Marine option chances?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by tsearcy, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. tsearcy

    tsearcy Member

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    I have received my nomination to attend the Naval Academy and I was wondering how difficult it is to graduate as a Marine officer. That is my goal and I really do not desire to be a Navy officer nearly as much as a Marine officer. I know I am not guranteed to be admitted even after recieving a nomination, however, I am seriously interested now. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Service selection assignments are not made until the end of the first semester of your First Class (i.e. senior) year.

    There are quotas in just about all categories and they seem to be more stringently invoked than they have in years past. Whether you get what you want is heavily biased toward a combination of your class standing and your individual aptitudes. In other words, just because your class rank is higher than somebody else does not necessarily mean you will get what you want over that person.

    The academy has been sending record numbers of graduates into the Marine Corps the past few years - as you might suspect would be the case in a time of war in areas such as Afghanistan.

    If that's what you want - and you do well - you should be able to get a commission in the Marine Corps. It is not as selective as some of the other service selections - unless you want to get Marine Air.

    You cannot, however, individually select Marine Air and Marine Ground.

    First they select you for Marine Corps and then they decide whether you get an aviation contract or not. In other words, you cannot want to be a Marine aviator and be unwilling to be a Marine grunt.

    Get used to this phrase: ... the needs of the Navy.

    You shouldn't consider military service if you find all options, other than what you want, to be unacceptable.

    There's nothing wrong with wanting to go to the Naval Academy and be a Marine - but be prepared to serve in a submarine. The past few years they have been drafting midshipmen, involuntarily, into that service selection.

    Of course, the administration would never characterize it in that way. They practically force you to put all possibilities on your preference card. There's almost no way around it. And when they give you your third choice, they say, "Hey, it was on your preference card". That's how they get around saying that you were "forced" to serve. You "asked" for it.

    As a graduate - I find their current system somewhat discouraging. In my day, it was rare that somebody did not get something they were qualified for. The only disappointments in my day were:

    1.) Those who wanted to fly but did not physically qualify - usually because they did not have 20/20 uncorrected vision. There was no corrective procedure in those days.

    2.) Those who wanted to go Nuke Power (i.e. subs) but didn't have the grades.

    Submarines were actually quite popular in my day. Nowadays, they are relatively unpopular.

    I'm sure they must have had quotas in my day - but I do not recall those quotas being advertised or invoked. It seemed they had more flexibility.

    Service Selection was not nearly as stressful in those days as it is these days.
     
  3. tsearcy

    tsearcy Member

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    I see. Thankyou for the reply. That was very helpful. Like I said, I do want to be an officer in the Marine Corps, however, I am not set against being a Naval Officer. If for some reason I was not able to get the spot I desired, I guess that would be balanced by the great experience the Academy offers. It is just somewhat frustrating that someone from a public university can go to OCS and become a Marine and I might not get that chance if I attend one of the greatest schools in the world. Oh well, I guess it is a chance I will take if accepted.
     
  4. NorthernCalMother

    NorthernCalMother Member

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    Tsearcy, you're wise to look @ the issue this way.

    One of the things USNA does extremely well is expose Midshipmen to the various communities available to graduates. You may be surprised to find other options that appeal to you. While Marines may be your #1 choice now, it's good to get in depth knowledge re: other military options before you commit years of your young life.

    A month or two ago, when my 1/C Mid was being "encouraged" to look @ submarines after wanting Marine ground for years, he wondered the same thing -- why did he go USNA when OCS @ a traditional university would have virtually guaranteed USMC? I'm happy to report that ultimately he got what he wanted, but Memphis is right: if you pursue USNA, you do need to memorize the phrase "needs of the military."And if you think you want USMC, you need to be in the most awesome shape of anyone on I-Day and throughout your time @ the Academy.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Just a point of information, assurance, to give you some encouragement and clarification. Should hers be the case, and we may trust its truth in this situation, I'd bet my entire marble collection that he was the only 1/C Mid coming into that stressful service selection wondering if he should have gone somewhere else that he might be "guaranteed" to be a Marine. Even at OCS, ain't no such thing as a guarantee, beyond the one I'll give you. 100% ...ok, make it 99.95% "pure" ... are mighty proud to be knocking the ring they've earned the past 3 1/2 years ...and that an OCS commissioned will envy the rest of his life. And that ring and the unique experience and relationships that come only with such a ring will take that USNA ring-knocker places 6 weeks in Rhode Island will never.

