Six Recommendations to Build a Strong Application for OCS

Applicant Question

I plan on applying for next year’s OCS summer course. I have contacted an OSO and he’s been helpful.
I have a 3.2 GPA, I haven’t done a PFT (not sure when to do that yet) and I am a part of various organizations on my campus in which I have been involved with leadership.

I want to make sure that I will get accepted and want to know that my application will not raise questions.

What do I need to do to get a yes for my USMC OCS application?

Lance Cpl. Griffin Forrester stands his post in his fighting hole during a beach raid aboard Camp Pendleton, California, March 6, 2015. After securing the beach, Marines tactically moved to Camp Horno, where the Marines dug fighting holes and trained in defensive tactics during Amphibious Squadron/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training.
(Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos/Released)


If you already have a high level of physical fitness, you’re on the right track. For more specifics, here’s our advice:
[ordered_list style=”decimal”]

  1. Start running PFTs immediately. Just test yourself (with strict pullup form) if your OSO does not offer them weekly.
  2. Work to develop yourself more as a leader and get some leadership roles on your resume.
  3. Keep building that relationship with your OSO like your career depends on it.
  4. Don’t get any tattoos or in any legal trouble.
  5. Network with Marines and research the Marine Corps as much as possible.
  6. Start contacting possible recommendation-writers well ahead of time.


Time to get to work! Good luck. Let us know how it goes and keep in touch if you have any more questions.

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