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Marine Corps coming to UCM

The Marine Corps will host a pull-up challenge from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. on Thursday outside the Elliott Student Union. They will also be at the BIG Career Expo from 1–4 p.m. on Wednesday in the Multipurpose Building.

The Marine Corps offers several programs for college students who are interested in becoming a Marine. Students can start working toward a commission as an officer as early as their freshman year.

Capt. Lewis Finney said his goal is not to encourage students to leave college.

“In order to be a Marine Corps Officer, you have to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree,” he said. “It is my job as an officer selection officer to find physically fit, morally sound, mentally tough young men and women whom (sic) may be interested in serving as Marine Corps officers after they graduate.”

Finney said he runs a program called Platoon Leaders Class for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, and he has the Officer Candidate Course for seniors and graduates. These programs provide leadership training and the opportunity to accept a commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Qualifying for one of these programs allows students to continue their studies while earning their commission as an officer. Qualification may also provide students the opportunity to attend Marine Corps Officer Candidate School.

Finney said he also runs an aviation program open to all majors and that requires no flight experience. Upon passing the physical qualification and aviation-oriented test, students may be eligible to receive a guaranteed seat in flight school in Pensacola, Florida.

Freshmen and sophomores attend two six-week training sessions over two summers where they will be paid approximately $3,200 per six weeks. Juniors, seniors and graduates attend one 10-week training session where they will be paid approximately $5,400. Additionally, students are eligible for financial assistance of $1,575 per semester, plus tuition assistance up to $8,200 after completing an increment of training during the summer.

For more information, contact Finney at, call 816-891-7633 or visit the BIG Career Expo on Wednesday.

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