Marine Options



Marine Corps Training

As with the NROTC’s mission to develop midshipmen morally, mentally and physically, and to imbue them with the highest ideals of honor, courage, and commitment, UNL’s Marine Option Platoon is designed to stem off of this main mission.  We focus solely on developing Midshipmen to one day function as company grade officers in the United States Marine Corps.  To accomplish this, we focus on what will be seen at Officers Candidates School at Quantico, Virginia.

To prepare for this, we start developing these young individuals upon arriving at UNL’s NROTC program.  As a Freshman, a Midshipman will mostly learn about the different aspects of the Marine Corps, basic fundamental skills used as a Marine, developing physically, and making the beginning transitions to life as an officer.  As a Sophomore, the Midshipman will continue to make transitions to life as an officer, master basic fundamental skills used as a Marine, but the Midshipman will make the transition to a leader.  As a Junior, basic fundamentals are natural, transitioning to a different lifestyle continues, and leadership skills are being put to test.  After completing their Junior year, Marine Option Midshipman will report to Quantico, Virginia for Officers Candidates School (  Completing this will leave one full academic year until commissioning as a 2nd Lt, and another trip to Quantico for The Basic School.

Marine Corps Field Training

The UNL NROTC Marine Corps Field Training Exercises of Red Lightning (Fall) and Red Thunder (Spring) represent the culminating events for Marine Option Midshipmen each term. These field events incorporate important leadership and tactical knowledge learned throughout each term during 2-3 hour classroom sessions called Marine Corps Training Operations (MCTO) classes. Overall, these exercises are a test of each individual Marine Option Midshipman’s physical and mental strength and courage, as well as their ability to work in and lead teams.

The training exercises require at least two full days of training and evaluation. The exercises test Marine Option Midshipmen in their ability to perform day and night land navigation (compass, map, and pacing skills), fire team tactics, squad tactics, field skills (cover, concealment, weapons maintenance, patrolling, combat lifesaving, standing watch, emergency action drills, orders delivery and development, etc.), and physical activities like, conditioning hikes (5 or 12 miles in length).

This first exercise takes place in the fall semester and allows new Marine Option Midshipmen to be introduced to the feeling of being immersed in a field training environment, as opposed to the college environment where the skills needed for the field training exercise are taught. The spring exercise incorporates the knowledge learned since the beginning of that school year. This second field training exercise tests and evaluates all Marine Option Midshipmen, with emphasis placed on the evaluation of the junior class of midshipmen who are slated to attend OCS the approaching summer. The Marine Corps Field Training Exercises develop, train, and evaluate all Marine Option Midshipmen.

Check out our Fall 2023 FEX Recap Video!

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