This list has been around forever but still is good advice. Although you’ll learn all these at OCS, any mistakes you make along the way to your new knowledge will be painful!
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the following “do’s and dont’s,” but don’t get too bogged down in the specifics of them. You will pick them up quickly once at OCS. The important thing is to get in the mindset of an Officer Candidate. You must be humble toward the staff, but loud; aggressive in your leadership and actions, but tactful toward your peers. Start mentally preparing now, and your transition to “Candidate mindset” will be much easier.
- DO BE LOUD.
- DO BE AGGRESSIVE.
- DO BE CONFIDENT IN EVERYTHING YOU DO.
- DO AS YOU’RE TOLD.
- Do speak in the third person – “This Candidate request permission to make a head call.”
- Don’t say I – “I request permission to make a head call.”
- Do address the staff by billet and rank – “Good morning Gunnery Sergeant, Candidate Smith request permission to speak to Platoon Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant Erwin.”
- Don’t say you – “Good morning sir, I request permission to speak to you”.
- Always speak to staff at the position of attention (POA), never at parade rest or at ease.
- Do salute all officers when covered (wearing 8 point cover), don’t salute officers in the field or when in formation.
- When the staff says “ZERO!” yell “Freeze!” and don’t move, even if you are not done completing the last order you received.
- Memorize the Basic Daily Routine (BDR) of your staff, this will make every day easier on you.
- Do be organized. Having a specific spot for everything and knowing where everything is helps to alleviate the stress.
- Do keep you foot locker and wall locker within regulations. The regulations are in your Candidate Regulations.
- Don’t ever lean against the bulkhead (wall) or racks (bed) or put your hands in your pockets.
- Don’t eyeball your staff or the area. Especially if you’re getting yelled at, look straight ahead still.
- Do memorize your rifle serial number and don’t ever leave your rifle unattended (the sergeant instructors will steal your rifle and then you will have to get it back).
- Do make sure that your weapon is always on safe and your ejection port cover is closed.
- Don’t ever take your rifle in the head (bathroom) unless specifically instructed by your staff. You will hang it on the end of your rack or in the “armory” cases in the barracks.
- Do sew your white nametapes on your blouse if they come loose, or the staff will rip them off and you will have to re-sew the entire nametape.
- Do make sure that your utilities (and all other items) are clearly marked so that you don’t lose them.
- Do have your candidate regulations on your person at all times.
- If assigned an essay, make sure that you complete and turn it in as soon as possible and before the time hack given. Write legibly.
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