The following is from a recently graduated Second Lieutenant. I asked her to share anything about challenges that surprised her at OCS. I hope her point of view will be valuable, both in seeing things from the female perspective and in having such fresh thoughts.
My classes started out with 58 females and finished with 28, which is pretty good compared to some classes before me. But to give you a different perspective, there were 257 candidates on day one. Five no-shows, and on Graduation Day, there were 173.
I think the biggest challenge for females coming in is that they don’t understand that it is the military. You are in a military environment so don’t expect to have a choice or options. I went into OCS in great shape, so I thought, and I came out in better shape. Some girls really struggled with the PT because they were unprepared. I struggled with the eminent amount of frustration. Everything there is frustrating. Everything. I struggled with the fact that even when it makes sense to do it one way, you’re wrong, haha. When you’re in OCS, there is no more YOU; there is the team. And fortunately, the girls that I graduated with were all in it for the team. I heard of other platoons that were not so lucky.
I also struggled with the hikes and the amount of weight we had to carry. I’m a small female and the pack was literally half my body weight. But there were girls smaller then me that also completed the hikes. Just prepare yourself for that.
The other thing is that females are the minority in the Marine Corps, so expect that the Sgt Instructors are going to make you a little tougher. But rightfully so. If we want to play hard we have to be hard. We as a female platoon did everything the male platoons did. There is no big secret to OCS. Just prepare and go in there and give a 110%.
From a new 2nd Lt