I’m getting ready to have my initial interview in a couple of days and have been working on a list of questions to ask my OSO. I want to stand out as much as possible and come fully prepared, like everyone else I’m sure. Any advice on “must ask” questions or being prepared in general?
Firstly, are you married or engaged? If you are likely to be in a relationship when going through OCS and joining the Marine Corps, I highly recommend you bring your (future) spouse along and get them involved in the conversation.
If you have any fears about OCS, ask them now. Be honest. Try getting in the head of your OSO and ask him what makes a good officer and what he is looking for in a candidate. Feel free to ask him about any trends of failing candidates: their characteristics or warning signs.
Don’t get too focused on OCS. Make sure the military life is for you by asking him about his career, what Marine Officer life is like, and how the Corps differs from other branches. Ask him what personalities should be in what branch. The Marine Corps isn’t for everyone, and that’s fine. Ask him what his favorite and least favorite parts of Marine Corps life are.
With the wars winding down and the downsizing imminent, ask him how a peacetime Marine Corps compares with the last ten years.
Ask him how he handles the stress on family relationships. Military life will stress not only your immediate family ties, but also make it difficult to keep in touch and see your extended family as well. What benefits does the Marine Corps offer family members?
Ask him what he does for PT.
Ask where you could be stationed and what possible jobs you could hold in the Marine Corps.
Ask how you could make your package more competitive and how you could improve yourself as a future Marine Officer between now and commissioning.