Transferring NROTC to Marine ROTC

boostlover123

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Jul 31, 2023
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20
Hi All,

I have been fortunate enough to receive an 4-year NROTC scholarship, and am enrolling as a freshman next year on the scholarship. While I did not originally apply for the Marine option, I was wondering how hard it would be to transfer from NROTC. I've completed a lot of high-level math and science credits through dual enrollment and my GPA is pretty high, and I am close to maxing out the PFT. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this process, and if this is this a normal thing to do? Also, are there any specific major types that are favored (ex. I know Navy prefers STEM majors)? My motivation for transferring is due to the greater amount of job opportunities in the Marines compared to the Navy, and I would like to use some part of my major (computer science) after college in the service. Thank you.
 
Hi All,

I have been fortunate enough to receive an 4-year NROTC scholarship, and am enrolling as a freshman next year on the scholarship. While I did not originally apply for the Marine option, I was wondering how hard it would be to transfer from NROTC. I've completed a lot of high-level math and science credits through dual enrollment and my GPA is pretty high, and I am close to maxing out the PFT. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this process, and if this is this a normal thing to do? Also, are there any specific major types that are favored (ex. I know Navy prefers STEM majors)? My motivation for transferring is due to the greater amount of job opportunities in the Marines compared to the Navy, and I would like to use some part of my major (computer science) after college in the service. Thank you.
It looks like this is your first post telling us you were awarded a NROTC scholarship. Congratulations.

I don't know if you can change from Navy to Marine Option but the Marines don't care what your major is. Have you looked at all the Marine officer MOSs? Which do you believe would have you use your computer science major? I know a Marine officer with a finance degree from Harvard. He's an infantry officer. I know a Naval Academy history grad who is a combat engineer officer and currently on deployment. Oops, OPSEC, my bad.

I know the process for officers being assigned their MOS but will let someone else explain it.
 
First and foremost, make sure you want to be a Marine. USMC is a different breed, and being in the Corps -- regardless of MOS -- has to be your goal.

Second, as @Devil Doc says, the Marines don't care what your major was. You may or may not get something remotely related to computer science, so read that first point again.

All new 2LTs attend TBS, where their MOS is decided based on a "thirds" system. Within each class, the #1 Marine in the top third will choose an MOS, then the #1 in the middle third, then the #1 in the bottom third. Then back to the top third, #2 chooses. And so on. This ensures a balance of talent across MOSs.

The only ones exempt from this selection system are those going aviation and cyber. That's known before TBS. The Marines are hungry for pilots. Cyber is uber-competitive. Make sure you can live with your second, third, fourth or fifth choice, because you may have to. Either way, you're a Marine first and foremost.
 
First and foremost, make sure you want to be a Marine. USMC is a different breed, and being in the Corps -- regardless of MOS -- has to be your goal.

Second, as @Devil Doc says, the Marines don't care what your major was. You may or may not get something remotely related to computer science, so read that first point again.

All new 2LTs attend TBS, where their MOS is decided based on a "thirds" system. Within each class, the #1 Marine in the top third will choose an MOS, then the #1 in the middle third, then the #1 in the bottom third. Then back to the top third, #2 chooses. And so on. This ensures a balance of talent across MOSs.

The only ones exempt from this selection system are those going aviation and cyber. That's known before TBS. The Marines are hungry for pilots. Cyber is uber-competitive. Make sure you can live with your second, third, fourth or fifth choice, because you may have to. Either way, you're a Marine first and foremost.
Or seventh choice…
 
May vary a lot by unit, but my DD's roommate switched from Navy to Marine at the end of her 4C year and it seemed to be pretty quick and painless!
 
It looks like this is your first post telling us you were awarded a NROTC scholarship. Congratulations.

