After Graduation

When you graduate, you will serve with pride as a Navy or Marine Corps officer.

During the fall term of their junior year, Navy Option students complete a Service Selection Survey indicating which warfare community they want to join after commissioning. Although not binding, this allows them to begin the process to prepare for nuclear selection interviews, aviation tests, or medical examinations. Before they depart for summer after their junior year, Midshipmen complete “dream sheets” for service selection where they list their community choices. 

All Navy Midshipmen nationwide are ranked based on academic grades, Physical Fitness Assessment scores, aptitude, and the recommendations of Commanding Officers. Additional points are given to students with technical majors. Based on these factors, and student preferences, Midshipmen will be assigned future warfare communities (surface, submarine, aviation, etc.). Results are published around October/November. Those Midshipmen selected as future Surface Warfare Officers choose their ships and duty station in early spring (based on national rankings).

Upon graduation and commissioning, new ensigns depart for the fleet or follow-on training. Marine Corps second lieutenants attend The Basic School for six months, where they learn basic infantry platoon leader skills and compete for an occupational specialty (infantry, artillery, intelligence, logistics, communications, etc.). Depending on individual orders, newly commissioned officers may be temporarily assigned as staff members at the Holy Cross NROTC Unit. 


All students who participate in the NROTC program and are commissioned into the Navy or Marine Corps agree to an eight-year minimum commitment (includes active duty and inactive reserve time). Depending on the selected warfare community, the active duty and inactive reserve times vary, but all add up to at least eight years.


Years Active

Surface Warfare/Special Operations/Special Warfare

5 years active

Submarine/Surface Nuclear/Naval Reactors

5 years active

Naval Aviation (Navy or Marine)

8 years active after warfare qualification

Naval Flight Officer (Navy or Marine)

6 years active after warfare qualification

Navy College Program (non-aviation)

3 years active

Navy Nurse Option

4 years active

Marine Corps (non-aviation)

4 years active

Graduate Education

Navy and Marine Corps Officers are encouraged to attain advanced degrees, and funding is available later during your student career for graduate education.

Immediate Post-Graduate Opportunities

Several midshipmen are competitively selected to attend the Naval Post-Graduate School or the Air Force Institute of Technology immediately after commissioning. Other competitive programs are also available for overseas study or study at local universities, with full or partial Navy funding. Additional obligated service may be incurred when these educational benefits are accepted.

Graduate Leave of Absence

Students desiring to pursue their graduate degrees immediately following graduation may request Graduate Leave of Absence (GLOA). The student postpones commissioning in order to pursue graduate education at his/her own expense.