Career Planning

Becoming a Naval Officer

As members of a prestigious worldwide team, Naval Officers enjoy a way of life quite different from their civilian counterparts and even officers in other branches of the military. It's an exciting lifestyle calling for adaptability and flexibility in meeting the constant challenges being in the Navy or Marine Corps presents.

Naval officers are highly trained professionals who lead the way in achieving operational and management requirements. Naval officers provide technical, scientific, and managerial expertise in a wide variety of specialties at sea, in the air, and on shore.

The NROTC Program

The Navy officer corps is divided into three categories: unrestricted line, restricted line, and staff corps. The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Program was established to educate and train qualified young men and women for service as commissioned officers in the unrestricted line Naval Reserve or Marine Corps Reserve. As the largest single source of Navy and Marine Corps officers, the NROTC Scholarship Program fills a vital need in preparing mature young men and women for leadership and management positions in an increasingly technical Navy and Marine Corps.

Career Opportunities Through NROTC

Upon graduation, midshipmen are commissioned as Ensigns in the United States Naval Reserve or Second Lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps Reserve; they will serve four or more years active naval service depending upon service selection.

The NROTC program is designed to produce Unrestricted Line Officers in one of the following Naval Warfare specialties: Surface Warfare, Submarine Warfare, Naval Aviation, Special Warfare, and the Marine Corps. Women are presently restricted from serving in the Submarine, Special Warfare, and ground combat communities. The Nurse Corps Program, although it produces Restricted Line Officers, is also a part of the NROTC.

Entry-level salaries for officers start at approximately $30,000 including medical and dental care, thirty days paid vacation per year, and paid training. There are also incentive and bonus pays available depending upon the warfare specialty that is chosen.

Career Opportunities Through Other Officer Programs

In addition to the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, the Navy and Marine Corps offer a number of other officer programs. These programs allow for commissions as restricted line or staff officers. For more information, contact your local recruiter, visit the Navy or Marine Corps website, or call 1-800-NAVY-JOBS.