Can The Marine Corps be Joined After West Point

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West Point is the United States Army's military academy. It is a highly competitive school where cadets simultaneously earn college degrees and train to be commissioned as Army officers when they graduate. However, it is possible, though highly unlikely, that you can be commissioned into the Marine Corps after graduating from West Point.

Funding

  • While all U.S. services branches work together and serve the same cause and country, they are distinct bureaucratic units, each with its own budget from Congress. West Point is operated out of the Army's annual budget, and a sizable amount of money is spent training each cadet to be an officer. Each branch wants to reap the benefit of its own investment. Bureaucratically, the Marines are within the Department of the Navy. The Navy operates its military academy at Annapolis, where it trains its cadets (called midshipmen) to be commissioned as Naval and Marine Corps officers.

Inter-service Commissioning

  • Technically speaking, there is a program between the different service departments that allows those enrolled in one service's military academy to be commissioned into a different department upon graduation. In your final year you can apply to the program, but it is highly selective. You need to write a letter of application to the Secretary of the Army himself justifying what opportunities you could pursue in the Marine Corps that the Army cannot provide you. Your petition will have to be approved by his office.

Interservice Transfer

  • Everyone who graduates from one of the military academies has a number of years they must serve as an officer in exchange for their free education and training. Another option to joining the Marine Corps is to apply for an interservice transfer after you have finished your service commitment to the Army.

References

  • Photo Credit John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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