Email this Article Email   

CHIPS Articles: How an NROTC Scholarship Can Create New Opportunities

How an NROTC Scholarship Can Create New Opportunities
A path to become a Marine Corps or Navy officer
By Zoe N. Jackson, Department of Defense - August 23, 2018
When I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue higher education and, later on, go into the military. I didn’t know how I would accomplish this, but I understood that I didn’t have the money to afford to go to a university – even through taking online classes.

Because I didn’t know how to accomplish this goal, nor did I have an idea of what exactly I wanted to do, I ended up taking a gap year. During that time, I worked in a corporate attorney’s office and spent time learning about ways to finance my own way through college, as well as earn scholarship opportunities.

One day, I stumbled upon the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship, which is for U.S. citizens between the ages of 17 and 23. It’s a full-tuition scholarship to any university that is an approved Navy ROTC university.

I looked at the scholarship and thought that this would be my chance to accomplish both goals: get a degree and serve in the military. I ended up pursuing the Marine Corps Navy ROTC scholarship because it was the most physically challenging, and I am always up for a challenge.

From that point onward, I dedicated all of my time outside of work to bettering myself in every capacity: mentally, emotionally and physically. I took the physical fitness test a few months later and earned a first-class score. I added that to my Navy ROTC package and sent it off to the board.

Several months later, my recruiter, Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Michael Oberley, called to tell me I had received the scholarship. That was a huge moment for me. I now had a path to becoming an officer in the Marine Corps and obtaining a degree.

Currently, I am a midshipman 2nd class (meaning I’m in my third year of university) and I’m in the process of prepping for Officer Candidate School, a six-week course designed to screen all Marine-option candidates to see if they have what it takes to become a U.S. Marine Corps officer.

I am excited to enter into the next phase of my life after earning the title of a United States Marine and, of course, completing my degree.

Naval ROTC Midshipman 2nd Class Zoe Jackson
Naval ROTC Midshipman 2nd Class Zoe Jackson

Officers and Naval ROTC midshipmen pause for a photo aboard Chilean Navy Type 23 frigate Almirante Lynch during a ship tour. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Gavin Shields
Officers and Naval ROTC midshipmen pause for a photo aboard Chilean Navy Type 23 frigate Almirante Lynch during a ship tour. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Gavin Shields
Related CHIPS Articles

CHIPS is an official U.S. Navy website sponsored by the Department of the Navy (DON) Chief Information Officer, the Department of Defense Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) and the DON's ESI Software Product Manager Team at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific.

Online ISSN 2154-1779; Print ISSN 1047-9988
Hyperlink Disclaimer