    Just to be clear, lest you're tempted. USNA vs. OCS or even USMC ROTC???? Imo, that's the no-brainer of all time. Nary a regret'll be yours. Guaranteed.:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  6. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    The last I heard, Marine Air and Marine Ground were totally separate selection processes.
     
  7. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    As I know it, both Memphis and Mongo are on the $$. What Memphis may be saying, if I understand correctly, and "fits" into Mongo's valid point is ...

    ALL USMC candidates must both exhibit great desire and performance @ USMC screener-type activities @ USNA and at Leatherneck summer camp, before he/she has a shot at USMC ground OR air. Now, I've no idea what goes on behind the curtain, during the actual selection, i.e. are they first chosen as Marines, then sub-divided into ground vs. air. (However, Mongo's point is clearly understood when Mids are determining their "prefereneces" in early fall semsester. My understanding is that a Mid desiring USMC air places himself @ great risk of disappointment, IF he fails to put USMC ground as his 2nd choice from USMC air. Said a bit differently, should a Mid put his #1 choice as USMC air, #2 (for example) as Navy air, #3 SWO ...well, in such a case, the implied message might be flight before Marine. And as everyone knows, Marines want only those who first and foremost want to be in the Corp!

    Conversely, and shifting gears somewhat, when service selection comes, Mids are specifically informed, in certificate-form, if they've been chosen for Marine air or ground. And I'm not sure of the specifics, but my understanding is that once at TBS, they are allowed to further specify, dependent upon their performance and ranking there. For example Marine intell, etc. Perhaps others might clarify, expand on this?
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  8. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    btw, as you may note on the Service Assignment thread ...PT's noted that 18+% of Mids have been assigned to Marine Ground, and including Marine Air ...almost 26% (dare I say, "just a hair under"???:confused:)of the Class of 2011 got their heads shaved on 01 December. :eek::cool:
     
  9. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I agree with you 100%!

    I think midshipmen who have been appointed to the United States Naval Academy, endured their rigorous 4-year curriculum, who are physically & academically qualified, should never be the victim of some quota as far as service selection is concerned.

    It is my opinion that there should be some assignment perk for being a graduate of the Naval Academy. Whatever manning shortfalls that exist should be filled from within the ranks of NROTC, OCS, and whatever other commissioning sources are out there. At a minimum, they should have a flexible quota - perhaps they get a +/- 15% allowance of the prescribed quota.

    The class of 2011 only had nine selected for Medical Corps when there were ten slots available (despite the fact they used to advertise twenty-five slots along with a highly misleading "Fulfill Your Destiny" video). I sure didn't see them force anybody into that tenth slot as they do with submarines. I'm sure they just shrugged their shoulders and said, "I'm sure we can find somebody to fill that slot from a civilian institution." Uh - yea!

    If the Navy sets a goal for 135 assignments to submarines out of the Naval Academy and they only get 102 - then I say they should get those other 33 slots from the University of Whatever. Surely, there's some responsible NROTC midshipman, in the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, who has had most of his summers off and has been partying the past FIVE years who would make an outstanding submarine officer.

    As you can tell, I'm not a big fan of the turn Service "Selection" has taken in the past decade or so.

    The academy smugly pronounces that over 90% of the midshipmen get one of their top three choices - as if there is little difference between zipping your Super Hornet between sun-lined clouds at the speed of sound -or- lumbering in the dark, icy depths of the North Atlantic at 20 knots. Sometimes that's the difference between your first and second choice - I can't imagine what getting your third choice is like.

    Ahhh - don't pay any attention to me. Admittedly, I'm very cynical on this matter. Perhaps too much so.

    If you keep an open mind and don't set your heart too much on one thing - you won't be disappointed.
     
  10. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    :thumb:Indeed, any fair-minded person embracing the concept of earning what we merit will hop on-board w/ Memphis.

