Basic School Q&A with a TBS Instructor

Thanks to Capt Baumann, TBS instructor and former Staff Platoon Commander, for answering our fans questions on our Instagram. Follow us on Instagram for more great content and opportunities to interact with Marine Officers!

When you pick your MOS do you then leave TBS and go to the school of your MOS?

There’s often a small wait until school starts (few weeks/months); you’ll likely hang around TBS as support until then.

What would you suggest using to add weight to a ruck? What do you use to get to 100+ lbs?

A Marine supervises from the center of The Basic School permanent personnel battalion during a 10-mile hike aboard the westside of Marine Corps Base Quantico on June 28, 2013. The hike was the first hike The Basic School has done for regimental physical training in the last 3 years.

Books, dumbbells wrapped in towels, sandbags. Remember to keep the weight high and close to your back.

What are the recommended books to read prior to TBS?

MCDP-1 Warfighting, MCDP 1-3 Tactics, “Armed Forces Officer“, “First to Fight,” and the whole Commandant’s Reading List.

How competitive is the Communications MOS?

Moderately competitive. Usually more slots than people wanting it in their top 3 wishlist MOS’s.

Best financial advice for new Lieutenants? How much does barracks cost every month?

Barracks are free! Best money advice: stay out of debt/get out of debt as quick as possible. Don’t splurge your new level of income. Balance investing/saving and having fun.

Swim qual at TBS?

Everyone is required to qual “basic”. It happens in the first few months of TBS. You’ll have a chance to qual intermediate/advanced if you want.

(If applicable) How hard is it to be there and spend time with your wife and kids?

You will have your weekends and holidays. Expect late nights/no nights during the week and when in the field.

When the platoon sergeant asks for volunteers at TBS

What differences in training/prep do you need from OCS to TBS?

TBS is a more endurance-based course. Longer, heavier loads. Cardio ties into almost everything (as well as lower body strength).

Tips for Winter TBS; what to bring that can save time and increase your success?

Wool socks, hand warmers, jetboil. But all other essential cold-weather gear will be issued to you once you arrive.

Also read “Tips from a Marine infantry officer for surviving winter OCS

Do you get leave to go home for holidays like Christmas/New Years?

Yes, depending on what company you are in. You may have more/less holidays than others. You will get holidays/some early days off.

When is range week?

Roughly week 4: lasts about 2.5 weeks to include pistol range.

Switching from ground contract to air contract at TBS. What are the odds and what needs to be done?

This is highly competitive. Can be done but more candidates than slots available. Usually a 2:1 ratio.

What are quarters like? Squad bays or rooms?

Rooms at TBS are comfortable. Standard dorm room. Expect 1-2 roommates.

See more questions and answers from Captain Baumann in our Instagram story here!

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