USNA Marine

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Jman2014, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Jman2014

    Jman2014 Member

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    Let me just first say i have been on this forum for a few months now and it is extremely helpful so thank you all!

    My question is about the Marine option at USNA. I am going to apply to USNA and USMA as well as ROTC programs for both but my goal is to be a marine officer. I understand that only a small percentage of midshipmen at USNA become marines but how many apply for the marine option? Are there a lot of midshipmen that put marines down as their first choice but dont get it? Also, what are some things you can do to make sure you get marine? Im just wondering because i really want to be a marine officer but would also like to go to an academy. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. LLL

    LLL Member

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    There are those more knowledgeable than me, but I believe the percentage of Midshipmen who commission as Marine officers has risen to around 25%. It used to be about 17%.
     
  3. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    At a recent info session I attended I was pretty surprised that a very high number of men were entering as either Marine Aviators or other Combat MOSs in general. I think it was around 25% that did it, I don't know a ton about this, but I'm going to guess if you sign up for the MO then you won't have a problem getting it.
     
  4. USNA2016Dad

    USNA2016Dad Member

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    Not So Sure

    I don't believe it is that easy. I'm sure Hurricane12 will be here soon enough to give us the gouge. Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    There are a ton of old threads about the USMC and service selection and also in the ROTC section regarding TBS. Recommend you take a look a those as they are full of valuable information.

    I believe Congress sets the percentage of Naval Academy grads that can select Marine Corps. I think the number is currently around 25%. This is up dramatically from a decade or two ago where the number was closer to 16-17%. I think with the reduction in force the USMC is going through this number will drop some. If you do what you need to do at USNA such as good physical fitness, join the Semper Fi club, show good leadership skills, get decent grads and attend and do well at Leatherneck summer training you should earn yourself a USMC billet. Every year the number who put USMC down as their #1 choice fluctuates. My class had around 185 put it down as #1 pick and 155 or so spots. There are other classes that more or less competitive. It all depends on the year. Out of the Academy as well as ROTC you can only select Marine Corps or Marine Aviation. Once you get to TBS, if you are ground contract, you will get your MOS during your time there.
     
  6. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    I'm generally repeating some points made by others (including NavyHoops who always has good advice), but if you want to find out about how Marine service selection works at the Naval Academy, here's some places to start:

    1. Click on Hurricane12's icon for the list of her prior posts, and start browsing, bro! She's the most current USNA grad/Marine who posts on this forum; she has definitely written about this issue (including the numbers issue, as I recall -- in other words, what percentage of those listing Marines get it); and her posts are clear, accurate, candid, and pretty damn witty (shout out to a fellow USNA History major).

    2. Here's a link to the USNA Semper Fi Society page on Facebook, which gives you an idea of the kind of resources the Semper Fi society provides for mids who are interested service selecting Marines: https://www.facebook.com/UsnaSemperFidelisSociety

    3. Google "Leatherneck" and USNA or the Naval Academy. Leatherneck is a four week course for mids entering their first-class (senior) year at Quantico. It can be thought of as a mini-OCS type course that lets midshipmen "try out" the Marines and (much more importantly) the Marines try out the midshipmen. Success at Leatherneck is the best predictor for whether somebody will get Marines in service selection. Most mids come to Leatherneck prepared and motivated, physically and mentally, but every year there are a few who come out of shape or with a bad attitude (everything from thinking it's a joke to acting like a know it all). There are also people who do just fine at Leatherneck but realize they don't like life as a grunt!

    4. Stay fit throughout your USNA career -- if you are scraping by PFTs throughout but then do well at Leatherneck that may not be enough. Fitness is really important to the Marines.

    5. Stay out of trouble, either of the honor variety (no lying, cheating, stealing) or major "conduct" issues (breaking big rules or breaking smaller ones repeatedly).

    Bottom line: if a midshipman is fit, does well at Leatherneck (comes fit and motivated and ready to learn), and has a good conduct and honor record, they should have a very high chance of getting Marines. That's how it was when I graduated 5 years ago and (check me with Hurricane) I think it's still generally the case today.
     
  7. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    Again, I'm not exactly sure and it seems I'm a little off the mark from the posts made after mine. Good info here it seems.
     
  8. LTSackett

    LTSackett Member

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    No guarantees

    If you're referring to a Marine option like the one in NROTC, there is no such thing at the Academy - Marine Option at NROTC guarantees you a commission as a Marine. At the Academy, you'll be put where the Navy wants you, which might be on a sub, a surface ship, etc.
     
  9. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    It's true there are no guarantees, but service assignments aren't random, either. Historically, getting Marines has been a very reachable goal for those willing to put in the work.
     
  10. DictatorDom14

    DictatorDom14 Member

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    Also, I would just like to point out that the Navy cannot just "put" you on a sub. The silent service is wholly volunteer, and even then those who are even slightly claustrophobic can't be a sub.

    Your friendly neighborhood buzzkill,

    Dominic
     
  11. Jman2014

    Jman2014 Member

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    This is all very helpful, thank you everyone
     
  12. majortheta

    majortheta Member

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    I have heard of a few Marines coming out of USMMA. If you want to go Marine air, then USMMA also might be a good thing to look at. Also, if you end up going to a four year civilian college, check out Marine PLC.
     
