The Ultimate OCS Graduation and Commissioning Gift Guide

“What should I get a graduating or commissioning candidate?” is a question asked by many family members unfamiliar with the Corps.
The following were my favorite gifts when I graduated OCS and commissioned (on the same day).

If you have a new Second Lieutenant en route to The Basic School, check out our TBS gift guide.


Click for our TBS gift

2nd Lieutenant Challenge Coin

2nd Lt Coin

OCS Coin

Engraved Kabar Knife (2nd Lt First Last/Date of Commissioning)


A Marine’s best friend

-A USMC doormat

Marine Corps Doormat

A Marine Corps Doormat was my favorite gift!

USMC License plate holder

-The green Officer Candidates School shirts that officers at OCS get to wear.

USMC money clip (for me, I liked that alot since it was something I wanted)

USMC Money Clip

Sexy USMC Money Clip

Nice military watch, waterproof with a compass

I didn’t get an engraved mug but that is another popular idea. Same with a sword display.

Remember, what is special differs quite a bit depending on personal preferences.  Expensive is not necessarily better.  A $15 doormat that claimed my house was a USMC house was my absolute favorite thing! So think what your candidate would like.

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6 Responses to “The Ultimate OCS Graduation and Commissioning Gift Guide”

  1. Kylie July 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Is the challenge coin something you got from a family member or friend, or was it from another officer? Is it appropriate to give someone a challenge coin as a graduation present if the person giving it isn’t in the Marines?

    Is it appropriate to get a newly-graduated Marine a sword?


    • Marine OCS Blog July 14, 2012 at 11:29 am #

      Family or friends could get you the coin, probably not another officer unless you share a close relationship. If nobody gets you one, drop some more hints or hit up the PX by yourself! The coin is only appropriate for a Lieutenant, unless you find one that says OCS specifically. Double, triple-check to make sure it’s USMC OCS and not Army OCS.

      A sword is the greatest gift a new Marine *OFFICER* could get! There are NCO and Officer swords, and they are different, so be careful with that. Also, the size needs to be measured to the lieutenant, in person, to get the right length of sword.

    • Steve Amoroso February 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      The coin would be fine, but they will not need the sword as an Enlisted man right away and as an Officer it is mandatory to purchase at the basic school, Semper Fi, Captain Steve

  2. Greg September 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    Graduated from USMC OCS in 2005. I am looking for the lighter green OCS tshirt that I purchased in Quantico. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Marine OCS Blog September 8, 2012 at 8:38 am #

      Those are known as T-shirts Tactical Marine Corps, and made by Puerto Rico company Kandor Manufacturing. Unfortunately they are not currently available for private sale online. We are going to try to find a way to buy them or identical items. We will publish what we find soon so stay tuned!

    • Jon B October 11, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Those are nice shirts.

      I know Sgt Grit had them at one time, which i was surprised of as they were a tightly controlled item when i graduated OCS in 1979. You had to be there, do that, to get one.

      Ah, Camp Upshur …… good times!

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