Q&A with a Winter OCS Candidate

Thank you to Candidate Z for answer questions readers submitted! Got another question? Message our instagram: @marineocsblog

I went through OCC-227 from January-March of 2018. It was cold when we checked in and it was cold when we graduated. There’s no escaping the cold. Just keep moving. Unless you’re in formation…Then, just find a way to take your mind off the cold.

Are we required to, or should we bring money to OCS?

Yes. You’re required to bring about $500 to purchase all of the gear/supplies that you won’t return upon graduation. I would bring a little bit more than that for stuff you can only buy out in town when on Liberty, and for a nice burger or steak. It’s a nice reset to your system… it helped me, anyway.

What are some of the smaller tasks like? Laundry, bathroom, time, meals, etc.

Laundry is done every night. You will designate a few candidates early on who are in charge of that the entirety of your time there, or take turns. Head calls (especially in class) were usually big boy rules. If you gotta go, grab a buddy, a water source, and go make your head call. You’ll eat your 3 squares per day. I’m a dude that STRUGGLES with weight loss and I stuffed myself at each meal and still lost 25lbs. As far as time is concerned, there’s not enough of it throughout the day it seems like sometimes and other times it seems like it’ll never end. Just gotta roll with the punches and take it one day at a time. Remember, time waits for no man.

When did you feel like you were ready to take on OCS? Did you ever feel fully ready?

No one ever is really 100% ready for OCS. Everyone fails SOMETHING, no matter how small. Get over it, learn from your mistake, and never make the same mistake twice.

Overall preparation for winter OCS.

I have always been accustomed to the cold, but I’m from MO and the VA cold is just a different experience. Run your fartleks at home out in the cold if you’re able to. I had guys in my platoon who were from SoCal and had never seen snow before. The first few days were ROUGH for them, but they acclimated quickly (they also didn’t really have a choice haha). Terrible answer, I know, but you can prepare all you want for the environment, but it’ll win every time. The staff at OCS won’t let anything happen to you. They’ll prepare you just fine. A large part of dealing with the cold at OCS is mental toughness and resilience. Stronger bonds with your platoon-mates are made in the harshest of environments. Get through it together.

With all BS aside, how bad is it going to OCS with a 23-24 minute 3 mile run time?

Don’t worry too much about a 23-24 min 3 mile. Your times will improve, drastically! I went from consistent high-21s to low19s (as the biggest guy in my class).

How could you train for the o course if you don’t have access to the O-course like recourses/equip? 

I would research the proper rope climbing techniques and practice them anywhere you can find a rope. It’s not that it’s insanely hard, I had just never done it before, so I was slower than most going up the rope. It’s all in the legs and in your brake. Your hands are just there to guide you up the rope. For the other obstacles, just hit up youtube for a proper form walkthrough and make sure your grip strength and balance are addressed in your workouts. Don’t forget about plyometrics as well! (jump training, burpees, pullups, etc)

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