Should I Talk to an OSO Before I’m “Ready” for OCS?

Candidate Question:

Ready or Not?
Ready or Not?

I am currently enrolled in college, majoring in Computer Science. I have struggled quite a bit in finding a major to stick with, but am now positive this is the right major for me. I currently have roughly a 3.0 GPA and will continue to improve on that as I go.

I have always been interested in serving our country. …after personal family experiences and researching the Marine Corps, I decided that joining the Marines is something that I really want to do, specifically as an officer.

However, I currently have a long way to go. I am well aware of the high standards Marine Officers are held to, and know how difficult it is to get into OCS. I am in nowhere near good enough shape to even dream of getting accepted, and know I have much work to do in regards of improving my GPA and my leadership experience. Therefore I hesitate in contacting an OSO simply due to the fact that I want to impress from the first meeting.

Should I improve my physical fitness and improve my GPA before I even consider meeting with an OSO? Or, should I meet with one as soon as possible and not worry so much about giving them a great first impression as far as my level of fitness is concerned.

One last note on my fitness: I can currently run 3 miles at about a 8 1/2 minute pace, can do around 11 pull ups (up from four within that past couple months thanks to the Armstrong program) and have no problem doing 100 crunches in 2 minutes.

Response:

That was a long question, but the answer is very short: talk to an OSO! The sooner, the better. Make a good plan to improve your studies and physical fitness, execute that plan, and sell yourself to the OSO. He has to believe you’re on a good trajectory. Remember he’s more interested in where you’re going in your personal development than where you’ve been.

That was a long question, but the answer is very short: talk to an OSO!

As far as your personal improvement, think drastically.

What are some changes you can make to your life to immediately impact your progress? Think critically and pursue your goals in a disciplined manner.

Do you have what it takes to lead by example?
Do you have what it takes to lead by example?
  • Cut out all alcohol and desserts.
  • Force yourself to sleep 8 hours a night.
  • Cut out all social media, movies, video games, and start every day with a workout.
  • Join a CrossFit group or weight-lifting class.
  • Get a tutor.
  • Spend every Saturday and Sunday evening in the library studying.

Whatever it takes, you need to break out of the routine that put you into the weak place you’re in physically and academically.

Many, many students in your position have become successful officers, so you can do it. However, they all had to discipline themselves and sacrifice to improve to the required point.

Good luck!

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