The Marine Corps Recruiting Command recently released statistics regarding the number of officers commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1995 from the top 229 national universities in the United States, as identified by U.S. News and World Report. The Marine Corps recruited 740 of its 1,257 officers from these highly regarded schools. Adding the 124 service academy commissions (not included in the study) and 64 officers commissioned from Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel, the total rises to 928. With approximately 4,300 accredited degree granting institutions in the United States, this means that 73.8% of our college-graduated officers commissioned during 1995 came from the top 5.4% of U.S. colleges and universities. This appears to bode well for the Marine Corps. Further analysis, however, may indicate otherwise.
Officers with top academic credentials, coupled with valuable Marine Corps experience, are highly marketable. Accordingly, a disproportionate number of these fine officers may be deciding not to make the Marine Corps a career.