    Here's the reality ...trying to balance personal preferences, prolonged personal performance, and professional needs.

    Just like picking up teams on the playground, it'd not be much of a game should all the good shooters, hitters, kickers, or dodgers be allowed on one team.

    And this game, and it's various teams are ultimately about 2 fundamental issues that have little or nothing to do w/ what I "want."

    1. Defending and preserving our great nation and even more so the great notion. Freedom. We are the last great hope for that one, and our young men and women in uniform are OUR LAST GREAT HOPE. No matter the delusion, the idea that is perpetuated among our alleged "intellectual elite" that the world might be negotiated, deliberated, and economized into a peaceful, wonderful world where we're all eating the very same TV dinner tonite...is the greatest myth ever hoisted this side of Heaven. And that is a horse of a different color.

    2. Providing leaders who can and will do all they can to preserve that LAST GREAT HOPE.

    And that's all I have to say about that!

    P.S. While not a popular notion among non-Academy-icians ...the unstated notion in the "allocation" or quota-izing of slots might well be interpreted that indeed the best, most qualified, experienced and proven candidates are from one source, USN or other services cannot afford to have them go where they might. They are too valuable for such. Even what was once "lowly Cleveland" had LeBron ...well at least for awhile. But perhaps LBJ's lesson for any Mid ...keep working and doing what the draft dictates. One day, you'll be able to say where you'll play. :thumb: "Pass the sun-tan lotion, bro!" :cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  11. 2013MidDad

    2013MidDad Member

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    Whistle Pig: It is something less than 26% when you recall that the females selected for Marines kept their hair on 12/1. I would be interested in seeing the Male/Female breakdown of all the numbers. Do not know if that info is available.
     
  12. MakeItHappen

    MakeItHappen Member

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    Relevant info from CuerrentMid (Class of 2010), who just went through the process, posted on another thread in Oct.:


    "FYI Navy Service Selection:
    Some communities have screener and interviews which you go through second class year or very early fall firstie year. Within the first weeks of school firstie year we had to submit 10 ,in order of preference, communities that we would like to join. The only stipulation in the past has been that subs had to appear some where on your list. We did not have to have both USMC ground and USMC Aviation on your list - I did not. I had USMC Pilot first followed by Navy Pilot followed by some of the SWO subcommunities. As I did not go through SEAL screening, I could not put that on the list, however could have EOD and Nuc on the list. In November on service selection day we found out our communities. Then came the sub draft which those who did well in the sciences and math approx 100 were drafted. We were allowed to state our feelings at that time and then they interviewed about half to fill about 25 spots. Women were asked, but no female was forced to go subs.

    Then in March we had ship selection night where for the SWO Communities they picked their Ships based on OOM. We also were able to pick start dates for Pensacola, Nuc school, TBS, SEAL training etc.

    Somewhere we were told or also heard that all of the Aviation Contracts came from USNA, I was also under that impression until arriving - bad gouge as there are certainly other commissioning source 2LT's with aviation contracts.

    If we all want to really get a bit nit picky - no one has a guarantee for Aviation until you are winged. I know of a guy who was OCS and flunked out of IFS, never made it to API or primary. They rolled him out and was not given another USMC choice."



    It appears then, one can wash out of Marine Air and not be voluntold Marine Ground. Also you can achieve Marine Air without Marine Ground on your list. Be nice to hear from someone in Class of 2011.
     
  13. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    2013MidDad ...YOU are so correct on hair-do's ...and don'ts! :eek: USMC gals need not surrender their well-earned lady-locks! :smile:

    I agree, would be interesting to see the breakdown on gals n guys ...in all areas other than subs.:help:

    Also, I'm wondering if others might expand upon MakeItHappens scenario of MarineAir wash-outs ...what happens?

    More so, can one be selected for Marine Air absent making Marine Ground their #2 preference? Any real-life examples from 2011 or otherwise?
    A
     
  14. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    That wasn't just a "post" - that was poetry!
     
  15. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Just this past week, after landing and saying goodbye to the passengers as they deplaned - while standing at the doorway, looking all Captain-ish, I see this cute young girl hobbling on one foot because her other foot was in a "boot" - apparently due to some injury. No crutches. No request for a wheelchair. With a big smile on her face, she just hopped down the aisle quite adeptly.

