Sergeant Instructors

We Make Marines: The Role of Sergeant Instructors at OCS

At OCS, the Sergeant Instructors run the day to day aspects of OCS. For new candidates, they are the Marine Corps in flesh and blood. They demand more from you than anyone else and they demonstrate by their own example. Prior to becoming a Sergeant Instructors at OCS, each Marine must complete a 3-4 year assignment at one of the recruit depots. After this, they return … Continue reading We Make Marines: The Role of Sergeant Instructors at OCS

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Candidate mishaps

Candidate Mishaps: Mistakes at OCS

Thanks to all the candidates who contributed to our candidate mishaps stories. In compiling these stories, we had one criteria: they must be stories about candidates who were successful at OCS. The #1 rule at OCS: If it can go wrong, it will. Billets (leadership positions) Early in the cycle, I was the Candidate Platoon Sergeant. As Candidate Platoon Sergeant you must report the platoon … Continue reading Candidate Mishaps: Mistakes at OCS

This Will Make You Rethink Marine Commissioning Routes

Before I graduated OCS, I tried every one of the commissioning routes, save enlisted to officer. I applied to the Naval Academy twice and spent a year and a half as a Marine Option Midshipman in NROTC. Only after that did I apply for the Platoon Leaders Course and attend the 10 week PLC combined. To be clear, good and bad officers come from all of … Continue reading This Will Make You Rethink Marine Commissioning Routes

Dear Second Lieutenant: Six Things I Wish I Knew as a Boot

For this post, former Captain Patrick Weeks (active 2009-14) shares the advice he wishes he could give himself as a brand-new Second Lieutenant. Hopefully it helps many of you future and new officers! Dear brand-new Second Lieutenant, First, you just graduated ten weeks of OCS, commissioned on one of the most memorable days of your life, and are headed right to TBS. It was a … Continue reading Dear Second Lieutenant: Six Things I Wish I Knew as a Boot

NROTC To OCS

Thanks to MIDN 1/C C for sharing his leadership experience and advice for candidates heading to OCS. NROTC Midshipman, utilize the resources you have through NROTC to go prepared to OCS. NROTC preparation I came from Norwich University, a small military college in the middle of Vermont. We, just like every other NROTC unit, have Marine Officer Instructors’s and Assistant Marine Officer Instructors’s who are … Continue reading NROTC To OCS

What Lieutenants (and Everybody) Should Know About a Sergeant Major’s Role

Thanks to Michael Quinn, Sergeant Major of the Army, for this insightful article. Even though it’s Army-speak, we hope it helps you junior officers understand how Sergeants Major contribute to the mission. This senior rank is very often misunderstood, and deserves significant respect from new Lieutenants. As a Finalist for the White House Fellows program a couple years ago, I spent two days with 20 influential leaders from … Continue reading What Lieutenants (and Everybody) Should Know About a Sergeant Major’s Role

Marine Officer Candidate

Candidate Hindsight is 20/10

Thanks to 2ndLt Y for passing along his knowledge and wisdom as a successful Marine Officer candidate at OCS. Life of a Marine Officer Candidate OCS is different from college in every way. As a candidate just be comfortable being uncomfortable. Go in with the attitude that nothing is going to surprise you, that way you don’t have to worry about being surprised.  Some things are absolutely … Continue reading Candidate Hindsight is 20/10

Straight Talk from a Successful Female Marine Candidate

Thanks to 2ndLt A for sharing her insight into OCS as a female Marine Candidate and the challenges you will face there. Regardless of gender, OCS is about mindset. Female Marine candidates, your mentality will be the reason you succeed or fail at OCS. You better be prepared to be a servant. As a female Marine candidate or any candidate, if you aren’t there for … Continue reading Straight Talk from a Successful Female Marine Candidate

Female JAG

Advice from a Female Marine Judge Advocate: Succeeding at OCS

Thanks to Lt. W for her insight into OCS as a female Judge Advocate candidate. Candidates, learn as much as you can before you go to OCS! OCS is a life changing challenge. It is hard for everyone! However, there are some challenges that are specific to female candidates. Hair is a lot more complicated at OCS! You won’t have a lot of time, and the … Continue reading Advice from a Female Marine Judge Advocate: Succeeding at OCS

Marine OSO

Marine OSO Q&A: Gateway to Marine Officer Candidates School

Thank you to Norfolk Virginia’s Officer Selection Officer, Captain Calderon, for sharing her background and advice for future candidates. If you’re around the southern Virginia area, feel free to reach out to her recruiting unit with any questions about joining: 4th Marine Corps Recruiting District. What’s your background? I played Division I soccer all four years of college and graduated from the Naval Academy in 2011. I … Continue reading Marine OSO Q&A: Gateway to Marine Officer Candidates School