  13. Aspiring_Midshipman

    Aspiring_Midshipman Member

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    Find the " Common Career Choices " on USNA's website. It should be to the right once you click on " Career Opportunities ". There are a good number of Marines, both Ground and Aviation. Special Warfare, Special Operations, and Medical Corps tend to be the most sought after billets coming out of the academy.
     
  14. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    What you say is mostly true but it seems that every year they are always a little short on qualified sub volunteers to meet their quota.

    The way they get them to "volunteer" (often referred as "voluntold") is by denying the midshipman all his other choices. Sometimes it comes close to coercion.

    If subs is listed as one of your preferences, even if it's your 3rd choice, then, technically, you "volunteered". The word "volunteer" is used very loosely, in my opinion.
     
  15. DictatorDom14

    DictatorDom14 Member

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    Oh, wow, I didn't know that. Thanks for the info
     
  16. subvet

    subvet Member

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    I can't think of anything worse than having someone on a Boat who doesn't want to be there!!
     
  17. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Why, because being in a submarine is bad enough without not wanting to be there in the first place? That's coming from my aviation bias, I guess. :smile:

    I'm fairly involved with the Mid-parent's Facebook site and I got a lot of private messages from concerned parents who had a midshipman who was a high-achiever yet, from their perspective, was being railroaded into submarines. Subs was not their first choice.

    Like I said, they always seem to be just a little short of qualified sub volunteers. From what I can tell, here's how they fill those slots. Let's say they need 6 more.

    They'll target about twice that many as "potentials". They are usually midshipmen who have an outstanding record of achievement but might have a small weakness here or there. Nothing serious, though.

    First, they try the "You may not realize this, but you would be perfect for submarines" approach. They pump up the community. They talk about how there is no extra commitment - how they get bonuses - how they will be working with the best officers and sailors in the Navy - how they will have tremendous responsibility - how important the mission is - how it is the "fast track" to promotions - and how having been nuclear trained in the Navy is a great thing to have on one's resume should they ever decide to leave the Navy. This is mostly all true. But it's also something most of the midshipmen have heard before. The pitch is not new. But now it is being made to them, personally.

    Then they pump up the midshipman. "The nuclear Navy needs outstanding people like yourself. You're intelligent - you have the technical background - you are leader - you're respected by your peers. You would excel and thrive in the nuclear Navy and will have a bright career ahead of you. It's the future of the Navy."

    These are some big brass guys making this pitch, too. Lots of stripes are in the room giving this midshipman their undivided attention. It's both flattering and intimidating, all at the same time.

    Basically, they're just testing the waters. They are trying to see how committed the midshipman is to his first choice. Many of them capitulate. They change their preference. Subs was #2 and they change it to #1. He got his first choice!

    Parents are sometimes stunned when their midshipman, who has always been dead set on flying, tells them that he is going submarines. Oftentimes, the midshipman is not very straightforward with his parents. He tells them, "They're making me go subs," which is not exactly true. He chose to go subs after being subjected to the above routine just described.

    It's like a lion chasing a herd of antelopes on the open savanna. The lion usually catches the one who gets separated from the pack and is the slowest runner. That's how the academy fills the remaining spots for the quota. They separate a few from the pack, give them their undivided attention, keep chasing them, until the midshipman becomes exhausted and capitulates.

    If they cannot get enough "volunteers" with the above tactic, they will resort to a slightly different tactic. They will try shame. They will make the midshipman feel like he is being selfish in pursuing what he wants instead of what his country is calling him to do.

    What they want is for the midshipman to agree that subs is what he wants. To them, that makes it his first choice.

    It can get a little ugly and sometimes creates great anxiety among many midshipmen and their families.

    The addition of women has taken some of the heat off. Prior to women being allowed to serve on submarines, the quota had to be filled 100% with men even though men make up less than 75% of the graduating class. Although the number of women allowed to go into subs is limited, usually 100% of them are qualified volunteers. It's new and different for them so it's not difficult to find a dozen or so women who want to serve on a submarine. The problem is finding about 120 like-minded men. Nearly ten times as many! Not so easy.

    You might be reading this and wondering: "Wait a minute! I thought the nuclear Navy is always bragging about it being an all-volunteer force."

    It is ... technically. It's just that many of them are being persuaded to "volunteer".

    I won't get into the tactic of how not to be selected when you are one of the ones being targeted for selection. :smile:
     
  18. GoSox

    GoSox Member

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    BOOM! Never seen this explained better.
     
  19. ESLGuy

    ESLGuy Member

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    Well, that's clever. I know how to not get selected: don't be too smart. Right? Haha, that was a joke.

    However, how doesn't someone not get put into something they don't want? Put Special Warfare and things you won't get for sure after your first choice? I think I've heard that before.
     
  20. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    I know you're joking but there are actually some midshipmen who think this way. Here's the problem, if you do poorly, although you may be successful in avoiding submarines, you may also be "successful" in not getting whatever else you wanted.

    If you ever become a midshipman and find yourself in the uncomfortable position of being one of those targeted for submarines because of the quota not being met - give me a call. I know the "formula". It has been tried and proven. :smile:
     

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