DECISIONS, DECISIONS

 

 

Here is an email exchange from a person who was inquiring about becoming an Officer and what were the physical requirements.

 

  

-----Original Message-----

From:   Hao Hong

Sent:   Wednesday, March 07, 2001 3:32 AM

To:      jdgrose115@bigfoot.com

Subject:           Just read your web site

 

To Captain Jason D. Grose,

 

I just discovered your website and spent the past 8 hours reading it. I'm  sure you've heard many compliments but I would like to add that it is a  great testimony the marine corps and to yourself that you proudly represent  the marine corps with such pride and open honesty. I have been researching  about the marines recently and have come across several dozen sites and your  site stands out because of its comprehensive nature but also the integrity  that I have not witnessed. . I was very excited to read it and to learn you respond to all emails. I  thank you for this because I think you can provide some information. First,  I had a visit to a recruiting office and I must say it was lacking. Your  site gave ten times the information and inspiration than my two hour visit. . I would like to ask you some questions. Let me start by telling you a little  about myself. My name is Hao. I am 30 yrs old and have a B.A. Currently I am  working on a  second degree which is computer science. I have been  interested in computers but for some reason it never occurred to me to study  it.(I thought it was selfish of me to do something that serves only my  benefit. I have taught English in other countries as service which is  helpful to other but also benefits me.) That is why I think the marines is  for me. I know this. I think I have the physical and mental capability to be  a marine based on the information I have researched. I have some questions  that I have not found. I have read all your email responses.

 

1. I am debating between enlisted and officer. I do not know very much about  computers. Recently I managed to learn enough to build my computer but  that's not saying much. If I choose the officer path, would I be trained on  computers or would I only be in leadership. The other option is to enlist  and be trained in Data systems.

 

2. I'm concerned about getting the job I want. Can you tell me more about  job selection. (even more concerned after hearing about your adjutant  fiasco) I understand the enlistment contract states your desired occupation.  Is this guaranteed. What are the pitfalls that may exist.(I don't use ?)

 

3.Where can I get more specific information about boot camp. Many sites say  many different things. Should I contact the MCRD San Diego directly(I’m from  Minneapolis). I would like to know what the physical requirements. Many people say: 18 pull-ups, 3 miles in 18 min, 200 sit-ups in two min.  Others say the minimum to pass PCP is 2 pull-ups, 3 miles in 29 min, 100 sit-ups. I am in good shape. I run and  lift regularly.

 

That's I can think of right now. I don't want to overload you. I am amazed  at your achievements. It certainly is a testament to you and all the people  that have supported you over the years. It definitely is a great example you  set for other marines and soon to be marines. I wish you were a recruiter. Thank you Hao

 

To: Hao Hong

Subject: RE: Just read your web site

 

Hao,

 

Thanks for the email. It always does my heart good to hear that someone stumbled across my page and spent hours reading it. It is the very reason that I keep it going. I try to keep it updated as a hobby because I think it is important but finding the time is sometimes difficult. I thank you for your praise.

 

I will address your questions:

 

“1. I am debating between enlisted and officer. I do not know very much about  computers. Recently I managed to learn enough to build my computer but  that's not saying much. If I choose the officer path, would I be trained on  computers or would I only be in leadership. The other option is to enlist  and be trained in Data systems.”

 

Please read the first three chapters of my MECEP page: (http://members.tripod.com/jdgrose115/Adjutant/mecep.html)

 

This will give some background on becoming an Officer of Marines.

 

With a degree in hand, you would be qualified for either enlisted or Officer.

 

Another factor that you must consider is your age. I am not sure about enlisted limits but I know that you are supposed to be commissioned as of your 30th birthday or you have to get a waiver. The Officer Selection Officer (OSO) in your area will be able to tell you more about the requirements to become an Officer.

 

The Communications field and the data filed merged a couple of years ago when I was just getting my commission. Therefore you have to shoot for being a comm. Officer and hope you get lucky enough to get into a data systems slot.

 

As enlisted, you can get the recruiter to get you a guarantee for the data field. As an Officer, it is a crap shoot. I have extensive data and technology background but was still assigned as an Adjutant. It is only through my efforts to get into a special education program that I was fortunate enough to get over into the information technology field.

 

I am not 100% sure but I think that the difference is that the Officers are assigned as project leaders and the enlisted serve as the programmers and do the hands on work. Officers must know how to do it in order to oversee but I think that project management is what they do the most.

 

“2. I'm concerned about getting the job I want. Can you tell me more about  job selection. (even more concerned after hearing about your adjutant  fiasco) I understand the enlistment contract states your desired occupation.  Is this guaranteed. What are the pitfalls that may exist.(I don't use ?)”

 

Below, is another portion from the MECEP manual I mention above. I think that it will explain:

 

MOS determination


Your assignment after TBS is dependent on how well you do at the school. You are rated in order from one to however many Lieutenants are in the Company. This rating depends on your academic scores, peer evaluations (Spear Evals), input from your Captain, etc. These scores are always changing so there is no way to tell for sure where you fall at any particular time.

At the end of the course, they take the list and break it into three equal parts: the upper third, middle third, and lower third. Then they go to the top third and ask #1 Lieutenant what he wants from a list of available Military Occupational Specialties (MOSs). He picks and then they go to the #1 Lieutenant in the second third who is actually about #80 overall. He picks and then they go to the #1 Lieutenant in the bottom third who is actually about #160 overall. After he picks, they go back up to the #2 Lieutenant in the top third who is actually #2 overall but gets 4th pick. They #2 in the second third and then #2 in the bottom third. This goes on until everyone gets an MOS.

