What Happens When a Marine Is Sworn In?

Swearing the oath is an important military ceremony.

Part of joining the Marine Corps, or any other branch of military service, is swearing an oath to "...support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic..." as a show of loyalty and statement of purpose. When Marines are sworn in, and what happens next, depends on how they are joining.


The first stop before enlisted personnel go to boot camp is the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). This is the facility where recruits undergo testing to ensure they are qualified to go to boot camp and begin training. The recruit takes the oath of enlistment after passing the MEPS testing. He then receives individual instructions on the location and time to board the bus to boot camp.


The process for becoming an officer differs from becoming an enlisted man. Whereas anyone who qualifies and completes boot camp can become an enlisted Marine, prospective Marine officers must apply for a spot at Officer Candidates School (OCS). Once there, the officer candidate must not only finish the course, but perform well enough for the Marine Corps to offer them an officer's commission. Marine officers swear the oath when they are given their commission. After swearing in, they are second second lieutenants in the Marine Corps and wait to receive their orders to attend the Basic School.

3 Boot Camp

After recruits swear in, they begin the 12 weeks of intensive training known as boot camp. Recruits receive physical training and learn the basics of marksmanship with the rifle and pistol, combat maneuvers, tactics, and hand-to-hand combat. Boot camp provides basic training, after which Marines go on to specialized schools for specific jobs.

4 The Basic School

Officers attend the Basic School for advanced training in leadership and combat after graduating OCS and receiving commissions. The Basic School provides Marine officers with training in the different arms of the Marine Corps as well as advanced combat tactics. The officers are evaluated during training by instructors who determine what assignments the officers will receive upon completion of the Basic School.

Micah McDunnigan has been writing on politics and technology since 2007. He has written technology pieces and political op-eds for a variety of student organizations and blogs. McDunnigan earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Davis.