This Saturday night I’ll be hosting a dinner for four Eph Marines-to-be in Williamstown. Two are seniors (Brad Shirley and Jeff Castiglione) who, having graduated from Officer Candidate School (OCS), will be accepting their commissions in June, as I did 19 years ago. One is a senior heading to OCC (the version of OCS for those who have already graduated from college) and then, if he makes it through, a commission to follow. One is a first year. Come next September, will she be the only Marine at Williams? I mention this happy occasion for three reasons.

First, are there any other Eph Marines in town? If so, I would like to invite them as well. Surely there is at least one former Marine amongst the 2000 faculty and staff of Williams.

Second, I want to mention again what an amazing opportunity OCS is for current Williams undergraduates.

Sign up for Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. Spend 6 or 10 weeks over the summer at, essentially, officer boot camp. Think of it as Outward Bound for tough guys. You’ll certainly learn much more about leadership than you would by taking all the leadership classes at Williams.

But the best part of the deal is that there is no obligation! (This is how they got me.) If, after the summer, you decide the Marines are not for you, then go back to Williams, graduate and go be an investment banker. The Marines only want you if you want them. Only a percentage (half?) of the candidates who make it through the summer actually sign up for a 3 year tour post graduation. But it is still a great deal for the Marine Corps because its gets these officers cheaply, without the cost of a military academy education or ROTC.

Love America and think you’re tough? OCS is for you.

Third, as is traditional when Marines gather, we will give a toast “To Those Who Have Gone Before,” to the Marines like Nate Krissoff ’03 and Myles Crosby Fox ’40 who proceeded us in an unbroken chain of courage and sacrifice going back 200 years. Feel free to join us in that toast, wherever you may be that night.

UPDATE: I didn’t mention the names of the other two students because I wasn’t sure how public their plans were. But a reader notes that Michael Del Rio’s ’07 Facebook profile makes it clear that his plans are very public.

About Me:
From my OCS pre-application essay:

I believe that there is no greater calling for an American citizen than that of service in the United States Marine Corps. The Marines embody virtues such as loyalty, courage and sacrifice; virtues that are sadly lacking amongst many of the young Americans of my generation. Indeed I believe that the Marine Corp represents one of the last bastions of the ideals upon which this country was founded. As a citizen who wishes to serve his country to the fullest of his capabilities, I can think of no greater honor than to join such a brotherhood
and earn the right to call myself a United States Marine.

Good stuff!

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