Marine Corps Second LieutenantO-1 Commissioned Officer, U.S. Marine Corps
Marine Corps Ranks » Second Lieutenant Rank • 2ndLt Pay • 2ndLt Rank History • Promotion Information
Marine Corps Promotion to O-1 Second Lieutenant
A Second Lieutenant is a Commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps at DoD paygrade O-1. This page describes how the Marine Corps determines who is eligible for the promotion list to Second Lieutenant.
2ndLt is the first rank held for newly Commissioned Officers. The USMC holds several commissioning sources.
The primary source of USMC Commissioned Officers is the Platoon Leader's Course (PLC). This path is for qualifying college students who apply in their freshman, sophomore, or junior years. All attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Quantico, VA, a very high-stress and high-attrition environment lead by Marine Drill Instructors, where Candidates are tested for grit and leadership capabilities. Freshmen and sophomores split OCS into two 6-week summer courses, and juniors go through OCS in one 10-week summer. If Candidates wish to become Aviators or Legal Officers, they can be guaranteed by taking this Commissioning route.
The next most popular source of USMC Officers is the Officer Candidate's Course (OCC). It's essentially the same as PLC, but for those who made a decision to join late in college or after graduating. The 10 weeks at OCS are offered in the fall, winter, and summer. OCC Candidates are more likely to go through OCS alongside Enlisted personnel, since summers are filled with PLC candidates. Enlisted personnel have their own Officer Accession programs, but these are essentially the same as OCC. Those who receive a Commission earn O-1E pay, which is significantly higher than ordinary O-1 pay.
The next source of USMC officers is Naval Reserve Officer Training Command (NROTC). NROTC programs are available at universities across the country. NROTC students are Reservists, holding the rank of Midshipman and must adhere to UCMJ regulations when gathering for training. Navy and Marine Midshipmen, while part of the same unit, have segregated training. Like Navy Midshipmen, Marine Midshipmen attend a four-week summer "cruise" the summer after their freshman year, spending time with various Navy and Marine communities. Their second summer, however, is spent with Marine units, with many attending the challenging Mountain Warfare School in Bridgeport, CA. Finally, their third summer is spent at OCS in Quantico, joined with latter-half PLC students.
The final source of USMC Officers is the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD. Midshipmen receive four years of top-tier education and Naval indoctrination. Entrance requirements for USNA are extremely rigorous, and include an endorsement from a Congressperson from the candidate's native state. All USNA Midshipmen must take Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry courses, and all earn a Bachelor of Science degree regardless of major. USNA Midshipmen may show their interest in becoming a Marine Officer early in their tenure, but are only confirmed near the end of their junior year. They do not attend OCS, instead receiving training and mentorship from Marine Officers and senior Non-Commissioned Officers their senior year.
Finally, Warrant Officers may become Limited Duty Officers through application and board selection. Limited Duty Officers are highly specialized in a technical area such as Logistics or Intelligence, equivalent in rank to Junior Officers, but with much more experience. If selected, they go through the Warrant Officer's version of The Basic School.
Want to learn more? Read about the Marine Corps' Second Lieutenant rank on Military-Ranks.org.