66 Reasons NOT to go to OCS

We asked our fans who had passed OCS to share their advice with the above prompt.

We shared “Don’t go to OCS if…” and got the following responses (and more!)

Clear themes that emerged emphasized the importance of humbly being able to receive criticism, coming with commitment and mental toughness, not being a quitter, and most heavily emphasized: don’t be selfish and expect to succeed at OCS!

With no further ado, here’s sixty-six reasons why you should not go to OCS–from those who succeeded there themselves.

  1. Don’t go if you’re soft. Stay hard, stay motivated. Above all else, be confident in everything you do.
  2. You value the MOS more than being a Marine.
  3. You’re offended easily.
  4. You can’t handle your weaknesses pointed out until you fix them.
  5. Plain and simple – if you are not willing and able to accept and commit to this life.
  6. If you have a Fixed Mindset over the Growth Mindset!
  7. You’re in it for pure personal gain. They call it the service for a reason.
  8. You’re not confident in making tough decisions for the sake of others.
  9. You’re selfish or self-serving (seven successful candidates shared this tip!)
  10. You are not 100% committed. Lack of commitment will show amongst your peers
  11. You’re joining for your own ego/just to see if you can do it.
  12. You can’t be humble.
  13. You can’t push past being uncomfortable.
  14. You are not 100% committed to pushing yourself.
  15. You don’t understand what an honor and privilege it is to lead America’s finest.
  16. You’re already asking what you can fail and still graduate.
  17. You take little corrections or failures personally.
  18. You cannot learn to take constant criticism.
  19. You aren’t ready to face your deficiencies out in the open for all to see.
  20. You don’t want to put your junior Marines FIRST.
  21. You have a physical injury that will worsen due to training. Show up healthy and fit.
  22. You can’t handle high stress and sleep deprivation at all times.
  23. You don’t want to. Seems pretty simple but you would be shocked.
  24. You have difficulty taking responsibility for your own actions.
  25. You think running 3 miles is a break off.
  26. You aren’t a team player.
  27. Don’t go to OCS if you’re soft.
  28. You have issues: personally, financially, home that will take you mentally out of the fight.
  29. You are in it for yourself.
  30. You’re joining the Marines for the wrong reasons. (Wrong reasons will vary person by person, but you should have a gut check whether you’re going for an inadequate reason to make such a huge commitment.)
  31. You’re not a leader.
  32. You just want to do it for the money.
  33. You quit, but especially if you quit when eyes are on you.
  34. Your only reason is for yourself.
  35. You don’t have a voice. If you don’t have a voice, then nobody will believe in you as a leader.
  36. You cry when you’re not comforted.
  37. You’re there for the wrong reasons such as “my parent did it” or “the uniforms look cool”.
  38. You quit at the first sign of a struggle.
  39. It’s all about you, otherwise you will hate your time there and probably not make it through.
  40. You aren’t ready to embody the core values of honor, courage, and commitment every day.
  41. You don’t have thick skin. People’s interactions change with stress.
  42. You’re prone to complacency.
  43. Your integrity can be compromised in extremely stressful or high-pressure situations.
  44. You can’t handle stress.
  45. Can’t handle being told you suck.
  46. You’re not willing to accept the possibility of not getting your top MOS choice.
  47. You’re not 100% committed to becoming a Marine.
  48. Don’t join the military in general if you treated it as your last option.
  49. You have more than 5% doubt in your mind if you can do it.
  50. You are afraid of failure!
  1. You give up when you fail.
  2. You aren’t determined to succeed. Nervous is okay. Uncommitted is not.
  3. You think it’s gonna be easy.
  4. You’re a slow learner.
  5. You have trouble controlling your emotions.
  6. If you don’t like being uncomfortable
  7. You’re only looking for a challenge and not serious about wanting to lead Marines.
  8. You’re doing it for summer money.
  9. If you’re not willing to internalize the core values and take the program seriously.
  10. You don’t want to be a SERVANT leader.
  11. You suck at running.
  12. You don’t want to lead Marines. If you just want to be a Marine, go enlist.
  13. You are not ready to be UNCOMFORTABLE.
  14. You’re not okay with being tired hungry and stressed for the duration of your stay.
  15. Don’t go if you can’t own up and take responsibility for your mistakes.
  16. You are only doing it for the money.

Seriously–if going to OCS is not right for you, don’t make the incredible sacrifice of applying and attending, and don’t waste the staff’s time, and don’t take someone else’s spot. There are a lot of other perfectly good career paths out there.

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