Like all military flight school applications, this process takes time. For PLC commissions, it could take 4 years if you sign on as a freshman. Of course, knowing you have a flight contract guaranteed as a freshman is pretty cool, if you ask me! For OCC commissions, the application process takes much less time, however you still have to graduate from the same Marine Corps programs as someone that signed as a freshman in the PLC program.
If the Marine Corps is going to invest their best men, equipment, and time into your education, the least you can do is prove that you can tolerate a year or more of training, applications, and hassles to have the opportunity to fly.
So, say it with me… “Do Not Get Discouraged!”
Why not use this to your advantage… If someone says “Oh my goodness, you’ll be in Iraq tomorrow!” remind them that it will take years to get selected, complete OCS, and attend Basic School. Who knows how long to become combat qualified before anyone would consider taking you overseas.
It’ll help get people off your back because joining the military is never very popular, sometimes even in military families. Almost all the right things to do in life are not popular, which is probably, ironically, why they’re the right things to do.
Platoon Leader Class (PLC) Option
One of the benefits of the PLC program is that you can be guaranteed a commission and a flight school slot long before most students even wonder what they want to do after college. By laying out the requirements for your commission, the Marine Corps allows those who know that they want to fly the assurance of having a flight school spot when they graduate.
The PLC option conducts all of its training in the summer (kinda like a summer job) in either two 6-week OCS courses or one 10-week OCS course. Your only ‘obligation’ in PLC is to attempt to complete OCS in the summer. (They pay you too…) After that, even if you are the best candidate they’ve ever seen, you are free to walk away from the Marine Corps and not accept a commission. In your senior year, you choose whether accept a commission in the Marine Corps or walk away with no obligation.
If you join PLC as a Freshman or Sophomore, you will do the 2 six-week summer OCS courses. As a junior, you will attend the 10 week OCS course.
Unlike the other services with their ROTC programs, there is no “Marine ROTC” option – where you take military science classes while in college. There is a Naval ROTC program, however most people do the PLC/OCC route. This allows you to do all your Marine Corps work in the summer without the usual ROTC requirements and distractions. With no academic year requirements, you are free to do everything that other students do during college…except one or two summer(s), where instead of working at McDonald’s, you will train to become a Marine Corps Officer.
If you are not selected in your first attempt to join PLC or OCC, do not despair, but be ready to showcase your best talents and skills and apply the next year. If you believe you are competitive, this book should get you well on your way to improving your application, as well as preparing for flight school. If you begin applying in your freshman year, by the time you graduate, you will have the program application down so well that nothing will hold you back!