You are probably asking why they do this. It is called quality spread. To explain, I will show you what would happen if they DIDN'T do this.

Say you have 300 Lieutenants in a class and you let them pick an MOS without the quality spread. For some reason, the majority of Officers want Tanks. I don't know why but it is probably because it is considered a "sexy" MOS. Historically, there are about 3 slots open for tanks so you would get the superstars (1, 2, and 3) pick tanks and the tank community gets the cream of the crop. Now you get to the end and you have the MOSs that not a lot of people drool over: Supply Officer, Motor Transport (Yes, Adjutant is in this group, too). Now you get the bottom feeders (those Lieutenants who are less than stellar compared to their counterparts) and they are "stuck" in a bummer of an MOS. As this process repeats itself class after class, you get a great tank community because all the water-walkers are being fed into it. But your Motor T and Supply section keeps getting the leftovers. Over time, the Corps suffers because you have a collection of weak officers in one MOS.

To try to alleviate this, they came up with the quality spread. That way, you get good officers and less-than-outstanding ones in all MOSs. It is good for the Marine Corps because you get the two mixed where the good can help the needy. But it is sometimes bad for the individual because you could work your butt off at TBS and not get what you want while a bottom-feeder gets a great MOS.

Case in point, I came out 78/236 (the 66th percentile) but the cut-off for the thirds was 80. Therefore the picks went something like:


1. 1st place
2. 80th place
3. 160th place
4. 2nd place
5. 81st place
6. 161st place
.
.
.

As you can see, I was at the bottom of the top third and out of 236 Lieutenants, I got about 230th pick. Adjutant was my 5th choice out of 25 so I was not as jammed as you would think. In fact, I feel lucky to get what I got but I originally wanted to be a communications officer so I could get into data processing. But alas, it was not to be and I am happy with my current assignment.

 “3. Where can I get more specific information about boot camp. Many sites say  many different things. Should I contact the MCRD San Diego directly(I’m from  Minneapolis).

 

You could try to contact them but I think you should also read “Boot” by Daniel da Cruz, “Making the Corps” by Thomas Ricks, “Marine” by Tom Clancy, and of course, my boot camp stories. “Full Metal Jacket” is extremely good at showing the environment created by the drill instructors (minus the hitting). It is the most realistic bootcamp scenes I have ever seen other than being there.

 

“I would like to know what the physical requirements. Many people say: 18 pull-ups, 3 miles in 18 min, 200 sit-ups in two min.  Others say the minimum to pass PCP is 2 pull-ups, 3 miles in 29 min, 100 sit-ups. I am in good shape. I run and  lift regularly.”

 

The Marine Corps is no place to consider the minimum. We detest the minimum. And the Physical Conditioning Platoon, otherwise known as the “Pork Chop Platoon,” is only for the overweight Marines. But if you must know, yes the minimums are three pull ups, 3 miles in 28 minutes, and 50 sit ups in 2 minutes. But if you do just that, you will not get a passing score. You need to get extra points in one of the events to get a passing score.

 

Each event is worth 100 points. You get 5 points per pull up (max 20), 1 point per sit up (max 100), and a max of 100 points if you run 3 miles in 18 minutes. For every 10 seconds after 18 minutes, you are deducted a point.

 

Here is the chart I made up that will explain:

 

FROM: MCO 6100.3J W/CH 1-3, PHYSICAL FITNESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REQUIRED MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE (MALE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REQD

 

 

 

 

SUBTOTAL

ADD

PASSING

AGE

PULLUPS

SITUPS

RUN

POINTS

POINTS

SCORE

17-26

3

50

28

105

30

135

27-29

3

45

29

94

16

110

40-45

3

45

30

88

0

88

46+

3

40

33

65

0

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REQUIRED MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE (FEMALE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

REQD

 

 

 

 

SUBTOTAL

ADD

PASSING

AGE

FAH

SITUPS

RUN

POINTS

POINTS

SCORE

17-26

15

50

31

105

30

135

27-29

15

45

32

94

16

110

40-45

15

45

33

88

0

88

46+

15

40

36

65

0

65

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REQUIRED MINIMUM CLASSIFICATION SCORES (MALE/FEMALE)

AGE

UNSAT

3D CLASS

2D CLASS

1ST CLASS

 

 

17-26

0-134

135

175

225

 

 

27-29

0-109

110

150

200

 

 

40-45

0-87

88

125

175

 

 

46+

64

65

100

150

 

 

 

I hope this helps.

 

Jason D. Grose

Captain

United States Marine Corps

http://www.bigfoot.com/~jdgrose115

 

            “And of course you can’t become if you only say what you would have done...”

 

                                                                                    If You Steal My Sunshine Len  

 

 

Captain Grose,

 

Just want to say thanks for replying. While it may seem like a small thing  to some people, actions say more than words. It's great that you do exactly what you say which is reply to emails.

 

As an fyi, I ventured out again and found another recruiter that is much more helpful. I did get in contact with an OSO recruiter and I am choosing the enlisted route so I can build a technical skill. I initiated the process for enlistment.

 

Thank you for taking the time to share and educate people with your website. I will continue to check your site as long as you have it up. Maybe our paths will cross in the marines.

 

Thank you

Hao

 

p.s. while talking to the local OSO recruiter I mentioned your site. He was very interested in reading. Maybe he might contact you.