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A Day in the Life of a Marines-Officer

The Marines can prepare a potential officer to serve in any one of 34 occupational fields, including Maintenance Management (the organization of military gear for field use and storage), Field Artillery Radar Fire (identification of targets), Data Systems (computer programming) and Avionics (a wide range of aircraft-care jobs). This branch of the armed forces boasts more than 200 technical schools available to train officers to lead specialist groups. Another interesting thing about the Marines is that they are the only branch of the armed forces which utilizes the technology of all the others. Marines can become pilots if they so desire and qualify. Officer-pilots training in college get 25 hours of free flight time.

Paying Your Dues

College students interested in becoming officers can reap numerous benefits; their training comes during the summer, so it doesn't conflict with school.  Some colleges will even accept credit for work done during training  (depending on the curriculum, your major, and what school you go to). You also become eligible to receive tax-free assistance up to 7,000 dollars. Those who have graduated college can apply for the Marines' OCC (Officer Candidates Class). If you only have one to three years of college and have not received a degree, you can join a PLC (Platoon Leadership Class). A platoon is a group of around 30 soldiers broken into around three squads of eight to twelve soldiers. So if you are serious about a Marine career, commanding large forces of soldiers and carrying enormous responsibility, you should probably wait to join the Marines until you've earned a college degree.

Present and Future

The Marines have served their country well in the last 200 years. In 1801 Thomas Jefferson ordered the Marines to defeat the Pirates of Tripoli, which they did with the aid of Navy forces. In World War Two, the Marines were the first infantry unit to attack Japan on land: they successfully invaded the island of Guadalcanal in 1942, and landed at Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945. In the 1950's, when young recruits were asked why they had joined the Marines, a whopping majority declared the reason to be that they had loved John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima.

Quality of Life


For those just out of college, the Marines can provide steady officer pay, with medical, dental, and life insurance. There is also a  "steady retirement plan," plus 30 days of paid vacation. But life in the Corps can be tough. There is a heady responsibility that comes with leading or training soldiers, and one's leadership qualities should be exceptional. You shouldn't order anyone to do what you wouldn't be willing to do. Plus, because of the international scope of the Marines, you could be stationed almost anywhere on earth, and will in all likelihood have to move and or travel a lot.


To be a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps is to take on the trust of all Americans, and that is speaking without hyperbole. Those who are smart, have good personal skills, and strong leadership abilities will thrive. After five years as an officer, one is almost guaranteed to a promotion up to First Lieutenant or higher.


The sky’s the limit for officers of demonstrated talent, ability and leadership. Their pay increases significantly, and after ten years as an officer, some might even consider retiring and running for political office.  There are many Senators, members of Congress and even Presidents with military experience.