History of Women in the Marine Corps

This post originally appeared on the Sandboxx blog as History of Women in the Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps has a long and proud history that every recruit will learn about when they begin their journey to becoming a United States Marine. With the founding of the Marine Corps in 1776 it wasn’t until 1918 that women became a part of that history. Since … Continue reading History of Women in the Marine Corps

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Rethink Your Leadership Experience

It’s often hard to gain relevant leadership experience before applying to OCS. Pick well-rounded leadership positions to stand out to the OCS Selection Board. This post was written by a candidate who attended OCC in 2016. Tips for Gaining Personal Leadership Experience  I coached sports after high school and returned each year to help the team prepare for the regional and national championships. I was an … Continue reading Rethink Your Leadership Experience

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

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