I don't know if you can change from Navy to Marine Option but the Marines don't care what your major is. Have you looked at all the Marine officer MOSs? Which do you believe would have you use your computer science major? I know a Marine officer with a finance degree from Harvard. He's an infantry officer. I know a Naval Academy history grad who is a combat engineer officer and currently on deployment. Oops, OPSEC, my bad.

I know the process for officers being assigned their MOS but will let someone else explain it.
Thanks for the reply. I was thinking the 1702 MOS (I know this is crazy competitive). If I don't get that, there is still a lot of other MOSs I would consider. If its not an issue, can you explain how the Marines are indifferent to the major? Is the evaluation based on only GPA and physical fitness scores?
 
I cannot stress this enough...

You need to want to be a Marine Officer more than anything!

You could very well be selected for what you might view as the worst possible MOS for the remainder your scholarship service obligation.

The MOI at your NROTC Unit will be your primary POC for this endeavor..
 
If its not an issue, can you explain how the Marines are indifferent to the major? Is the evaluation based on only GPA and physical fitness scores?
As mentioned, MOS is decided by the "thirds" system, which happens about 2/3 of the way through TBS. The ranking of each class is determined by overall performance at TBS, so physical fitness certainly plays a part, but not major. While TBS is six months long, you'll have about the first four months to affect your class rank.

Some 2LTs are encouraged (some would say pressured) to choose a particular MOS based on their TBS performance. But it's ultimately up to you and your class ranking.
 
Thanks for the reply. I was thinking the 1702 MOS (I know this is crazy competitive). If I don't get that, there is still a lot of other MOSs I would consider. If it’s not an issue, can you explain how the Marines are indifferent to the major? Is the evaluation based on only GPA and physical fitness scores?
To say it’s competitive is an understatement I bet. Surely a Marine will be here shortly to explain the spread load and other steps in assigning MOSs. As already stated, you have to want to be a Marine officer and whatever you get you get. I don’t know how to explain why the Marines don’t care what degree you have. Navy and AF are all about STEM. Marines kill and break stuff. It doesn’t take a Phi Beta Kappa to do that.
 
To say it’s competitive is an understatement I bet. Surely a Marine will be here shortly to explain the spread load and other steps in assigning MOSs. As already stated, you have to want to be a Marine officer and whatever you get you get. I don’t know how to explain why the Marines don’t care what degree you have. Navy and AF are all about STEM. Marines kill and break stuff. It doesn’t take a Phi Beta Kappa to do that.
I went through TBS immediately after graduating USNA.

The "Quality Spread" system of ranking and requesting MOS by thirds is real.

Peer Evaluations also affected our ranking; not sure if they're still a thing 30 years later.

I saw guys crushed by the reality of the quality spread getting funneled into an MOS they absolutely hated; most of them left the USMC after their initial service obligation.

The Green Machine can be a cruel mistress, even for young Second Lieutenants!
 
I went through TBS immediately after graduating USNA.

The "Quality Spread" system of ranking and requesting MOS by thirds is real.

Peer Evaluations also affected our ranking; not sure if they're still a thing 30 years later.

I saw guys crushed by the reality of the quality spread getting funneled into an MOS they absolutely hated; most of them left the USMC after their initial service obligation.

The Green Machine can be a cruel mistress, even for young Second Lieutenants!
I got my 7th. I hated it. I left after 5 years. Best time of my service was going things outside my MOS.
 
My son went to TBS 13 years ago and graduated near the top of the class. He fortunately didn’t get his top two choices but got his third. Combat Engineer. He’s had a good ride, been to a lot of places, served in a couple infantry officer billets which ticked off that community, knows most of the war fighting generals in the Corps including the commandant. He asked me which MOSs to put in his top five and I included engineer. He hadn’t considered it until I told him some of the cool stuff they do. The blowing up stuff sealed the deal.
 
IIRC 2 of my top 5 choices had to be a traditional combat arms MOS.

Logistics was my top overall choice (I got it); Artillery and Combat Engineer were my 2 combat arms choices.

The competition for Infantry was insane to say the least!
 
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