Extremely competitive applications for OCS…rejected

Candidates, there is no sure thing when it comes to applications and the boards right now. We have heard of good candidates with 300 PFTs not getting selected. Work as hard as you can to have an airtight application, and do not hesitate to APPLY EARLY AND OFTEN. One current Second Lieutenant applied several times over a time period of about a year before being selected.

Do Everything

Do not pass up an opportunity for leadership, for a favorable recommendation, do not skip a workout. You are competing against very motivated, qualified young men and women for a shrinking pool of spots.

A recent comment from a male applicant for a ground contract sparked this update. Read below

From the candidate:

I just wanted to let everyone here know that getting accepted is extremely hard right now. My application just went to the board for an October OCS date and I wasnt accepted. I had a 298 PFT, GPA was 3.14 from a highly competetive University, I was a division 1 football player, and I had recommendations from former military officers. The only things that I can think of that deterred my acceptance was a tattoo waiver and my OSO said average SAT scores accepted were 1220 and mine were 1120. I guess I’ll just have to wait another year to apply.

However, my point is this, DO EVERYTHING. If you are still in school then you should take up as many leadership roles as you possibly can. Do everything and anything you believe will make your app jump out to the board. It’s hard to get in, nevermind get commissioned. [minor edits for grammar]


Read All the Comments Below

Don’t miss the good gouge that candidates are sharing below:

38 thoughts on “Extremely competitive applications for OCS…rejected

  1. Another candidate writing in: I got word earlier this week of my acceptance to the October 2012 OCS class. Of course I was extremely relieved and happy when I found out. But I was stunned when my OSO told me that only about 1/3 of applicants were accepted. This may be unprecedented. Between the draw-downs, the looming budget cuts and sequestration, the military is bracing itself for leaner times. My OSO said there was one office that sent 10 applicants up and only 1 was accepted.

    1. you were accepted in July. What was the date of the board that accepted you, or how quickly after board met were you notified? thanks

    2. I just turned 20 this August. I was in NJROTC for 4 years of my high school time. Competed across the states and competed at nationals on the drill team for 3 of those years. Besides a couple of leadership positions in the unit and high school as well as doing Varsity Cross Country. I have no other sports or leadership positions. I am not expecting any of the prior information to matter at all to people reviewing applications. I have had no civilian jobs and not enlisted. I am attending a local community college online and I have yet to acquire my associates degree as I’ve only completed 1 semester. I currently am lost. I don’t know If I should enlist or apply for reserves or keep going for a associates degree. All I know is I want and will become a Officer in the USMC. I need to dammit I need some guidance. I haven’t been to MEPS or anything and I’m worried that If I go to a recruiter to ask about the best course to take their trick me or convince me to do something that is more in their best interest of meeting their quota. My grand pa who is a retired Gunnery Sgt will go with me to talk to them hopefully. Seeing all these smart people and more experienced getting rejected worries me but I’d appreciate advise and recommendations please !

  2. Is there a possible Roster of the October candidates made viewable to the public? I tried calling my OSO Office and they have yet to hear upon any of their candidates acceptance. Just a little nervous is all…

  3. The OSO I am out of sent in 7 applicants and none of us were chosen to go. I had a 289 PFT 3.18 GPA, and 3 letters of recommendation. Two were from congressmen and one from a public school principal where I volunteered for 5 months as an ESL teacher. Good luck to those who were chosen!

  4. I can fully admit how competitive the process is. For me age was a detraction, as I was 26 when I first submitted, and was just now selected/will commence training just before turning 29. I chose a much more challenging route, as I went enlisted. Through this method, I not only made myself stand out by going through Basic/ITB/MOS school, but I held leadership billets along the way, had superior rifle scores, and never anything short of a first class PFT. It all added up, but it took time – 3 years since I first submitted, till now. I currently hold the rank of LCpl, and WHEN I finish OCS, I will be able to call myself a Mustang. For those of you not familiar with the term, Mustang is used to describe a Marine that was enlisted first, and made the transition to Officer.

    My point is, if you are serious about trying to get into OCS, speak to an OSO about going the enlisted route first. It helps show any review board that you truly want to make OCS a reality for yourself.

    1. I am 27 and did not get selected for OCC 211. If I choose to go the enlisted route how long will it take before I can apply to OCS? I am assuming 3 or 4 years, if that is the case i will be 30 or 31. Would I be able to get commissioned at age 31?

