Guide for Applying to the CO Whitelist

Click here to apply. Competent leaders only. Overseen by @council_co


“With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Welcome! If you’ve come across this page you’re probably planning to become a Commanding Officer (CO). The Commanding Officer is the highest-ranking officer responsible for the Marines, able to exercise their authority over the operation and influence it like no other.

The Commanding Officer is a role of great power and great responsibility, and while we are the whitelist with comparatively basic standards when applying compared to the other whitelists, we are simultaneously the most entangled whitelist with the Marines and have the most interaction with them overall. As a result, Commanding Officers remain to be expected to uphold standards becoming of a competent leader, role model, and officer, not only while playing as the CO but also as a player.


The foremost things we, the CO Council, rate applicants for their eligibility for CO are three things: their command competence, their character (IC and OOC), and their roleplay ability.

  • Command competence is how well you, the player, perform while in a position of significant power and authority. 8 times out of 10 this is gauged by how you do as an Executive Officer. However, performance as a Squad Leader is also vetted, as well as your performance as any other Command staff member such as a department head or Staff Officer. Being competent means being able to communicate, direct, and decide at critical moments in an operation so that Marines, or otherwise staff under your command, are able to do their duties responsibly and in a well-informed manner.

  • Character is a measure of both your behavior IC and OOC. We determine this based on your interactions with other people and their impressions of you, whether it’s from roleplaying with your character in-game, or interacting with people over Discord or other social media. We’re not looking for you to stand out like a snowflake; rather, we are looking to see if your personality can blend well with Marines and your style of running the show. Abrasive and arrogant types are far less likely to earn the CO whitelist than those who are cooperative and understanding. Your in-game character can absolutely still be a dick if you want them to be as long as it’s roleplayed well and not to the detriment of the round or players’ enjoyment.
    Your moderation history also plays a significant part, as the CO Council is generally more hesitant to accept someone with a lengthy record of bans.

  • Roleplay ability stems from the above: it’s your ability to play the role of a believable character. The CO’s Code of Conduct states that COs must behave like the officers they are: high ranking, competent, and sound of mind. While we don’t shun gimmicks, we strongly advise against roleplaying in such a way that makes your character resemble a clown or a lower enlisted person, as that’s conduct unbecoming of an officer and not something that would be seen in real life without serious reprimands. Are we asking for you to be the best roleplayer ever? No. But we would like you to at least try to play the role of an officer.


In order to be able to qualify for the CO role there are a few things you need to have beforehand:

  • Be on the CM Discord. Announcements and rulings for the whitelist are given on the Discord and you are required to be on it to be eligible.

  • CIC leadership experience as an Executive Officer (XO). 40 hours or more as XO (approx. 20 rounds) is the minimum to qualify.

  • Field experience as a Squad Leader (SL). 15 hours or more as SL (approx. 8 rounds) is the minimum to qualify.

  • No bans or notes in the last 30 days. (Minor notes may be ignored and EORG bans are not counted in this.)

  • COMPREHENSIVE knowledge and reading of the CO Code of Conduct.

  • A basic but well-founded knowledge and understanding of the following:

Knowledge of these is crucial to succeeding as a Commanding Officer. Make sure you read them well.
These prerequisites apply to ALL applicants INCLUDING THOSE REAPPLYING FOR THE WHITELIST .

Experience you do NOT strictly need (but it helps if you play as these roles anyway):

  • Military Police (MP) experience. Knowledge of Marine Law is critical to being a Commanding Officer but you do not necessarily have to play as MP to fulfill this.
  • Department heads (CE/RO/CMO/CMP). It is encouraged to play as at least one department’s head to get an understanding of shipside leadership, but this is not mandatory – especially if you have XO experience.

What we DO NOT look for in a CO applicant:

  • Seniority. If you meet the threshold and prerequisites above, we do not care whether you joined CM 3 years ago or 3 weeks ago. Be aware, though, that applying while still new to the game might give you trouble in letting people trust your decision-making or roleplay ability, and we’d generally recommend that applicants spend at least 2-3 months playing CM before considering the CO whitelist.
  • Whether or not you’re a member of staff or contributor. Being a moderator, mentor, maintainer, contributor, etc. has no bearing on your whitelist chances. While being a member of staff generally makes people trust you more to not abuse your power, it doesn’t mean that you have any free passes or elevated chances.


Once your basics are completed you’re ready to start filling out your application. Before you do, though, here are a few recommendations:

  • Play as only one character for XO. Having a randomized name will make it much harder (if not impossible) for people to vouch for your ability and your character.

  • Ask other people, particularly whitelisted COs (or even CO Councillors) to help review your application. They can assist you with what needs to be changed and what looks good to make your application stand better.

    • Make sure this is with multiple people. Having one person to review your application usually isn’t enough!
  • Your story isn’t everything. You can make it as elegant as you like but as long as it does the job it’s not the central part of your application; you are.

