Marine Ground --> Infantry Officer

Hi there,

If you are selected for Marine Ground out of USNA, are you guaranteed the opportunity to become an Infantry Officer? Or are there other MOS's within Marine Ground that you could be placed in based off of the "needs of the navy/marines"? What is the whole process with that? My goal is to become an infantry officer in either the army or marines (preferably marines). I have appointments from both West Point and the Naval Academy and I'm just trying to determine where I can accomplish my goal. Any advice or insight that you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
No.
Yes.
At TBS is where the "Sorting Hat" stuff happens. The Marine Corps figures out how many openings it has in each officer community. TBS attendees submit preferences. Decisions are made.

Of course, there is no guarantee of Marine Corps service selection out of USNA.

Try some google search strings such as "Marine Ground officer options TBS."

I am sure others may offer more insight.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
Capt MJ is correct, you won't know your Marine MOS until TBS. If you want USMC out of USNA and can run a first class PFT, lead someone out of a wet paper bag and aren't an idiot you will more than likely get USMC. At TBS all those with ground contracts will compete for the available spots. These numbers can change for each TBS class based upon needs of the service. I believe TBS is still using a quality spread (someone correct me if this changed). So essentially they break the class down by 1/3s. They start with the person in the top 1/3 then the top 2/3 and then the top 3/3 and repeat. The theory is this gives a quality spread of officers to all MOSs. Not sure if it works or not, but it's been used for many years. The Army has more combat arms spots just by virtue of its size. The USMC doesn't have as many tanks and armor for instance. Very few spots there where the Army will have many more. Select the service that best suits your personality. Many similarities between USMC and Army, but also many differences. There are tons of threads addressing that specific debate on this forum.
 

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
OP, do some reverse engineering on your comparative analysis. If you do not get Marines out of USNA, will you be perfectly fine with going surface ship, submarines, aviation, etc.? If you are not at all interested in spending time in, on or above water, then going to USNA presents some challenges for you. If you don't get infantry out of USMA, are there other Army branches with which you will be content? If everything else aligns with culture, gut feel and other tangible and intangible elements, you should be able to settle on the optimal fit for you.

Sometimes the hard part is letting something go, knowing you are closing a permanent door (most likely).

Here's a link discussing what Hoops mentioned, though it's 2014 - gives you an idea. And - in 2021, it could be something else entirely.

https://www.usmcofficer.com/three-tier-mos-selection-process/

https://www.usmcofficer.com/the-basic-school/marine-officer-mos-list/
 
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USMCGrunt

5-Year Member
OP: great advice from Capt MJ and NavyHoops. I just wanted to add that if you are fortunate enough to get an Infantry slot out of The Basic School, you then have to pass the USMC Infantry Officer Course which has a very high drop out rate compared to other disciplines.

Your "odds" of becoming an infantry officer are probably higher in the Army due to sheer numbers. But when you pursue an commission as an Officer in the military, you will find that the needs of the service will always come first. You will have input but fate will have its say also. In the end, you need to be focused on becoming a Officer rather than focusing on a particular job function.

By the way, I appreciate your interest in becoming an USMC Infantry Officer (best job of them all!) ;)
 

kinnem

Moderator
5-Year Member
... I believe TBS is still using a quality spread (someone correct me if this changed). So essentially they break the class down by 1/3s. They start with the person in the top 1/3 then the top 2/3 and then the top 3/3 and repeat. The theory is this gives a quality spread of officers to all MOSs. Not sure if it works or not, but it's been used for many years.
They were still using it a year ago when DS went through MOS selection.

I would also re-iterate what USMCGrunt said about not being focused on a particular job function. DS got his third choice which was actually something he didn't want at all, but he had to put one down. As usual he embraced the suck and is loving it. I think he really ended up being in the right spot as a Comms Officer and I believe he now thinks that too. BTW - After watching "Star Wars - Rogue One" he told me the second half of that movie was all about being a Comms Officer. :) If he can see himself in that exciting role then he's got it licked.

EDIT: I believe they moved away from the three tier system for 1 year, using the method in Capt MJ's link, and then moved back because it was just too hard to distribute the talent any other way... or so DS told me anyway.
 
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NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
They have talked and experimented with going another direction, but seem to always come back to the quality spread. I got my 7th pick. Every company is slightly different on how they do things. The company ahead of mine did a mock selection at month two. They also had them put two lines on their list ( you list every MOS on your list). The first was, 'I will be happy with anything above this line.' The second was, 'anything below this I want to jab my eyes out.' You weren't allowed to say infantry and draw a line. My company did none of this. Hurricane might have some input on how they did theirs.

Bottom line, pick the service first, bust your hump and let the cards fall where they may. It's all anyone can do. IOC is no joke. The USMA side might be able to talk about the ADSO and how that might impact things. Also, USMA training is more ground based than USNA. There are lots of opportunities for USMC training, but you will have to seek it out, where USMA it's the core of its training.
 
Wow. Thank you all for taking the time to respond, that was exactly what I needed to hear. I admire your dedication to helping people out on this forum, we really appreciate it.

It sounds like the path to becoming an Infantry Officer out of USNA is difficult, which is exciting in a way. It will be good to have something motivating me every day, just like the Academies have been for the past seven years. Thanks again everyone.
 

Skipper07

Member
After graduation, you'll be serving in whichever service you choose for 5 years. Perhaps more if you take ADSO to get the job or initial base you want. Choose based on what you want to do for those 5 - 8 or more years, not on the school itself. If you don't understand whats available to you after graduating, research it.
This is quoted from a post years ago. Does USNA have an ADSO program? My long time dream is to fly in the Navy. If three extra years of service could guarantee me the opportunity to do so I would gladly do it.
 

BDHuff09

5-Year Member
This is quoted from a post years ago. Does USNA have an ADSO program? My long time dream is to fly in the Navy. If three extra years of service could guarantee me the opportunity to do so I would gladly do it.
No. There are fewer options than USMA so it wouldn't work out the same if USNA implemented ADSO. Also three more years won't mean anything to the Navy if you can't pass your ASTB, for example.
 
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