Thank you to Candidate C, who very graciously volunteered to answer our questions about OCS Medical and the physical challenges of being a officer candidate.
How far did you get in OCS?
- Unfortunately, after completing 5 weeks at OCS, going on the 6th week, I found out I had a stress fracture and was dropped at OCS medical.
What did you learn?
- Throughout my time at OCS, I learned many things. First and foremost, doing exactly as I was told made things much easier. In other words, use common sense.
- The one thing I learned overall is no matter who you are, you are going to fail at something. However, when I did fail, I had to learn from that and push myself even harder and not lose focus of my end goal. Also, if you want to get something done, you can’t rely on others to help you most of the time. Yes, you’re supposed to be working as a team, especially considering you want to lead Marines, but that’s not always the case. Even though others may not help you much, you still want to help others because you want to be a leader and not a follower.
- Lastly, anything is possible; it’s all about how bad you want something. Having a good mental attitude at OCS is what helped me get through my time there while enjoying most of it.
What could you have done differently?
- I would have studied more ahead of time, considering you’re sleep deprived and don’t have much time to study.
- After failing at something, I shouldn’t have let it go to my head as much as I did. Next time, when I fail at something, I will take it instantly with a grain of salt, conquer it, and come back stronger.
- Another major thing I learned, after I left OCS, was I should have changed my insoles in my boots. I wore the same ones for 5 weeks straight and I’m pretty sure that played a huge role in developing my stress fracture, especially since the pain was mostly felt while in boots.
How was OCS medical? What kind of care did you receive?
- When many think of OCS medical, they always have this idea in their mind that they’re going to get dropped, if they go to OCS medical. However, that’s not the case. When you go to medical, they want to get you in and out of there as soon as possible. The only reason I was dropped and wasn’t able to continue training is because my injury could have eventually resulted in surgery and never being able to train at OCS again. The care I received was excellent, while I was at OCS medical. They always updated me throughout the process. I was always being helped throughout my time at medical.
If you plan to go back, how will things be different for you?
I definitely plan to go back, more than likely next year, as soon as I am completely healed. Things will be different. I’ll know what to expect, what to do that will save me time, and what not to do.
Tell us about your overall OCS experience.
- Despite many complaints about how horrible OCS is, it really isn’t that bad.
- If you are well off physically and you have a good mental attitude, you will make it through just fine.
- It was an awesome experience that not many get to go through. Yes, you may not get very much sleep, but as my grandma always says, “I can sleep when I’m dead”.
- I definitely learned a lot at OCS. At OCS, I learned what I needed to put at the top of my priorities and what I could put off at a later time.
Any parting words of advice for future candidates?
There is quite a bit of advice I would give future candidates.
- Specifically, for females, learn how you want to do your hair, before you arrive at OCS. If you leave it long, make sure you figure out how to do your hair in a bun, before arriving at OCS. I started off the first week doing a sock bun, but it was a pain, especially when putting a Kevlar (helmet) on my head. So, I switched to a twist bun with braids, since it only took me about 5-10 minutes.
- Secondly, for all candidates, if you go when sleeves are rolled, make sure you know how to roll your sleeves, before arriving at OCS. Go out, buy an old MARPAT blouse, and practice; check out YouTube, to see faster ways of rolling sleeves and that way they come out looking on point every time.
- Expect to fail at something, while you are at OCS.
- Try and break in boots ahead of time. Also, make sure to change out your insoles in your boots.
- Next, do not take anything personally. Your staff is only there to help you succeed and everything they are doing is for a purpose. Take everything with a grain of salt.
Do not forget why you’re there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Remember, if you get dropped, it’s not the end of the world; just have to conquer it and come back stronger. Lastly, it is the Marine Corps; it’s called “the few, the proud” for a reason.