Posted on Dec 29, 2014
SSgt S Sgt
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I am a enlisted Marine looking for other opportunities in other branches of service. The Marines have the MECEP program which allows enlisted Marines to go to school full time and on active duty so they can start or finish their degree and become officers. I am wondering if the Army has the same program or a similar program I could look into.

Any information, help, or comments are greatly appreciated!

Semper Fi!
Edited 4 y ago
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LTC Board Member
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Yes, though probably not through an Army program. You should be competitive for Army ROTC if you get into a school that has an ROTC program, or if you already have a college degree, you can apply to Army OCS. Your prior service experience should make you more competitive for those programs.
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Capt Jeff S.
Capt Jeff S.
4 y
SSgt (Join to see), Probably the most difficult way to obtain a commission is through an enlisted commissioning program such as MECEP. The year I was inducted only 60 were selected from a Marine Corps with an end strength of approx 186,000. That number was raised to 90 later on. The Marines also had an age cutoff of 26 years old at the time of acceptance into the program. Because the program was so competitive, waivers were almost certainly a disqualifier. I don't remember any of the class of 86 having age or other waivers... at least nobody mentioned having come in with one.

I went to the Univ of Texas at Austin and was a member of the NROTC. Although I was an active duty Sgt (later promoted to SSgt), I was still treated like the other midshipmen and had to take orders from them. The difference was that at graduation, the Marine option Midshipmen got reserve commissions and MECEP Marines received regular commissions and that's a huge bonus. It's comparable to what you get from the service academies, though they graduate earlier and have an initial jump on the other officers going into their first promotion. After that, it's all you.

Am pretty sure the easiest way to come back into the military as an officer is to get out, got to school and come in through an ROTC program. If you can get into an ROTC scholarship, you'll be much better off financially, but you have to have the grades and demonstrated potential before they'll consider you.
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TSgt Joshua Copeland
TSgt Joshua Copeland
4 y
Capt Jeff S., as I understand it, based on a change in 2005, all Active Duty Officers are commissioned as Regular Officers now.
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Capt Jeff S.
Capt Jeff S.
4 y
Okay, thanks. I got out in 2000 so was unaware of that. : )
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LtCol Joseph Crane
LtCol Joseph Crane
4 y
Yes it can happen, I have a friend who was Marine enlisted, went MECEP and during MECEP converted to Navy Nuclear program and became Naval Officer.
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LT Regional Practice Manager, Hwsl
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The Coast Guard has programs that send folks to complete their BA/MAs full time, while on active duty. Very few folks apply for these opportunities, so the competition is pretty thin, at least lately.
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1LT Infantry Officer
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There are several programs that the Army has. Some are the same as the MC and there a few more. What you are talking about is the equivalent to our "Hip Pocket Scholarship." It is used to give active duty members in the Army a break to finish their school. The issue you will have this is that you have to be in the Army to get it. The Army really isn't taking many prior service at all.

If you are looking to go Active Army your best chance would be an Army ROTC scholarship. Once you go to a school you would draw your GI Bill and enroll in ROTC to get a commission. You wouldn't get an active duty pay check but you would draw BAH while in school. If you want to further off set your pay you could join the Army National Guard and go into the "Simultaneous Membership Program" or SMP. In this case you will be assigned to a unit as a cadet and go to school. You would draw your GI Bill and make drill pay on top of that. You would also get education benefits from the National Guard. You would still be able to go the Active Army once you grad from college.

If you had a degree you could go into a OCS program. The Regular Army has theirs at Fort Benning, GA. You will have to go to a Officers Board and get selected. Then the process begins. There is also the National Guard. I was prior enlisted and Commissioned in the Army National Guard. I went to an Active Duty OCS program called Accelerated OCS. I went to Fort McClellan, AL, as LTC Stephen C. spoke of . They are regionally aligned to support the North Carolina National Guard. I then went on to Infantry Officers Course and Ranger School from the National Guard. But I am only a weekend drilling soldier. You would be a civilian and only drawing pay for one weekend a month.

I hope this hopes. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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SSgt S Sgt
SSgt (Join to see)
4 y
Thank you so much for your help Sir! I am wanting to stay active duty, and serve active duty in the Army. Does this help at all or change things?
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1LT Infantry Officer
1LT (Join to see)
4 y
SSgt (Join to see) There is pretty much one option that leaves you. You would have to enlist in the Army and get a scholarship while you are in the Army. The Green to Gold program was mentioned earlier. It looks like you are coming from a musical background. That would help you. I know that if you are talented in music, especially in military music, you would have a chance to join the Army for that. The Army really doesn't take much prior service and the ones they do take are E-1 to E-4, unless you have a special skill. For you your music background may help you. Once you are in you could apply for Green to Gold. You could also just going to school online while you are service and then apply to OCS. That would be another option if you were in.

With all of this you may have a better chance staying with the MC. You will be taking a risk trying to join the Army. You could get all the way to MEPS and they could say that there isn't a slot for you and you can't join.

I have attached a link to the Army Music program. That may be an option.
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LTC Stephen C.
LTC Stephen C.
4 y
Many thanks for your time and thoughts, 1LT (Join to see)! BTW, I like the Ranger Rosa bit! Surely that's been run by you before!?
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LTC Stephen C.
LTC Stephen C.
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SSgt (Join to see), I know this thread is quite old, so it’s quite likely that you’ve made other decisions. However, I just wanted you to know that anything can happen if you’re determined, dedicated and ultimately become qualified.
I’m proud to say that 1LT (Join to see) applied for active duty, was accepted, and now serves with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. Can’t ask for better than that!
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