    2. Did you apply through the PLC program? or go straight into OCC? or other? i’m heading down that road myself. Just wondering

  5. I was on the board for October OCC. I was very uneasy about what my results would be since I knew how competitive thing have gotten over the last year or two. I was fortunate to be selected. Here were some of my credentials for those still looking:

    PFT: 295
    GPA:3.15 from UW-Madison
    ACT: 27
    6 reccomendation letters, including 1 from a mustang recon marine.

    LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE (big ticket item)
    -established and led “Madison Platoon” which is a poole of all officer applicants/candidates in my area. We would meet twice a week for PT, and coordinated volunteer/community service activities. I drafted a report for each meeting with attendance, activity summary, and my conclusion to the event which I would send to my OSO afterwards so my leadership was documented. I would highly suggest doing something like this, and if you don’t have other officer candidates/applicants around, go to the enlisted recruiters office and talk to them. They love working with future officers.

    -Student Government executive

    -Coached 2nd grade flag football

    -Trainer for bartenders and Servers at a Darden Restaurant

    -Gave presentations on leadership through communication through a school club

    -Taught boxing and muay thai classes at my MMA Gym

    -PT with enlisted Marine Corps poolees and participated in firing range events

    I have a variety of other athletic/community service resume builders as well, both of which helped very much to get selected. My OSO told me they are looking for people of SERVICE who want to help others, as opposed to being selfishly motivated. Community Service, volunteer opportunities etc… will go a long way. Try volunteering time at your local VA!

  6. My OSO sent in 13 books for 211. Only 1 was accepted, and that was a reserve spot. I was not selected. In case anyone is curious, here are some of my good stats:
    300 PFT
    3.96 GPA from a competitive university
    Master’s degree in economics
    Fluent in Spanish
    Took a leadership training program at a wilderness survival school

    And some bad stats:
    3 waivers: age, tattoo, drug
    Not many community service-type activities
    No team sports
    First time applying

    I imagine the board looked at my application and said, “wow this guy is really smart and fit but 3 waivers? Seriously?” I’m reapplying for OCC-R 212. Reserve is better than nothing, so here’s hoping…

    1. @ Brent I was told as far as waivers that once they are approved they don’t really count for or agianst you at the board…

      1. @ Brent
        @ Austin

        There are two types of waivers: medical and moral medical

        Medical waivers are only considered as you are in the process of being medically qualified to apply for OCS. Once you are deemed medically qualified, review boards don’t see your medical waivers. They only see that you are medically qualified.

        Moral waivers are any waivers needed for speeding tickets (excessive), tattoos, drugs, etc. These waivers vary in their level of impact on your application in front of the review board. The first level is handled at your individual OSO office. The next is at the district level. There are 6 districts in the Marine Corps Recruiting Command. The third level is Regional (East and West) and the final level is “Exception to Policy” that is handled with the Marine Corps Recruiting Command itself.

        The first and second level of moral waivers are only deal-breakers if you match evenly on all other levels with another candidate. The higher level of waivers will impact your image to the board significantly.

        Also, consider that there is information in your application package that you are not privy to. Your OSO writes comments and ranks his/her candidates. If a candidate is ranked as #1 on his/her OSO’s list, those comments will most likely make any minor moral waivers unnoticeable. However, if you’re OSO’s comments are not as favoring, your moral waivers will stand out more.

        Hope this helps. I am in the same boat as most of you. This is my second time applying and my PFT, GPA, volunteer and leadership experience is comparable to most of yours. Best of luck to all candidates.

  7. I was excepted on the early board this year with a pft of 282. I am a freshman so i had no grades to be looked at. I had a misdemeanor back when i was 15, and one speeding ticket. I think the key to getting in is putting out a very good image of yourself. I had a lot of complements from my recruiter. He said my reason for wanting to join the Marine Corps was great. He told me i did some of the best pull ups he had seen a freshman do. When i met with him i made sure to be well dressed, and clean shaven. The recruiter has a very big say in who gets selected. He told me a month before he didn’t see any reason why i wouldn’t be selected on the early board. I didn’t believe him after reading about all of the people with 290’s on their pft who weren’t selected, but he was right. There were six people selected out of my district I am not really sure if that’s a lot or not, but I’m pretty sure there were 57 applicants.

