Candidate Q: Female drop rate?

Candidate Question:

I am a female hoping to go to OCC this summer. I was hoping you might have some insight as to why so many more women get dropped than men? I have a competitive PFT score, but, presumably, so did all the women that got dropped from your OCC class.
I have been trying to focus a lot on upper body strength since I know that sometimes can be a problem for women, even if they have a good flexed arm hang score. Do you have any other suggestions for things I should prepare for and focus on that tend to give women candidates difficulty or cause them to be dropped?
Thank you for your help and the time you put into your very informative blog.

A:

Candidate, frankly all I can share is my opinion or observations. You’ll get as many answers to that question as people you ask.

First, the failures snowball. The more candidates your platoon drops, the more sleep you lose as others have to cover their shifts of firewatch at night. By the end of OCC-202, the ladies were doing two hour watches, every other night. More stress, more failures, more firewatch…more stress. So don’t have any sleep debt when you report to Quantico!

Secondly, from what I observed, physical injuries were a major factor. Frankly lower body is the trouble area. Lots of boots, weight on your back, running through water, etc; it all adds up to hell on your feet and ankles. So maybe try to hit heavy lunges and squats to develop the muscles and joints as you are able. Usually women’s flexibility is pretty good compared to men’s, I think, so that is an advantage.

Thirdly, don’t look for ways to get out of the pain, just accept it and forge ahead. I know a few female candidates got dropped for not carrying all the gear they were supposed to in their packs, or even carrying weight for others–literally aiding in helping other candidates cheat! It’s sink or swim on your own strength at OCS to some extent.

Honestly that’s all that comes to mind when I think of female platoons in my experience. All the rest applies to everyone about academics and fitness. If your PFT score is okay, switch to the OCS workouts on here, which will prepare you better. Feel free to post questions to females on our facebook page: USMC OCS.

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