WILMINGTON, North Carolina --
Musician Enlistment Option Program (MEOP) is a very selective program, within an elite organization, and provides outstanding opportunities for performance, travel, education and adventure within the United States Marine Corps.
“When I heard the details of the MEOP program, initially it sounded almost too good to be true,” said Paul O’Dacre, a Marine Corps poolee and euphonium musician. “I thought there’s no way [the Marine Corps] is going to pay me to play my instrument, but after I’ve done my research, I found that this is for real, and how could I possibly pass up this opportunity?”
O’Dacre will join the enlisted ranks upon receipt of his high school diploma from E.A. Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina.
David Beresoff spent two years at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where he decided to pursue a career in the Marine Corps as a professional euphonium musician; he is simply waiting on his day to ship to boot camp to begin his career.
Both musicians have played the euphonium for more than seven years, averaging two hours of individual practice every day.
“As I got through college and gained more experience on my instrument, I felt it was time for me to join,” said Beresoff. “I learned I’m not really good at school. I’m lacking in some academic areas, but my music is strong, so I wanted to take some time off from school and build some discipline.”
To qualify for MEOP, musicians must complete the application process consisting of a screening form, video submission of a performance and a live audition. Once qualified, musicians enter the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) to secure a position in the Marine Corps as a musician and prepare themselves mentally and physically for recruit training.
“I didn’t feel I was physically ready,” said Beresoff. “I’ve never been into sports, so fitness wasn’t a big deal to me. Through the DEP, we do all types of workouts that have helped me achieve my goals. I can see the gradual improvements every day, and it makes me feel great.”
The discipline, teamwork and attention to detail, which leads to success as a Marine are characteristics that caught O’Dacre’s attention.
“The thing that’s driving me the most to enlist into the armed forces, more specifically the Marines, is the standard of excellence that they hold themselves to,” said O’Dacre. “Every time I come to the recruiting office, I’m always astounded how professional the Marines are, the level of character they display, and I’ve always wanted to hold myself to those higher standards and be a part of something bigger than myself.”
Both men stated that music is one of their greatest passions in life and want to pursue a career in the music industry. With their acceptance into MEOP, opportunities have already begun to open for these talented musicians.
“I’ve already been offered some gigs from being shown that I have the talent to be accepted into the musician program,” said Beresoff. “I’m excited to be a part of this, and I can’t wait to begin my journey as a United States Marine.”
For more information in regards to the Musician Enlistment Option Program or the Marine Corps, call 1-800-MARINES or visit Marines.com.