    1. You were “excepted”? You may want to work on grammer skills before going up for review for OCS next time – ha!

  8. I was also rejected from Officer Candidate School.

    Here are my stats:

    3.4 GPA Fordham University- Degree in International Political Economy
    295 PFT (Need to improve this)
    Interned for County Legislator, State Senator, and Congressmen
    Worked Security at various places. I.E. Bouncer, property protection, and other security needs.
    Participated in Men’s Crew, and was active in boxing at a local gym.
    Former wrestler for high school, participated in wrestling , Greco Roman wrestling and took classes for Jiu Jitsu while in my high school years.

    I just enlisted into the Marine Corps as I truly want to carry the title of a Marine. If I am rejected again from OCS. I will keep applying as my dream was to truly become a 2nd Lt in the Marine Corps.

    Was told that the acceptance rate is low because they are down sizing the Marine Corps and that I did not have enough life experience. I beg to differ but I will not quit and will not take no for an answer.

    Currently a Poolee… Soon to be a US Marine.
    – Ben

  9. I’m set to graduate college in the spring and will be continuing on to law school in Fall 2013. I’m considering JAG for the international law practice and service it provides.

    I’ve many leadership positions on my resume, but I have always been more academic than physical. I’m starting to work out consistently and intensely and am thinking about applying for OCS for Summer 2014.

    However, I’ve never played any team sports. Have any others been accepted despite this absence? With a high GPA (3.96 from a prestigious Midwest college), no waivers, and multiple leadership positions and scholarships to my name, is there a decent chance I could get accepted with a high PFT?

  10. Fantastic! Thank you very much, sir, for all your help in all of these posts. You’ve provided lots of good information, and I hope to see success using your workouts. Thanks again!

  11. Ok, so this has shown that extremely competitive young men and women are constantly being rejected for active duty officer commissions. What about reserve officer commissions? Is it more lenient? About the same? Anybody heard anything?

    1. Overall, Reserve contracts are also very competitive, but they have been more available as of late. It actually depends on the OCS class, as some are weighted more for Reserve or Active contracts. Your OSO may have the best idea of what to expect with your unique situation.

  12. reading the above is almost freaking me out. Are my chances better going in through the PLC? how tough is it through there in the admissions/applications area?

  13. Hi,

    I am a female graduating college in May and going to law school in the fall. I am looking to do the PLC law program. Obviously it’s getting more difficult to get accepted…I have a 3.5 from a good Midwestern university, no waivers, a ton of leadership and volunteer stuff as well as recs from Marines and Senators/Congressmen. The only problem is my pft…right now it’s around 270 (not a great run time). Do you think I have a chance of being selected?


  14. Hi All,

    I am interested in joining the Marines Officer Training School, I graduated from a respected University in 2011 with a 2.3 GPA(went through a lot of family/personal problems during college). Although my GPA is not a true measure of my intelligence, is your GPA heavily weighted in the process to become a marines officer?


  15. OCC-217 Candidate. I was selected on my first board. Here are some of my credentials:

    Air Contract
    PFT: 287
    GPA: 3.3

    6 letters of recommendation. 1 from a Staff NCO.

    OSO Platoon Commander
    RSS Enlisted Poolee Coordinator
    University’s Semper Fi Society Commander
    Little league travel baseball coach
    Volunteered with several charities and organizations

    If anyone is still reading these comments, here’s my advice. Attain/maintain a good relationship with your OSO. Work extremely hard and show them your burning desire to become a Marine Officer. If you work hard, your OSO will work hard to get you selected. The OSOs have a big influence on the selection board and can somewhat control who gets selected.

  16. I didn’t get selected to OCS either on this past July 2014 board. I had a 280 PFT, 2.88 GPA-University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    7 letters of Recommendation, 1 from-OSO, 1 from his CO-Major, 2 from previous bosses at OG & Target, 1 from my Marketing Prof, 1 from Wells Fargo’s Business Consultant, and 1 from the Dean of my University. Worked at all Fortune 200 companies, Wells Fargo (40), Enterprise Rent-a-Car (112), and U.S. Bank (185), all left on good terms, and was still employed with WF at the time of the board. My OSO, his CO-Major, and the Colonel of OCS endorsed my misdemeanor waiver for a college bar fight and I still did not get selected.

    17:15 3-mile at Parris Island’s Mini-OCS
    16 pull ups
    112 crunches
    88 Asvab

    I was the #2 person in the last group of candidates for July 2014 board out of the Murfeesboro, TN office. Now according to my Master Sergeant I’m listed #1 and I’ve increased my pull ups to 19. So I’m hoping to get selected in Nov 2014 but who knows.

