The United States Marine Corps is popularly known for turning recruits into some of the toughest fighters in the military. Its boot camp is one of the toughest, and that’s what makes the Marine.
If you want to become one of the few respected Marines, you need to meet their requirements. This applies irrespective of whether you want to serve as a commissioned Marine officer or an enlisted Marine.
These requirements range from physical fitness and age to education and citizenship. Today, we will majorly focus on age although we will briefly discuss other requirements as well.
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To help you understand the different age limits for joining the Marines, we will focus on the different paths you can use to become a Marine.
There are four ways you can become a Marine Corps officer or enlisted:
- Become an enlisted Marine
- Start out as a commissioned officer
- Attend a 4-year college/NROTC
- Attend the US Naval Academy
Let’s discuss the age requirements in each of these paths to joining the Marines.
Marine Enlistment Age Requirements
Enlisted Marines can serve as both privates and non-commissioned officers. To enlist with the Marines, you must be at least 17 years and not more than 28 years when starting training. However, 17-year-old applicants need parental consent before being enlisted.
You also need to be a legal U.S. resident and have a high-school diploma. Other requirements include meeting height and weight standards and also passing a physical fitness test as well as an aptitude test. The physical fitness test includes push-ups or pull-ups, planks, and a three-mile run.
Marine Officers’ Age requirements
Rather than being enlisted in the Marines, you can start out as a commissioned Marine officer. To become a commissioned officer, you must be between 20 and 28 years when you receive your commission.
Also, you need to be a U.S. citizen and have a bachelor’s degree.
Like enlisted Marines, commissioned offers must also pass a physical exam. They must also successfully go through the USMC Officer Candidates School for them to be commissioned. Keep in mind that this is not a boot camp for Marines. Here, candidates are evaluated and trained to ensure they have what it takes to be Marine officers.
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4-year College w/NROTC
You can opt to enroll in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program where you will be educated and trained to become a highly qualified applicant for careers as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps.
The NROTC units for the Marines are located in selected universities and colleges across the U.S. Upon graduation and completion of training, the Midshipmen (students in this program) are commissioned as Marine Officers.
To be eligible for Marine Option NROTC, you must be 17 years by September 1st of the year starting university or college, and will not be more than 27 years of age at the anticipated time of graduating from college.
Applicants with prior active duty military service may benefit from an age waiver for the amount equivalent to their prior service for a maximum of 36 months. They will still need to graduate and become commissioned before their 30th birthday.
There are other requirements including meeting Marine Corps standards, having no criminal records, be a high-school graduate, among others.
U.S. Naval Academy
To enroll in the USNA, students have to receive a nomination. The nomination normally is requested from the Vice President of the United States or a member of Congress. Students who make it to this academy hold the rank of midshipmen and can graduate as Marine Officers.
The minimum age for joining the Navy Academy is 17 years while the maximum is 23 years on July 1st of the year of admission. Also, you should not be pregnant or married. There are many other requirements you have to meet, just like in other paths of joining the Marines.
Overall, the minimum age for joining the Marines is 17 with parental consent and 18 without parental consent. The Marines cap the recruit ages at 28 years, but there are age waivers for individuals with prior service time. By law, the maximum age for enlistment for the Marines is 35 with prior experience in military service.
We hope that our guide has answered all the questions you had regarding the age requirements for joining the Marine Corps. If you have other questions, you can engage us in the comment box below.
Resources / References
- USMC Cryptologic Language Analyst (MOS 2641): 2023 Career Details - March 20, 2022
- 10 Best Marine Corps Jobs For Civilian Life In 2023 - March 20, 2022
- Marine Corps Boot Camp Schedule - November 20, 2020