Congressional Fellowship Program
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Office of Legislative Affairs
Arlington, Virginia



The Marine Corps Congressional Fellowship Program (CFP) offers participants the opportunity to work in the legislative branch of the federal government for one session of Congress.  Eligible candidates include Marine Officers (Active Component), SNCOs, and Civilian Marines.  The CFP is a 42-month tour that consists of three components:

  • Professional Development: Selectees generally report to OLA in June, approximately six months in advance of their first day as a fellow on Capitol Hill. This is a designated education and professional development period that helps prepare fellows for their time on the Hill.

    • Officers enroll at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government. During the dedicated period, officers earn a majority of the credits required to eventually earn a Master's in Public Policy (MPP). The remaining credits must be completed online and at night while the fellows are on the Hill or their utilization tours.

    • SNCOs & civilians receive blended training and education through the Congressional Research Service and the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. Portions of this education carryover into the fellowship and utilization periods.

  • Congressional Fellowship: Fellows serve as a personal staff member on Capitol Hill in the office of a Senator or Member of Congress for one year, starting in January. This is a uniquely valuable opportunity to observe how our government works and learn about the people and institutions that shape our Corps.

  • Utilization Tour: Uniformed fellows must complete a two-year utilization tour immediately upon completion of the fellowship year on Capitol Hill. OLA coordinates with M&RA to assign fellows to billets in the NCR. The intent is to place fellows into billets leverage fellows’ experience with policy, appropriations, and legislative process.

After completing their two-year utilization tour, fellows have a remaining obligation for an additional year of service. These assignments are made by M&RA based on the individual’s attributes, career progression, and the needs of the Marine Corps. These assignments are not limited to the NCR and are not typically in legislative billets.

  • Per federal law (10 USC § 2603), each applicant who is accepted for the Congressional Fellowship Program must agree in writing to a three-year service obligation that begins immediately upon completion of the fellowship year on Capitol Hill.

Click to watch: HQMC Video on the value of the Congressional Fellowship: OLA CFP Video

Please direct all Congressional Fellowship questions to Major Charles Byers at or GySgt Daniel Beers at

"A-Hill-Worth-Climbing" (Marine Corps Gazette, June 2023)

"Marines on Capitol Hill" (Leatherneck Magazine, December 2015)
"The Congressional Marines are Formed" (Marine Corps Gazette, Nov 1999)
"Enlisted Marines Take the Hill" (Leatherneck Magazine, February 2010)
"Legislative Affairs--What OLA does for the Marine Corps" (Marine Corps Gazette, Feb 2007)
"The Marine Corps Congressional Fellowship Program" (Marine Corps Gazette, June 2009)
"Marines, Meet Your Congress" (Marine Corps Gazette, July 2012)
"GAO Report on Oversight of Fellowships" (GAO-12-367, April 2012)
"CY11 SNCO Fellow - Honorable Mention as 2012 Marine of the Year" (Marine Corps Times, July 23, 2012)
"Capitol Hill Marines bridge gap between Congress, Corps" (Marine Corps Times, August 12, 2013)
"Schar Schools Cohort of Marine Corps Fellows visits Capitol Hill" (George Mason University, October 25, 2022)
"These Marines Embrace Their Mason Mission" (George Mason University, November 10, 2022)