MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
For enlisted sailors who wish to become commissioned officers there is now a program offered by the Navy that allows them to do just that.
The Seaman to Admiral 21 Program is available to all sailors who demonstrate they have the traits that are sought in a naval officer. However, there are some things that are required of applicants.
“Candidates need to be outstanding,” said David Boisselle, director of military affairs for Regent University, Virginia Beach, Va. “Within their peer group they need to be a notch above the rest.”
Candidates must also be recommended by their commanding officer, meet physical standards, maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or better, complete their college education in 36 months and be commissioned no later than their 27th birthday.
However, being recommended for the program does not mean they are guaranteed a seat. For fiscal year 2009there were 838 applications submitted for admittance. Of those only 715 were eligible or had all of the required paperwork in order. Out of that group, only 225 were selected to become commissioned officers.
People who submit requests for the programs compete with others that are just as motivated as they are, added Boisselle. Although the history of fleet performance is reviewed, emphasis is placed on academic and leadership potential that is necessary to become a naval officer.
The program has come a long way when compared to other officer programs, which sometimes required the sailors to pay for their own college tuition or be removed from active-duty status which takes away their source of income.
According to the Web site sta-21.navy.mil, candidates who enter the program still receive full pay for their pay grade, are eligible for enlisted advancement and receive an education voucher of up to $10,000 per year, paid to the university for tuition, fees and books.
The program is a great opportunity for motivated sailors who wish to further their careers and become officers, said Boisselle. Once they complete their training they go on to do great things and lead sailors.
For more information call David Boisselle at 757-352-4757, who will be available April 1, at the Camp Lejeune Learning Center.