    • This isn’t an excuse to slack off on it, though. The story is meant to provide an insight of how well of a character you can make for your CO. If it’s bad, it won’t look good on you.
  • Remain active in the community, especially on Discord, so people know who you are and know who they’re voting for. Nobody will trust someone they don’t know.

  • Continue to play leadership roles such as XO while your application is up to allow more people to be able to see you on the playing field and, consequently, vouch for you.

    • A significant reason many CO applicants are denied is that not enough people have seen you, or you haven’t been seen enough. Exposure is key, and playing rounds, especially while your application is up, helps significantly.
  • Use an external document editor like Notepad, Word, or Google Docs to write your application for copy-pasting into the forums. Writing it on the forum entirely is not recommended, as it doesn’t save upon exiting the tab or your browser.

When you’re ready to make your application, head on over to this link (if the link is invalid, applications are closed) and get started.
Once you’re ready, you can hit “Submit” at the bottom to post it on the application thread, where the review process begins.


The CO Councillors are the individuals responsible for maintaining, upholding and policing the CO Whitelist. These are appointed individuals who are chosen by current Councilors, and are able to vote on applications, review reports, reprimand or remove Commanding Officers, and make changes to the whitelist or its components. They are given the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol) in-game as a show of their status. Retired Councillors may keep the Lieutenant Colonel rank if they have served dutifully for an extended period of time.

The CO Senator is in charge of the Councillors and essentially the “leader” of the Whitelist. Senators are responsible for ultimately giving the final acceptance or denial verdict on an application or report, and may veto a Council decision or vote if it is against their wishes, or make an executive decision independent of Council vote. The Senator is appointed by both the Whitelist Maintainer and the preceding Senator.

Together Councillors and the Senator form the CO Council, the body responsible for overseeing the whitelist. You are allowed to ask any of these members for help on an application or if you have questions regarding the whitelist and/or applying for it.


Last updated 5/14/2024.

  • Nauticall / nauticall / Col. Samantha ‘Sammy’ Maverick (Senator) as of May 24, 2020

  • Kirshbia / Kirsh / LtCol. Braden ‘Aces’ Stephenson (Councillor) as of February 23, 2023

  • Goshflipheck / goshflipheck / LtCol. Hunter Stanford (Councillor) as of July 18, 2023

  • Gysilian / gysilian / LtCol. Booker Peralta (Councillor) as of February 16, 2024


When your application is up on the app thread, it’ll be subject to review by community members, whitelisted COs, and CO Councillors alike. The lattermost are the people responsible for judging whether your application succeeds or fails. They aren’t the sole factor though; negative community feedback from non-Councillors can swing the vote against you, so make sure to remain professional and calm.

You may occasionally be asked questions by community members or Councillors. These can range from questions about scenarios (such as Marine Law incidents), to questions about your routine or a briefing you would give, to asking you to clarify a section of your application. You are encouraged to answer these to the best of your ability.

Applications will be +1’d or -1’d by community members and Councillors. If a majority of the Councillors vote in your favor, you are accepted; if a majority vote against you, you are denied.

Application voting by Councillors is held internally, though sometimes Councillors can leave public feedback on your application. Votes will be released by the Senator, or someone of equivalent authority in their absence, towards the end of the 2-week voting period stating if the application has been accepted or denied.

Applications are processed WITHIN 21-28 DAYS (3-4 WEEKS) maximum (unless stated otherwise) . If the Council cannot come to a proper conclusion on your application before then, your application will be automatically denied.

If you are accepted

You will be notified of acceptance on your thread by the CO Senator or other similar administrative position (including the WL Maintainer or a Manager), followed by granting of your permissions. Depending on staff availability it may take between 1 and 6 hours for your permissions to be updated both in-game and on the Discord, so please be patient. Once that’s done, you’re free to start playing as a new Commanding Officer!

If you are denied

Don’t worry. If your application was denied you are still allowed to reapply in 30 days from the date of denial unless stated otherwise by the Council. Take that time to revise your application and learn from your mistakes and what you did or did not do that led to your denial. Remember: it isn’t considered a failure until you treat it as one.

Common reasons for being denied are:

  • Not enough playtime in vital roles such as XO.
  • Poor or lacking application and/or answers.
  • Poor community behavior or bad standing with staff or the CO Council.
  • Lack of endorsement or visibility (this can be due to you not playing often enough or having a random name).
  • Hostile or uncooperative behavior.
  • Administrative punishments or notes (recent notes, non-EORG bans, and job bans count against you in applications and may be grounds for instant denial).


Don’t fear failure. It’s the best way to learn from your mistakes and to develop yourself as a person.

Regardless of how your application turns out, we’re here to support those with ambition. So be brave, Major-hopeful, and we from the CO Council wish you the best of luck!