to clarify, you're talking about Navy OCS here right?
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I was talking about Navy OCS platforms there. Marines works the same way as well though. Once you receive your acceptance letter to OCC or PLC under an air contract, the only thing keeping you out of flight school is you not graduating OCS. In that sense, both programs are "guaranteed" because you don't have to compete for a flight school slot during OCS.


It took me almost 10 years to go from E to O. If you have the degree and the grades (try to increase that 3.4 if you can), stay the course in school and get your commission. Good Luck and Go Navy.