    I said, "Shouldn't you have crutches? Wouldn't it be a lot easier?"

    She said, "Nah, this is fine. Crutches are just more things to carry."

    She almost seemed to enjoy hopping on that one good foot.

    "What is it you do?" I asked.

    "I'm a Marine." and then hopped away down the jetway.

    The first officer and I just looked at each other. The same thought occurred to both of us. "She was awfully cute!" The fact that she was a Marine completely explained her willingness to hop around the airport on one foot - but it didn't explain how un-Marine-like she looked. Her hair looked pretty long to me.
     
  16. tsearcy

    tsearcy Member

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    Wow, that was very helpful. Thanks for all the replies.
     
  17. CandidateElias15

    CandidateElias15 USNA '15 Appointee

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    Memphis, are you saying that only 9 in the class of '11 applied for Medical Corps?
    Surely there must be more, er, qualified people who would assume the tenth spot? If the selection goes down the class rank, won't the next in line get it?
    I'm only asking this because I plan on shooting for Med Corps myself, but if not, Aviation is always good :thumb:
    And as a good third backup, does anyone know exactly what the Surface WO subcommunities are?
     
  18. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    While I've no idea how many applied, I know it was more than 10. Know 2 who were not assigned. It is one tough sled, and I'll be contrarian to some others who've suggested it's no more so than at a secular school. My own perception/opinion ...it is MUCH tougher. Obviously doable, but very challenging. For even majoring in chemistry, w/ all other duties and expectations, it can be challenging and frustrating for those who want more and more of less and less. It simply is not doable. Therefore, my own interp is med wannabes better be better than the average med student wannabes.

    Now, it is possible but ever more challenging to do a lateral into med school from other professional communities. Not the way to go if one is sorely serious about Mid moving to MD.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  19. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    There are many more hoops to jump through when selecting Medical Corps than the other service selections.

    First of all, you have to take certain courses to prepare yourself for the MCATs (Medical College Admission Test). That involves taking Organic Chemistry and Biology I & II. That pretty much means you have to be a Chemistry major or validated many courses to leave room for taking those courses.

    Nominally, there are going to be about 45-50 Chemistry majors. Some of them don't even want to pursue the Medical Corps. Some will drop out of the major - because, after all, it is one of the more challenging majors. Some of those Chemistry majors, who wanted to go Medical Corps, are going to discover that they really are not going to have the grades to be competitive. This can happen as soon as Plebe year. Some will simply change their minds and decide to pursue another service selection. Somebody will invariably do something cataclysmically stupid that will remove them from the running - like a major conduct offense or a brush with the Honor Board. Some will realize that going into the Medical Corps out of the Naval Academy is essentially a career decision since the added obligation (on top of the Naval Academy obligation) is substantial. They realize they are not that committed.

    You also have to apply for the medical scholarship programs along with applying to medical school (more than one) - no small effort in itself.

    In addition, to be competitive, you have to show the initiative of "shadowing" a doctor. That generally involves giving up all or some of your precious summer leave.

    And, of course, there's the interview you are subjected to by the academy - just like some of the other service selections.

    Selecting Medical Corps requires much more than simply putting it on your preference card. Having high class standing is far from sufficient.

    Those selected for Medical Corps generally already know that they've been selected (or not ) before Service Selection Night. There is seldom anybody who finds out that they are going Medical Corps on that evening.
     
  20. CandidateElias15

    CandidateElias15 USNA '15 Appointee

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    Thanks for the info.
    I was looking up majors on the USNA website, and the Mathematics degree says "math majors have gone to the Navy's Medical School in Bethesda, MD", is that what you're saying about the Med Corps?
    http://www.usna.edu/MathDept/website/MathMajor.html
    I do plan on validating at least 2-3 Plebe Year courses (I'm also sure I could validate Bio 1), so hopefully the prepwork could work out..
    But either way, is that a good major to have in order to leave the opportunity of Med Corps open, and switch to Aviation if need be? Or is that feat too dramatic?
     

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