    Volunteer Work:
    Leonardtown High School Special Olympics 2006
    Campus Wide Project “The Big Event” 06
    Campus Wide Project “The Big Event” 07
    Parks & Recreation Community Service 2007
    James Clemens High School Special Olympics 2013
    Miracle Baseball League for Special Needs Children 2013
    Miracle Baseball League for Special Needs Children 2014

    My resumes for volunteer has increased 3 fold since July’s board for this upcoming November 2014 board.

  17. OCS is VERY competitive now. The Marine Corp’s end strength may end up around 185,000. We are no longer deployed to two AORs and (hopefully) will not be. I write that because war is not glamorous.

    Things will change and the Corps may go through a “growth spurt” and will need more officers. Bear in mind that the Corps has the fewest officers over all, but also has the leanest officer to enlisted ratio. Officer intensive will be USAF.

    Here’s what the Corps is looking for: “Whole Man.”

    A prospective candidate can have a 4.0 GPA, a gajillion hours of volunteer time, a 300 PFT and still not be selected. Why?

    Because there’s more to being a Marine officer than being a smart PT stud. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s not all that important. I’ve served with Marine officers who were not academic and PT studs, but they had intangibles such as leadership, confidence and desire.

    I would be shocked if a prospective candidate got a “nod” if he has ANY waivers. Very few Marine officers have tattoos. Drug use shows a lack of disdain for the law and a weakness of character. The exception, of course, will be for minority applicants.

    You need to evaluate yourself before you step inside an OSO’s office. You need to understand that your OSO has most likely deployed on at least one combat deployment. You are going to be evaluated as to whether or not you have what it takes to lead Marines.

    Good luck!

  18. I got accepted. 3.0 GPA, 262 PFT, 200+ community service hours, college rugby, college student government, mini OCS participant. 3rd board

    1. Will be leaving for OCS in two days, here are my stats. Hopefully I add some perspective, as I am one of those “Who-wait-what?” candidates that most (who are not on the board) expect to be rejected.


      281 (maximum) 265 (minimum, with the exception of a 243 when I first started the application process).




      Studio Art (BFA)


      A moderately competitive university which has experienced recent growth.


      I am an Eagle Scout with 4 years of scouting and community service.

      I first tried to enlist, but it was recommended to me by my enlisted recruiter that I talk to the officer selection office.

      I was accepted on my first board.


      There are lots of comments on here to agree with. You MUST want this. You most likely will not be accepted if this is your second choice, or your plan B, or a “well, heh, I guess I’ll try it out.” Marines look for dedication, and they pay a lot of money to move candidates around to and from training, so they don’t want to waist the government resources on potential DORs. No matter how you feel about it, your OSO will be able to tell if this is your goal, or just a phase. I have been dreaming of being in the marines since I was 12 (before my older brother, even, who is now a corporal). I never realized my own potential to be an officer, and so that wasn’t in my thoughts until my enlisted recruiters mentioned my opportunities. (And after I was called a “Motto Unicorn” by my Gunnery Sergeant).

      The comments regarding maintaining a relationship with your OSO, is also very important. What helps them gauge your dedication and commitment is your willingness to communicate and ensure that your application process is understood, supervised and accomplished. I emailed my OSO often, visited the office often, and eventually was given the roll of Squad Leader to coordinate PT and other poole related events.

      You really have to ask yourself WHY you are seeking a commission. That will help you decide whether or not your chances are high for acceptance. Is this your career goal, or a backup–are you taking advantage of the DOR opportunities, or is that not an option for you? Becoming an officer needs to be as necessary as breathing, to you.


      Want it. Be motivated and motivate others. Try hard. Seek self-improvement. Have reasons for what you do.

      Hopefully this helps someone, I don’t claim to know the closely guarded secrets of the OCS boards, but I’d like to think I know why I was accepted. You should, too. Ask yourself that question. If you can’t answer it, don’t apply.

      1. Webster, you were in my platoon. India/1. Remember me? You killed it as candidate platoon sergeant

  19. The Marine Corps is a big organization. During lean times they tighten selection criteria by nitpicking past mistakes. Like tattoos,speeding ticket,etcetera.
    This does not mean that it is a good idea. You can look good on paper. However,it has been my experience that a few imperfections make you more relatable to the enlisted Marines.
    It is a people job, if the Marines hate you for whatever reason it hurts the organization as a whole. The enlisted instructors are better equipped to tell if you are worthy than the administrators at HQMC.
    If you have grit, character and intelligence you will get through.
    They will beat you up mentally and want to make you cry. The Sleep deprivation and physical demands are there to see if you will give up or keep thinking until you win.
    This 2nd Lt role is no cake walk.
    They may very well be doing you a favor by not selecting you.
    Do not fret over the rejections you get they either want you or they don’t. It does not mean that you would not have been a good officer.
    Go in,do your absolute best, hold your head up, do not be afraid.

