Top Three Qualities For Success at OCS

Greetings prospective Marine Officer Candidates,

My name is Roman Zepeda, I am a Midshipman at Prairie View A&M University. I graduated Officer Candidates School in July 2018. Recently having been in your shoes, I understand your eagerness, anxiousness, and excitement leading up to your report-in date. Although I am confident that y’all are mentally and physically prepared, I ask that you take a minute to read and embrace the advice that pushed me passed the finish line.

The author having a blast at OCS


Despite the years of preparation, I was far from being the strongest, fastest, and smartest candidate in my graduating class. I quickly learned to acknowledge my negative trends and shortcomings in order to begin the process of self-improvement. It is critical that you become susceptible to constructive criticism and don’t take anything too personal. After all, you are there to learn.


Given the chaotic environment, it’s very possible to fall into the mindset of isolationism. I found myself caught up in only doing my part and not interacting with my peers. That selfish mentality quickly diminished once I understood that it takes a team to bring out the best in each other. Whether it’s academics, physical fitness, or leadership – there are going to be candidates that thrive in areas you lack in, and vice versa. Work together and sharpen each other, because there are
enough sets of 2nd Lt bars waiting for y’all on the other side.


The training environment at OCS is merely impossible to replicate, so you may experience challenges that you have yet to encounter. Despite how many times you fail, maintain the same energy and mental fortitude that brought you to OCS in the first place. Only you can control your attitude and mentality during adversity and failure. You belong there, especially if you’ve made it this far. Now is your time to prove it.

I hope my experience is able to assist you as you continue to prepare for OCS. I send y’all my best and hope to cross paths with each of you in the fleet. Semper Fidelis!

You’ll never forget earning your Eagle, Globe, and Anchor

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