MCRC awards all four year Frederick C. Branch Leadership Scholarships
April 17, 2012
QUANTICO, Va. - For the first time since the program began in 2006, Marine Corps Recruiting Command has awarded all 34 allotted four-year Frederick C. Branch Leadership Scholarships to qualified men and women who attend or plan on attending participating historically black colleges and universities.
The Branch Scholarship is a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship available to students who are currently attending or have received letters of acceptance to one of 17 historically black colleges and universities that have NROTC programs on campus or crosstown affiliates. Some of the schools included are Clark Atlanta, Howard, Hampton, Texas Southern, Tuskegee and Xavier universities. The scholarship is available in four, three and two year installments.
The scholarship is named after Capt. Frederick C. Branch, who on Nov. 10, 1945, became the first African-American to be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
"Captain Branch became an officer at a time where the Marine Corps and country as a whole was a segregated place," said Capt. Joseph Wydeven, diversity officer, MCRC. "He fought to become an enlisted Marine at Montford Point and took it a step further by fighting to become an officer. His story is one of perseverance and Marine triumph and we continue to ask our officers today to show the same courage and mettle that he did."
Though students must attend a participating HBCU to receive the Branch Scholarship, students of any race who meet the moral, mental and physical qualifications to be Marine officers may receive the scholarship.
"The selection for four-year scholarships was very competitive this year," said Wydeven. "We expect that to increase as word spreads about the scholarship."
Wydeven, along with several other officers from MCRC, made up the scholarship selection board.
Some of those qualifications include a 22 or higher on the ACT, a 1000 or higher combined math and reading on the SAT, the physical and mental fortitude to make it through the rigors of Officer Candidate School and outstanding moral character.
For those selected, the scholarship pays for tuition and gives a monthly subsistence allowance of $250 for freshman, $300 for sophomores, $350 for juniors and $400 for seniors among other benefits.
For their part, some of the responsibilities for students attending school on the scholarship are participation in their school