Become a lance corporal (Marines - E3)

Edited by Martin Renz Dimabayao, Lynn, estrella sacragon, Melvin Magadia and 9 others

Become a Lance Corporal

The title of Lance Corporal is derived from the French word of lance-pessade and the Italian words capo corporal, which roughly translates to, "One who has a broken lance in combat."

The Marines have no point requirements for promotions up to grade E-3. They do have requirements for: time in service and time in grade. Marines promoted to this rank are expected to show a degree of leadership and skill in serving as role models for newly enlisted recruits. Lance Corporal (LCpl) is the third rank in order of seniority in the Marine Corp. The pay grade for Lance Corporal is E-3. The rank is higher than private first class and lower than corporal. A Lance Corporal is not a non-commissioned officer (NCO), as many mistakenly think.

The Lance Corporal Insignia

The enlisted wear their rank insignia, also called chevrons, on both sleeves of their jackets, shirts, dress and service coats and also on both collars of field and utility coats. The Marine Corps currently uses four types of rank insignia:

  • Gold on red for the dress blue uniform (blues)
  • Green on red for the service uniform (greens)
  • Green on khaki for the service shirt
  • Black metal on utilities. [1][2]


Decentralized Promotion

The company commander has the authority to promote up to E-3, as long as the service member meets the regulation promotion criteria. The Marines have no point requirements or quotas for promotions up to grade E-3. This is referred as Decentralized Promotions. They do have requirements for: time in service and time in grade.

Promotion Criteria

Promotion for ranks Private, Private First Class and Lance Corporal is basically automatic for those who meet the basic criteria for promotion. All three ranks have to meet the required time in service and time in grade criteria for promotion.

The promotion criteria for Lance Corporal is as follows:

  1. 1
    Time-in-Service (TIS)
    This is the amount of time you have been enlisted in the US Armed Forces, be it Active or Reserve. The time required for promotion to Lance Corporal is nine months of active service.
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  2. 2
    Time-in-Grade (TIG)
    This is the amount of time you have been in your current rank. To qualify for Lance Corporal, you must have been a Private First Class (grade E-2) for at least 8 months.
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Qualifications for Becoming a Lance Corporal (Marines E3)

How you conduct yourself and perform your duties will determine how quickly you move up in rank. E-1 through E-3 promotions are noncompetitive, and as stated, are usually automatically based on time in service and time in grade. The key to promotions is knowing what is required, so that you outshine your peers. Once you are beyond E-3, time in service, time in grade, composite scores (job performance), rifle range and your education, are some of the factors that will aid in obtaining a promotion. For grades above E-3, federal law mandates how many positions at each rank can be filled at any one time. These are examples of why higher ranks are more competitive.

  1. 1
    General Requirements
    As a Marine, you are required to maintain your physical strength, show respect and behave in a professional manner at all times. As a Private, your training in leadership skills began when you entered the service. As a Private First Class, you may show that you have skill to lead, and as a Lance Corporal, you may be required to lead small units.
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  2. 2
    To be promoted you will want to excel in your MOS and apply yourself towards Marine Corps Institute (MCI) to further your training and education. Always seek to prepare for the next promotion long before your time in grade and time in service is met. Show by example that you exceed the minimum required qualifications for the next rank.
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  3. 3
    Experience Requisite
    The Marines offer various training schools, educational opportunities and special duty stations to ensure the service member obtains experience. By taking advantage of these opportunities and being proficient in your MOS, you will show that you have a desire to improve yourself. These desired qualities are sought after when being considered for a promotion.
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  4. 4
    Tuition Assistance (TA)
    The Marine Corps Tuition Assistance Program offers tuition assistance for active-duty Marines. These programs support the Marine's professional and personal initiative for self improvement, a trait all leaders should possess.[3] [4]
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Questions and Answers

Are a Marine Lance Corporal and Corporal E3 the same thing?

Please understand that a Lance Corporal and an E3 is the same, but the rank of Corporal is the rank of E4 which is higher than a Lance Corporal and is the first rank when a person becomes a NCO or Non Commissioned Officer

No, in the Marines an E3 is a Lance Corporal and an E4 is a Corporal. Unlike the Army, the Marines only has one Corporal in the E3 rank, and that is Lance Corporal.

What is the basic criteria to reach Lance Corporal in the Marines?

The time required to get promoted to Lance Corporal is nine months of active service and 8 months at grade E-2.

What does the USMC lance corporal emblem look like?

A USMC Lance Corporal insignia is posted at the beginning of this article.

What's the possibility of not ranking up to a E-3 in the Marines?

Do you have to seriously mess up, or is it a routine promotion?

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Can a PFC promote up to LCpl while serving RA?

I would like to know if my niece, a PFC in the Marines, gets an automatic promotion if she is able to get people to enlist while she's doing RA? We were told that she needs 3 people to enlist, but some other family memebers have been told 2, and others are completely unsure. Any advice? In order for her to get promoted to Lcpl from PFC, she has to refer at least two (2) people to the Marine Corps. Meaning they have to sign the contract and go down to the island in order for her to get the referrals in her name.

How much time do you need to be loyal to the military in order to obtain Lance Corporal?

This is for an assignment in my class.

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Categories : Military

Recent edits by: Frankadoodle, Haleigh's Cisa, hschroeder

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