As with the other military branches, individuals who enlist in the Marine Corps, who meet certain eligibility criteria can enlist at an advanced rank. Unlike the other services, which offer advanced enlistment rank up to E-3 (E-4 in the Army), the highest advanced enlistment rank a Marine Corps applicant can receive under the below programs is Private First Class (E-2).
While the effective duty (for pay purposes) for advanced rank under the below programs is the day the Marine goes onto active duty (ships out to basic training), recruits cannot wear the rank insignia during Marine Corps basic training.
Applicants who meet the below criteria may received the advanced rank of E-2:
- Prior service (other service) with six or more months of active duty to include class continuous active duty training, if the applicant held the rank of E-2 or above in the other service.
- High school graduate and has evidence of successful completion of a two-year college Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC).
- High school graduate and has evidence of successful completion of two or more years of a Junior Reserve Officer Training Course (JROTC).
- Completion of two years or more at a military service academy (West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy).
- Enlists in the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP), awaiting shipping out to basic, and refers two applicants who subsequently enlist in the Marine Corps.
- Completed the junior and senior course of the Platoon Leaders Class or the male or female Officer Candidate Course.
- Completed 12 semester hours/18 quarter hours, college level courses with a course number of 100 or greater and attained a minimum grade point average of C+ (2.3 or better on 4.0 scale). College hours do not have to be completed in the same semester or quarter.
- Achieved Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America or a Girl Scout Gold Award in the Girl Scouts of America.
- Attained the grade E-3 or completed at least 24-months in the Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
- Attained the grade of E-5 in the Young Marines program.