Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
71
Hi all,

Was looking for a better place to put this but couldn't find it.

If, besides USNA, I'm looking at a civilian school that does not offer a NROTC program, my only option if I still want to be a naval officer is to go to OCS (I hope I am not misinformed here). So I have a few quick questions about that process:

1. How 'likely' would it be to be offered a spot at OCS? I understand that a lot (most?) of the candidates are prior-enlisted.. Does this mean that it is relatively difficult to get a slot at OCS if you simply have a college degree, and no prior military experience?

2. AM I correct in thinking that, if attending a college without NROTC, that OCS is the only other option for me to become a naval officer?

3. About service selections after OCS: Do you get to 'list' your choices for your service selections (like at the USNA), or is it solely based on the needs of the Navy?

4. Related to the above, If you do get to have a relative 'say' in what you want to service select, is priority given to Naval Academy/NROTC grads before OCS grads, or is everyone on a 'level' playing-field?

Thanks to everyone in advance!
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
8,079
Hi all,

Was looking for a better place to put this but couldn't find it.

If, besides USNA, I'm looking at a civilian school that does not offer a NROTC program, my only option if I still want to be a naval officer is to go to OCS (I hope I am not misinformed here). So I have a few quick questions about that process:

1. How 'likely' would it be to be offered a spot at OCS? I understand that a lot (most?) of the candidates are prior-enlisted.. Does this mean that it is relatively difficult to get a slot at OCS if you simply have a college degree, and no prior military experience?

2. AM I correct in thinking that, if attending a college without NROTC, that OCS is the only other option for me to become a naval officer?

3. About service selections after OCS: Do you get to 'list' your choices for your service selections (like at the USNA), or is it solely based on the needs of the Navy?

4. Related to the above, If you do get to have a relative 'say' in what you want to service select, is priority given to Naval Academy/NROTC grads before OCS grads, or is everyone on a 'level' playing-field?

Thanks to everyone in advance!
Under “Other Sources of Commission,” there is an OCS/OTS/PLC forum. The mods may move this thread there.

1 - OCS works like an adjustment valve for the Navy. Manpower models call for so many O-1s of various flavors to be produced each year. Allowing for USNA and ROTC production, OCS will launch as many or as few classes as needed. The Navy can also “shop” through various candidates for OCS to meet other recruiting goals. There is no way to predict “chances” in any given year. It is highly competitive in its own way.

There are prior enlisted at OCS, along with others who have families or who were too old for USNA, who have obtained their degrees though various paths. The number varies in terms of percentage of class.

2. Unless you obtain a direct commission, which is how many staff corps come in (doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc.), I believe you are correct about OCS is the path.
Do research the NUPOC program, if you have any interest in nuclear engineering. Great path if you can get in.
https://www.navy.com/joining/college-options/nupoc.html
Of course, if you enlist, there are numerous officer programs available for high-performing sailors. There are many threads on the pros and cons of that circuitous route and no guarantees.

3. The needs of the Navy influence every aspect. Warfare specialties are not selected after OCS, but before. An officer recruiter can tell you how it works these days; this person is not the enlisted team member who works out of the local recruiting storefront. The officer recruiters usually work out of district offices. Check here:
http://www.cnrc.navy.mil/pages-nrd/regions/nrc-commands.html

4. OCS is given its share of desirable billets in proportion with USNA and NROTC. My OCS classmates went to new construction ships, SEAL, popular homeports, full range of ships, etc. OCS grads have to work hard right out of the gate to counter the longer exposure to officer military training that USNA and NROTC peers have, but they do catch up. OCS recruiters look for those with the requisite brainpower, but also the drive and self-starter traits necessary to hit the deck running.

OCS classes graduate throughout the calendar year and head right to school pipeline or assignment.

Many colleges, even if they do not have a NROTC unit on campus, support you being a cross-town ROTC participant at the college in the area that does. In the DC Metro area with its numerous colleges and universities, students participate in NROTC at GWU or UMD College Park.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2017
Messages
71
Hi all,

Was looking for a better place to put this but couldn't find it.

If, besides USNA, I'm looking at a civilian school that does not offer a NROTC program, my only option if I still want to be a naval officer is to go to OCS (I hope I am not misinformed here). So I have a few quick questions about that process:

1. How 'likely' would it be to be offered a spot at OCS? I understand that a lot (most?) of the candidates are prior-enlisted.. Does this mean that it is relatively difficult to get a slot at OCS if you simply have a college degree, and no prior military experience?

