Which branch would be best for a Law Enforcement career?

I have recently decided I would like to pursue a career in Law Enforcement ICE really interested me. I am in my second semester of college and I am a father. I am thinking about joining the military as a reservist. Would one branch be better over the other for my law enforcement career after serving? I talked to a USCG recruiter today and was thinking about Maritime Enforcement Specialist but from what I understood only one slot is available at the post and if that is correct then I probably wont get it because there was a guy who is a civilian police officer asking about the same job. I do not want to serve only to help with my civilian career it is a plus but I have always felt that I need to serve my country.


How difficult is it to get into the Marine Corps PLC program. I was an average student in high school and I am doing good in college but nothing spectacular. I read the link. From what I gathered there is NO obligation to serve in the Corps you just go to a six week course at Quantico and if you pass you get 2,700 dollars and the next summer you go back for another six weeks then after college you have the option to serve or pursue a civilian career. What exactly do you do at PLC training in Quantico and how do I get in I am very interested in this. It sounds a lot more manageable to do and still be able to be a college student.

3 Answers

  • Tom
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You are better off serving as a Reserve Officer than Reserve enlisted for promotion within whatever federal or state police organization you select. Marines are usually considered to be the best branch to pursue for civilian Police Work but for an Officer it isn't going to make a lot of difference and there is no need to do Police Work in the Military to help with a civilian law enforcement career. In fact, that can be a negative factor for many Departments when initially getting hired. Navy Reserves are out since their officers are former active duty Navy Officers. Coast Guard has no Rotc and its Ocs is very competitive. Air Guard is possible. Army Rotc can be used as a commissioning source for the Army Reserves and Army National Guard. Nrotc and Afrotc generally commission active duty officers. The Marines Ocs commissions Reserve Marine 2nd Lieutenants. When enrolled in any of these commissioning programs and enlisted in the Guard or Reserves, will draw Drill pay of an E-5.

    Usmc Ocs, Plc and Occ:



    Army Rotc:




    Good Luck!

    Additional Details: In general, once a student has a college record, the high school academic record is not that important. If a student gets an A in Freshman English in college, then his D in 9th grade English and C in 10th grade English and B in 11th Grade English are not of much interest to the Marines, because he is now doing A level work. The average college Gpa for Plc Officer Candidates has been around the 2.8 range. Besides a 2.0+ college Gpa, an applicant must have qualifying Sat or Act scores or a qualifying Asvab Afqt score.


    As with all Marine Officer programs, a first class Marine PFT, 225 minimum, is required to apply, but many OSO(Officer Selection Officer) will not forward an application to a Selection Board with less than a 240 PFT.

    The Selection Board likes to see a PFT score over 270 since that is the minimum recommended prior to shipping to Ocs. The PFT score is a very important consideration for the Plc.

    If accepted to the Plc as a freshman or sophomore, the Plc Officer Candidate goes to the six week Plc Juniors Ocs course at Quantico the summer after Freshman or Sophomore year. If successfully completed the Officer Candidate goes to the six week Plc Seniors Ocs course the summer after Junior year. If successfully completed the Officer Candidate is free to decide if he wishes to accept or decline an offer of commission on graduation from college. If declined, there is no further obligation to the Marines. If Mcfap or Mctap were accepted, and a commission is declined, that must be repaid. If Mctap/Mcfap are not accepted then time in grade for pay purposes starts at the completion of the first Summer Ocs course. This can make a substantial difference in pay on commissioning since the 2nd Lieutenant who became a Plc Officer Candidate as a Freshman will be paid at the rate of a 2nd Lieutenant in his 4th year of service instead of his first.


    [O-1 to O-2: 18 Months. O-2 to O-3: 24 Months.]

    For active duty also have to figure the tax free housing allowance, BAH, which can be substantial. All officers are eligible for BAH. For the Marines, a single enlisted Marine ranking below E-6 and with less than four years service is not eligible to collect BAH.

    To apply to be a Plc Officer Candidate, a guy needs to convince an OSO, a Marine Captain, that he is Marine Officer material, and then the OSO will invite him to submit an application. Speaking to an OSO is in essence a job interview. A favorable first impression is important. As stated above, a 1st class Marine PFT is required to apply.


    The Plc is less competitive than Occ and both are Marine Ocs. All Marine Officers with the exception of Naval Academy Midshipmen go to Ocs. The six week Plc Seniors course is the same six week Ocs course known as "Bulldog" that Marine Option Nrotc Midshipmen attend the summer after Junior year. Ocs is Boot Camp on Steroids. All Marine 2nd Lieutenants with the exception of those with Aviation and Jag contracts select their Mos at TBS. For details of the selection procedure at TBS:


    Good Luck!

  • J.W.
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    You should consider all the branches and all available jobs. Speak with recruiters from all the branches. Joining the military might be a good thing for you to do. There are many benefits that come with being in the military and with being a veteran. You could consider trying to become an MP in the Army or Marines, an MA in the Navy, or a Security Forces Specialist in the Air Force. I would consider trying to join the Coast Guard. You could try to become a Maritime Enforcement Specialist, and later try to become a boarding team member. You could also try to eventually become a special agent in the military. For example, if you join the Air Force, you could later try to become an Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agent. Keep in mind that you might not do much traditional policing in the military. What duties you perform could depend a lot on where you are stationed. Many military bases or installations have federal civilian police officers (sometimes referred to as DOD Police or 0083s) that do most of the policing. Being a veteran, regardless of what branch you were in and what job you did, can help you get law enforcement officer jobs. Veterans get extra points on civil service tests and preference for federal jobs. Some law enforcement agencies that require applicants to have college will waive some or all of their college requirements for veterans. Some agencies even give veterans a higher starting pay. Also, for different reasons, some people simply like to hire qualified veterans whenever they get the chance to.

  • 10 years ago

    Just don't let any recruiter bamboozle you. Make sure things are in writing ! Army MP is Not your best choice. Any service will be great for your resume and preparation for civilian law enforcement. I would think it would be more important what MOS you get trained in rather than which branch.

    Source(s): 1986 graduate US Military Police School FT. McClellan AL.
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