OSO Trades: Peak Behind the Curtain

Note–“gouge” is Marine Corps speak for getting the low down on a topic. Check out one candidate’s story which might change the way you think about how the OSO system works.

I’m from a certain state west of the Mississippi and am contracting on Thursday for OCC-211. After a recent sitdown with my Captain, he mentioned offhand that my region (three total states) were each given one solitary slot for law contract candidates. I know going into this, those numbers were unknown and show just how competitive those slots can be even prior to heading to boards.

Another interesting tidbit is that my buddy is also seeking a law contract in my state but I had a higher PFT, etc and that slot went to me. Captain said that after some politicking, our state OSO was able to take a neighboring region’s law spot in exchange for air/ground slot and my buddy got that second slot. We all know that applicants should seek out an OSO they believe will have the most slots for their preferred MOS but I never realized the OSOs could “trade” slots.

The bottom line, in my humble opinion, is applicants should really make sure to create a rapport with their OSOs and do what they can to maintain visibility even if it is just e-mails. If they know you and see your sincere interest, they’ll go above and beyond to help you out.

-Candidate X

2 thoughts on “OSO Trades: Peak Behind the Curtain

  1. Once you get contracted does that mean you got the spot or that means that your application is being presented to the board? And how long did it take for you to get your decision?

    1. You make an application as an applicant (first step), which gets sent to the board. The board either fails to approve you (rejected) or approves you (contracts you). You are then a candidate until failing OCS, or successfully passing it and accepting or rejecting the commission. Then you’re either a Second Lieutenant or a civilian. The board could take one month to a couple months. It varies considerably.

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