Captain Grose Gets Augmented on April 22, 2002

The following pictures are of my augmentation ceremony on performed by Major Hez Barge Jr., one of the best Marines I've ever been privileged to serve with. It was a high honor to have Major Barge administer the Oath of Office for me.

Major Barge administers the Oath of Office.
We performed this perfectly with neither one of us stumbling or pausing.
Get that arm parallel to the deck, Grose!!!!
Captain Jason D. Grose (regular Officer) and Major Barge.
Thanks, Major Barge. (Note the manly handshake!!)

What's augmentation, you ask?

There are two kinds of commissions: reserve and regular. Do not confuse this with the Reserve and Regular components of the Marine Corps. They are two totally different things. The Reserves are the “weekend warrior” types that train every other weekend and two weeks in the summer. These are the ones that add “USMCR” to the back of their title. A “Regular” is a Marine that is on full active duty.

A reserve commission means that you are basically in an evaluation status. You have an EAS and must compete for augmentation after about three years of service. This means that you will go to the Fleet, do your job, and then apply to be augmented when you have enough time in as an officer. You submit a package (although now the package is no longer required) and a board convenes and decides who will be augmented and who will not.

The minimum number of years you can serve as an Officer in this program is four years after commissioning. At about the three-year mark, you have to decide what you want to do. When you apply for augmentation, the Marine Corps decides whether or not they want to keep you. You decide if you want to stay or not. If the Corps decides they want you and you want to stay, you are augmented and receive a regular commission. If they decide they do not want you but you want to stay, you might be able to get an extension so that you can apply for the next year’s augmentation board. If they decide they want you but you decide to get out, you serve your last year and you are free to go. Obviously if they decide they do not want you to stay and you also do not want to stay, you serve out your last year and go on your way.

Once you accept the regular commission, you no longer have an EAS and your ID card states “INDEF” which stands for “indefinite.” As scary as it sounds, you are in the Marine Corps for as long as they want you to. But the difference is that you can resign your commission at any time (actually 4-14 months prior to the date you want to leave). The hook the Marine Corps has is that if you resign before they release you, you lose all the benefits of retirement.

But for me, there was never a question. In fact, I saw it just the opposite: the Corps just guaranteed I could serve until my retirement mark, whenever that may be. This ceremony was just another indicator that I was doing well in the Corps and they were happy with my performance but the most important aspect of the entire event was that I could STAY MARINE!!! Nothing could be better in my eyes.