  20. Accepted package to PLC JR 1st Increment

    What really counts
    2.6 college GPA
    279 PFT (Ate dirt twice on my official PFT, was raining. Last PFT is 290)
    300 CFT (I have heard that the boards don’t look at this, but do well to show your OSO you care. Stats and numbers are nice but the OSO is constantly evaluating you)
    9 letters of Rec (High school math, HS English, Taekwondo master, US Marine Corps Infantry Major, Congressman, Senator, College English professor, College Math Professor)
    Perfect English and Reading ACT, 32 Science, 31 Math.
    Attended every pool function since applying

    Secondary material
    3 clubs in high school
    3rd Degree black belt Taekwondo
    High School Cross Country, 2 years varsity but honestly i suck at running
    Captain of Martial arts team that trained for an international competition
    NROTC Rifle and Pistol Commander (Real firearms to compete against other NROTC units)
    NROTC RIfle squad Fireteam leader for Field Training
    NROTC Sailing team
    NROTC Close order drill (I heard you do this a lot at OCS)
    300 hours or so of volunteer service
    Applied for USNA and NROTC, was not accepted into either but it shows you applied.
    NROTC college program (2 years of very applicable military and leadership training)

    Tertiary material

    I don’t know if I would recommend the NROTC College program to PLC applicants because sleeping 4-6 hours a day really sucks and you have some activity every morning whether its 1.5 hours of PT or 3 hour leadership classes. Definitely took a toll on my GPA but gave me valuable training and skills that I can apply at OCS and in the fleet. You learn Land Navigation, general military knowledge, you get briefs from any where from Marine Corps Infantry Officers to Navy SEAL Officers. I have experience writing operations orders, letters of intent/instruction, 5 paragraph orders, and general military experience. If there is an NROTC unit on your campus, I would recommend asking the Marine Officer Instructor (MOI) there if you can tag along to train with Marine Option Midshipman for PT, classes, etcetera. Mention your goals and that you are applying to OCC/PLC of course and be ready for an informal interview. Remember that the MOI will be a Captain or Major with 8-11 years in the Marine Corps and even if your OSO thought you were a stellar candidate, if you mess up with the MOI or AMOI they will definitely be in touch with your OSO. The opposite is also true. If you shine during the activities your are allowed to join (show up every day on time and put 100% effort in) the MOI will tell the OSO about it.

    I am a 5’7″ 140 pound male who is 50+ pounds lighter than some of the Marine option MIDN at my unit. Being small does not make you look good in any military branch, but having heart does. I always beat Charlie company at plank competitions and can do 25 deadhang pullups. I always volunteer to lead the company during morning humps with packs and rifles. I volunteer frequently to lead MIDN on exercises. You must be aggressive when it comes to seeking leadership experience, whether it is for NROTC or at pool functions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be prepared to fail a lot and learn quickly. Remember that from the moment you step into the OSO’s office to the moment you leave the military, you are being inspected informally and you should act as such.

    1. What were you contracted as? Air? Ground? And was the PFT that you submitted to the board a 279 or 290? Just wondering!

  21. Hi guys,

    I’m currently going through Finance Recruiting as a Junior while training for OCS and have become very confused at what a “strong” candidate or resume is.

    My stats currently are:
    BSBA in Finance with minors in Accounting and Bus
    3.6 GPA at top 40 B-school
    34 ACT
    260 PFT (6’1 205lbs could do alot better on my running if i cut another 5-10lbs)
    Fluent in Spanish
    President of my Business Frat and VP of my Social Frat
    Various Finance Leadership programs
    3 Summer finance and Accounting internships
    2000+ Hours of community service in HS
    1000+ Hours of community service in college
    Letters of rec from my professors, 2 of my previous bosses, and my cousin who was a O-4 on a Sub for 22 years.

    I can’t really find a clear step by step process on how to apply to OCS, so I guess my question is when should I send in my first application? If i’m set to graduate in May of 2020 can I apply in spring and defer it to the next year or do I have to report immediately? How early is too early?

Leave a Reply