Receiving Mail at OCS: What You Need to Know

What Mail at OCS Means to Your Candidate

Mail at OCS is often the highlight of the day. Many candidates enjoy receiving sports scores, newsletters, newspaper clippings, etc.: anything they would have normally kept up with at home. Family and friends are encouraged to share fun stories, summer adventures, or jokes as this keeps candidates grounded and affords a moment of escape from the stress of OCS.

Additionally, each candidate is given a folder with paper, envelopes, pens and stamps at the beginning of training.

Mail Procedures

Mail call is conducted at the end of the day. The platoon is gathered in the squad bay and mail is passed out. Each candidate will be called to the front for their mail. Here are some guidelines for sending mail to candidates at OCS.

Mail at OCS: Platoon Sergeants and Sergeant Instructors with Officer Candidate School (OCS), inspect uniforms and equipment of Delta Company candidates aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA on January 24, 2017
An example squad bay at OCS, this time during an inspection


Any packages/large envelopes received will be opened in front of the Sergeant Instructors. Contraband items (food in particular) will be stored in the contraband locker and candidates will have access to these items on weekend liberty. It is advised to not send food to candidates. Failing to disclose the contents of a package or contraband to a Sergeant Instructor is an integrity violation. So, if you send anything to a candidate, make a packing slip of what is in the package. Candidates are allowed to receive religious material at any point in training.    


You’ll have one PX call (the equivalent of a convenience store) during the week. When I was in week two of the 10-week course, the Juniors/Seniors (1st increment) were at week three and heading into their major evaluations. Many important items were bought out at the PX because the Juniors/Seniors were buying extra. My platoon staff allowed Amazon Prime resupply during the week. I would recommend having your family set up an order for the second week of training. A few candidates needed new notebooks, socks, cough drops, etc. and had no way of getting it. This will also be true for the second increment Juniors/Seniors as the 10-week candidates will be at their major evaluations when the new candidates arrive. Because of this, many important resources were completely bought out at the OCS PX. Once you have weekend liberty and a better idea of the training cycle, this becomes less necessary. Family members, don’t send anything you don’t want the staff to see.    

Mail at OCS Address Format

Please note the following format. Failing to include all the correct identification could result in the letter being hung up in transit or returned.

Last, First, M., 8525
B Company, 1st Platoon OCS
2189 Elrod Avenue
QUANTICO VA 22134-5033

Got any other questions or updates?

Happy to illuminate anything further. If you have more helpful or updated information, please share!

3 thoughts on “Receiving Mail at OCS: What You Need to Know

  1. Thank you for this blog. I am still unclear about sending nonperishable food items (cereal bars, etc.). There seems to be a mixed message: “don’t send it, but if you do, your candidate will be allowed to have it at liberty weekend.” So just how much am I putting my candidate at risk of getting in trouble if I send nonperishable food with the package labeled as such, in time for liberty weekend? Thanks for your help!

    1. Basically the best rule of thumb is to allow your candidate to send their specific platoon rules first. These guidelines are usually what they end up being, but you don’t want to send anything unexpected.

      1. Do I need to wait for his letter to get in first? Because of covid he told me his company and platoon so should I still wait?

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