2. AM I correct in thinking that, if attending a college without NROTC, that OCS is the only other option for me to become a naval officer?

3. About service selections after OCS: Do you get to 'list' your choices for your service selections (like at the USNA), or is it solely based on the needs of the Navy?

4. Related to the above, If you do get to have a relative 'say' in what you want to service select, is priority given to Naval Academy/NROTC grads before OCS grads, or is everyone on a 'level' playing-field?

Thanks to everyone in advance!
Under “Other Sources of Commission,” there is an OCS/OTS/PLC forum. The mods may move this thread there.

1 - OCS works like an adjustment valve for the Navy. Manpower models call for so many O-1s of various flavors to be produced each year. Allowing for USNA and ROTC production, OCS will launch as many or as few classes as needed. The Navy can also “shop” through various candidates for OCS to meet other recruiting goals. There is no way to predict “chances” in any given year. It is highly competitive in its own way.

There are prior enlisted at OCS, along with others who have families or who were too old for USNA, who have obtained their degrees though various paths. The number varies in terms of percentage of class.

2. Unless you obtain a direct commission, which is how many staff corps come in (doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc.), I believe you are correct about OCS is the path.
Do research the NUPOC program, if you have any interest in nuclear engineering. Great path if you can get in.
https://www.navy.com/joining/college-options/nupoc.html
Of course, if you enlist, there are numerous officer programs available for high-performing sailors. There are many threads on the pros and cons of that circuitous route and no guarantees.

3. The needs of the Navy influence every aspect. Warfare specialties are not selected after OCS, but before. An officer recruiter can tell you how it works these days; this person is not the enlisted team member who works out of the local recruiting storefront. The officer recruiters usually work out of district offices. Check here:
http://www.cnrc.navy.mil/pages-nrd/regions/nrc-commands.html

4. OCS is given its share of desirable billets in proportion with USNA and NROTC. My OCS classmates went to new construction ships, SEAL, popular homeports, full range of ships, etc. OCS grads have to work hard right out of the gate to counter the longer exposure to officer military training that USNA and NROTC peers have, but they do catch up. OCS recruiters look for those with the requisite brainpower, but also the drive and self-starter traits necessary to hit the deck running.

OCS classes graduate throughout the calendar year and head right to school pipeline or assignment.

Many colleges, even if they do not have a NROTC unit on campus, support you being a cross-town ROTC participant at the college in the area that does. In the DC Metro area with its numerous colleges and universities, students participate in NROTC at GWU or UMD College Park.
Thank you very much. The college that I am looking at does not have a NROTC unit on campus (or any ROTC units, for that matter), but also does not seem to be cross-town affiliated with any nearby schools, except for a AFROTC unit an hour away. In this situation, where there aren't even nearby NROTC units, would my only option be to apply for OCS (if USNA does not work out)? Or are there any other options.

I am asking because I heard about a student from another college without any ROTC, that apparently visits a nearby naval base a few times a year, attends summer training, and is scheduled to commission as a Marine Corps officer after graduation. I was wondering if there were any similar routes for Naval officers.

Thank you so much for your help.
 

Capt MJ

Ancient Mariner
10-Year Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
8,079

Brian8715

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
13
If you're in a STEM major and open to nuclear-focused billets, I'd strongly recommend you look into the NUPOC program. It's a much better deal that the academies and NROTC in a lot of cases. Much more info is here: https://nupocaccessions.blogspot.com than is available on any of the Navy.com websites.
 

Tex232

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
349
If you’re looking to fly for the Navy, OCS would be a great avenue to consider. CaptMJ brought up a good point: that you are selected to a specific warfare community before you attend OCS and commission. Thus if you attend OCS having been selected to be a pilot or NFO, you will basically be guaranteed a slot at flight training all things being equal. The problem with the service academies and ROTC is that you have to enroll not knowing what you’ll be doing after you commission. If your main goal is just to become an officer and you don’t really mind what job you have, then ROTC and the academies are fine. But the advantage to OCS (at least with the Navy) is that you’ll almost be guaranteed of getting the job you want (assuming you are selected and qualify).
 
Top