New Member
May 3, 2017
Hello, I am a high school senior who will be attending SDSU as a Marine Option Midshipman under the NROTC scholarship.
I am wondering how the ranks work. Are there opportunities besides moving up to the next school year to get promoted? How does one become an Midshipman Officer? Also, do these ranks affect my commission after graduation?
Billets are typically assigned based on a combination of performance and need for leadership development. All mids will hold at least a couple billets during their time in NROTC. Billets held do not affect what happens after commissioning. However, performance affects your aptitude score, which affects Service Assignment for Navy options. For Marine options, TBS determines future MOS, so aptitude is of much less significance.

If you have a JROTC background, NROTC isn't JROTC. Nobody gets wound up about advancing in "rank" in NROTC. At some point you'll be given a billet. Perform well in it and you'll be given another.
^ What NavyNOLA said.

I suppose it might vary by unit, but DS's unit had no ranks in the sense you probably mean. It is definitely not like JROTC. DS held at least one billet 6 of his 8 college semesters, beginning the second semester of his freshman year. Some semesters he held two billets. Billets could fall somewhere in the Chain of Command, or they could be Staff billets. I guess it's obvious but when DS held two, one was in the CoC and the other was a Staff billet.

I know the number of billets and the opportunities to be assigned a billet will definitely vary by unit.
Seniors (1/C midshipmen) can also be just a regular platoon member. Most usually welcome that after previously filling billets.

A 1/c midshipman will hold the billets of CO, XO. Other staff billets may be filled by 2/C, 3/C (usually assistant billets to S3, S4, S5, etc).

Holding billets is a responsibility, but billets can be time consuming. The goal is not to "rank up", but to learn how to lead -- which includes serving and being led.
rocatlin raises some great points. DS held no billets first semester of senior year and two billets the second semester. He used that first semester to focus on wrapping up the BIG courses for his major. He only had "cake" courses left for his second semester, and only 12 hours at that. This allowed him to focus on his billets as Company XO and Semper Fi President in charge of training folks who were about to go off to OCS. The midshipmen run the units with guidance from the cadre and the upperclassmen are the primary movers and shakers.
I have a way better understanding now. I do come from an NJROTC background in which, based on the individual's performance, a first year cadet can reach E-7. Of course, I will focus more on the learning experience rather than the titles. Thank you all for the replies and advice. ;)