ABOARD THE USS BONHOMME RICHARD -- During ones’ military career, they are often faced with many opportunities to serve a variety of interests to protect and serve our country. For one Marine the opportunity has been afforded to become an officer in the United States Marine Corps.
Corporal Steven Sprigg, UH-1N Huey crew chief for Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-163(Rein), has taken advantage of the prospect of becoming an officer through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Program.
“I want to be a Marine officer because I feel I can live up to the challenge of leadership and responsibility,” said Sprigg, who earned a degree in software design from Ohio University before enlisting in the Marine Corps nearly three years ago.
The ECP gives exceptional enlisted Marines, who have already earned a four-year degree, the opportunity to become a commissioned officer. Qualified Marines who have been recommended by their commanding officer are able to submit a package to a board at Headquarters Marine Corps to be approved through an extensive and competitive selection process.
Sprigg was due to report to Officer Candidate School in June, but requested to go later because of his current deployment with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“I fought really hard to get extended so that I could stay with the MEU for the deployment,” said Sprigg, a native of Belpre, Ohio.
He said that he knew he wanted to be an officer before he joined, but decided to enlist and go through a commissioning program.
“There were some things that I felt I needed to experience, to accomplish before putting in my package for ECP,” said Sprigg. “First and foremost I want to be an effective and efficient leader of Marines.”
The espirit de corps is felt throughout the Sprigg family. His father and older brother were also Marines.
“When I was younger I remember seeing the sense of pride they had being Marines and I knew that it was something that I also wanted,” said Sprigg.
After being commissioned Sprigg hopes to attend flight school to become a Huey or AH-1W Super Cobra pilot.
For enlisted Marines considering crossing over into the officer ranks, Sprigg said he feels doing research about the various programs available is paramount.
“No one is just going to walk up to you and ask you if you want to be an officer,” said Sprigg. “You need to keep yourself competitive and keep yourself informed.”
For more information on becoming a Marine officer go to www.marines.com or www.marineofficer.com.