Combined Navy And Marine OCS: One And The Same

28 March 2018, The adage “One Team, One Team” is about to become more tangible for new sailors and Marines attending Officer Candidate School. The Marine Corps has revealed plans to consolidate Marine OCS with Navy OCS for all air contracts and non-combat arms MOSs. Candidates who are contracted for combat arms will still attend Marine OCS in Quantico, VA.

The Naval services has a proud history of sharing assets. Marines have guarded ships and acted as landing parties for the Navy. The Navy sends Corpsman, Medical  Staff and clergy to the “green side”, serving along their Marines. Marines also attend Navy flight school and other specialty schools hosted by the Navy. Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and it’s sister unit, the Reconnaissance Battalions, have long sent their Marines to Naval Parachutist training and Naval Combat Dive School. Lt Carolyn Elggren, a spokeswomen for Navy Recruiting Command said “This is the natural evolution of the Naval service. NROTC units and the Naval Academy  have had integrated training since the inception of these programs. It’s the next logical step.”

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A Drill Instructor inspects candidates during final drill at Navy OCS.

It’s true that there has been great variance in what Candidates and Midshipmen learn at their respective institutions. Each NROTC unit is different and even at OCS, training philosophies between platoon staff vary greatly. Some Marines have felt that this undermines the mission statement of “We Make Marines.” And contrasts starkly with the enlisted side where Marines are made strictly at Paris Island or San Diego.

Navy OCS has historically had one Marine Drill Instructor assigned to each OCS Class. This number will be boosted to four Drill Instructors, rounding out the new dual mission of Navy and Marine OCS.

All Marine Officers will still attend The Basic School in Quantico, Va upon completion of their respective OCSs. The Basic School ensures all Marine Officers have the same basic education and qualifications when they arrive in the fleet.

It is the commanders intent to better cross train Marines and sailors through intentional, shared training experiences and hardship. This will teach Marines and sailors to work well together in todays, joint service operation environment.

Capt Joshua Weeks, a OSO from Sydney, MT, said this will present a cultural challenge.

“I don’t know if I need to teach candidates to say ‘Oorah’ or ‘Hooyah’. There’s going to be fundamental doctrinal differences.”

Candidates who are contracted for combat arms will still attend Marine OCS in Quantico, VA.

Our JAG section at the OCS Blog has advised us to inform our audience, this post is a April fools joke. The OCSs will not be combined (that we know of).

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