Posted on Dec 9, 2016
Brendan M.
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I am a foreign affairs junior and currently applying for OCS next summer. I've been recently considered going enlisted with the objective of becoming a WO. I haven't consulted my OSO yet and will continue thinking about it for a couple months. If enlisted, I'd pursue a 0231 contract. I wouldn't even begin considering an officer MOS until I had been through TBS. Just looking for informal input.
Edited 3 y ago
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Responses: 35
GySgt David Weihausen
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While I can understand the allure of being enlisted and going the mustang route but you would be doing yourself a dis-service career-wise to not just go officer from the start.
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SN Peter Stella
SN Peter Stella
3 y
Absolutely agree with Guns, just have respect for senior NCO's and respect for everyone under you-
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Capt Jed Redeker
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What you're thinking makes a lot of sense. I went to TBS with outstanding officers who placed very highly and received, for example, their 8th choice. If you are certain that you want HUMINT, it's a lot easier to be guaranteed that on the enlisted side. However, be aware that you would only be guaranteed 02xx.

You could go enlisted-warrant officer-LDO as one path. I don't know what the numbers look like for that, but I would imagine the chances of that are slim. It doesn't mean you can't do it, but I'd hate to hang my dreams on it.

You could go enlisted-warrant officer. Better chances, but I would imagine the WO 02 community is still very small.

Pay and prestige aren't very good reasons for becoming an officer, so it's good that those are unimportant. Leading Marines is a good reason.

From my perspective, having served as enlisted in the reserves, active enlisted, and active officer, if I were to reverse time and put myself in your shoes, I think I'd go enlisted. You would have to be content with the possibility of staying enlisted. I think you could still accomplish your ultimate goals even so. Your OSO will endeavor mightily to convince you otherwise, and I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.
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Brendan M.
Brendan M.
3 y
Thank you for the info. The enlisted>WO>LDO and enlisted>CO paths are paths that I have been considering. I'd be content with the two entry-level 02xx enlisted MOSs available and, at this time, with the prospect of having to serve for 8+ years before applying for OCS or WOCS. I will definitely take your advice into consideration, but will give myself a couple months to think it over to make sure this isn't just an impulse and it's what I want to do.
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GySgt Joseph  Jay Johnston
GySgt Joseph Jay Johnston
3 y
Brendan M. -8 yrs then apply for OCS.. If u do 8 its only 12 more and you're out.so why not do ocs right off.To bad they dont have a school for sgt/maj..Best rank in the corp.....Semper Fi
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Capt Jed Redeker
Capt Jed Redeker
3 y
OCS after 4 years gets you the O1E. Plus, one need not serve 8 years--you can get selected for OCS and then attend while enlisted.
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Sgt Douglas O'Neal
Sgt Douglas O'Neal
3 y
From my time in the Corps, it would be very difficult to go from enlisted to Warrant Officer. There just aren't that many openings. Additionally, the requirements to apply can stop you. For example, I left the reserves because my CO wouldn't sign my app. Said I was too valuable to lose. If you want to be an officer, then go OCS. Quantico will make you a Marine.
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Col Russ Smith
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Only you can determine the best choice for yourself. I agree with Gunny Weihausen; with your background, go officer unless you are not interested in taking on serious responsibility. No MOS is promised, true. Opportunity abounds. If you are fortunate, you could become an 0202. As a Foreign Affairs undergrad, if you speak more than one foreign language (preferably strategic ones) regardless of MOS you could go for a Foreign Area Officer billet as a Capt. Also, MARSOC is an option as we need officers with foreign area skills to be Special Operations Officers.

I enlisted in the Reserve while in college. I became a 2ndLt and Tanker after graduation. I went to LAR as a 1stLt. After that, I went to IOC. While serving with the USMC Rifle and Pistol team I was recruited to work special assignments in Latin America as I am near-native fluent in Spanish. After a few years, I became an experience-track FAO. I spent close to a decade working Andean Ridge country assignments. As a direct result, I became the CO for MARFORUNITAS in 2004. That was between tours in Iraq. I concluded my career as the LatAm Desk Officer for II MEF and retired as a Col.

When I followed my passion my peers warned me that I was committing suicide. I did what I wanted because I was not afraid to follow a path less travelled. You can do that, too. If you would like to talk further, feel free to contact me ( [login to see] ). I would be happy to be a sounding board.

Semper Fi!
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