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
6 thoughts on “Guest Post: A New Female Lt Talks to You”
Thank you for the post. There’s not a whole lot of info online for women going to OCS, and a female’s perspectives/challenges are often from a different angle than a mans.
Thank you, Natalie! The failure rate of women is so high, hopefully some good information can go a long ways in helping more find success.
Hello mystery friend 😉
I was in this class, and the one pictured in the “Conquering Female OCS Fears” post. I came in thinking I was prepared, but sometimes bad luck finds you (twice). I wish I had found these blogs before I went because it would have really been nice to have as much info as possible. 9 years in the USMC still doesn’t prepare you for OCS… I think you just have to DO IT.
I miss you girls a lot. Class 208 graduated a lot of females because you worked TOGETHER and always picked up the fallen. I hope you all have long careers and always keep helping other females. Strong role models are the MOST IMPORTANT thing we need in today’s Corps!
Very helpful post.
Random question: When you say “no-shows”, are those people that just didn’t show? What happens to candidates that don’t show up?
Yes they just don’t show up! Obviously they are no longer welcome to train even if they do show up late and are disenrolled from the program.
How tall are you? and how much weight is typically carried by females on the marches?