Current policy on Graduation Studies for those elect to become Marines

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by ktnatalk, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    This was sent to all Mids by the Brigade Academic and Assistant Operations Officer regarding U.S. Marine Corps graduate education policy this month:

    Below are some frequently asked questions on USMC Graduate Education. Hopefully these clear up any issues.

    Are Marine selects allowed to participate in the VGEP program?

    No. Marines cannot under any circumstances participate in VGEP. This is a set in stone policy coming directly from a three-star general. Do not question it.

    Why aren't Marine selects allowed to participate in VGEP?

    Graduate education is not required for the majority of billets in the U.S. Marine Corps. In addition, choosing to participate in VGEP could potentially stagnate a young Marine Corps junior officer's career. If a Marine were to participate in VGEP, their career track would be thrown off by approximately two years. This would in turn screw up their fitness reports and potentially hinder the fleet experience they get, which ultimately could result in less of a likelihood for future promotions. This policy is actually looking out for your best interests.

    Are there any graduate education programs Marine selects can participate in?

    Yes! IGEP is an option. If you have been selected for Marine ground, have a 3.65+ GPA, and find a program less than or equal to one year then you very well may qualify for IGEP. However, there are only 5 USMC slots per year. Marine selects with avation contracts are exempt from participating in IGEP. No exceptions.

    Would it be possible for me to pursue graduate education once I have a few years of fleet experience under my belt?

    Absolutely! In fact, there are built in periods of time in a Marine's career track where they could possibly attend graduate school. In addition, numerous USMC officers have no desire to attend graduate school. So, the odds are heavily in your favor to pursue graduate school after you have been in the fleet for a few years!
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    In many ways I agree with this policy. A grad degree is not needed to lead Marines at the Platoon level. We had some guys who had done their grad stuff first before TBS. So 1.5-2 years of studies, TBS, then MOS school. They could not end up in the fleet until the 3 year mark and even slightly longer if they have a long school. Pilot... They wouldn't hit the fleet until the 5ish year mark. That is 1 fleet tour of observed fitness report time before screening for Major. On the ground side they essentially get a senior 1stLt who should be done with Platoon Commander and looking at XO billets to move into Company Command. Now they have someone 2 years behind their peers. I have seen this with flight school drops. We get someone behind their peers by 2 years and it hurts them. That early on it can impact their progression. I had a classmate who went to Oxford for 2 years then to BUDS. He didn't last two weeks where his classmates had all trained like crazy together and made it. That gap crushed him. There are tons of opportunities to get your grad degree post your first fleet tour.
     
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  3. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    Agree, Hoops. Just want to put it out to help manage expectations.
     
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Agree 100%. Shouldn't even allow the IGEP program. Marine Officers need to hit the fleet and lead Marines.
     
  5. nuensis

    nuensis USNA 2016

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    The rationale against VGEP makes no sense. If anything VGEP takes less time (1 more semester) in comparison to IGEP. There's TAD 2ndLts that mill around the Academy shuffling paperwork well into the fall before reporting for TBS. That's a difference of three months or so, not two years.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I did notice that nuensis and was wondering how they allow IGEP. If anything VGEP they really hit TBS in January timeframe after they graduate. IGEP is 18 months at a minimum. Once again... Things that just don't make sense!
     
  7. bandad

    bandad Member

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    Not Marines related, but I understand there is no VGEP funding for '17 USNA VGEPers as well (for a total savings of "up to" $220K). If I am reading the tea leaves correctly from afar, it sounds like grad school options are being diminished, and the focus is to get grads to the Corp/Fleet. Not saying this is good or bad, but I hope grad school options are clearly communicated up front...
     

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