Candidate Q: How do I learn the basics before OCS?

Candidates, we are running a series of small posts which answer specific candidate’s questions. Feel free to submit questions as blog comments. If the information could help others, the question may be answered as a blog post under the Q&A category.

Candidate Question:

I am a recent graduate from college and have been feverishly training (physically) for OCS for about a year now.

I’ve done a ridiculous amount of research on it (paralysis-by-analysis type research) but haven’t really seen too much on the simple and basic things for someone with no experience (like me) with the military. For instance: Protocol, Language and Terminology, Rank Structure and Addressing specific Rank Structure, Salute, Third Person Referrals, Drilling, Customs and Courtesies. Essentially, Phase One of Boot Camp.

In a nutshell, do they teach and instruct these basic things at OCS for a civilian like myself who has no military experience?


USMC Full Metal Jacket DVD
Buy and watch this movie, again and again

Wow, what a great question–I haven’t written on that at all. Basically, they teach you by less-than-friendly means. They pound it in to you. Like they’re programming a robot. Watch the first half of Full Metal Jacket. VERY LITTLE has changed. If you can memorize the rank structure and all the academics I have posted on here, you will pick up the rest in no time.

For drilling, you will drill for seeming hours a day. It sucks but everyone can do it great by the end, so don’t worry about that ahead of time.

2 thoughts on “Candidate Q: How do I learn the basics before OCS?

  1. Candidate Q: How do I learn the basics before OCS?

    I’m a former Officer Selection Officer, please buy the following DVD which is entitled, Making of a Marine Officer, Making of a Marine Officer DVD

    additionally watch the following video:

    22:18 clip about OCS

    Full Metal Jacket isn’t really applicable to OCS

    Jim Haley, Jr.
    Former Captain of U.S. Marines

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