Q&A With An OCS Medical Drop

Thank you to Candidate C, who very graciously volunteered to answer our questions about OCS Medical and the physical challenges of being a officer candidate. How far did you get in OCS? Unfortunately, after completing 5 weeks at OCS, going on the 6th week, I found out I had a stress fracture and was dropped at OCS medical. What did you learn? Throughout my time … Continue reading Q&A With An OCS Medical Drop

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Becoming an officer

OSO Q&A: Becoming an Officer

Thanks to West Texas/New Mexico OSO Capt Wisotzkey for answering your questions about selection, OCS and becoming an officer of Marines. Submit your questions anytime by commenting on a blog post or contacting us through the home page. Tell us about your background. I was born and raised in a small coal mining town in western Kentucky named Madisonville. I decided I wanted to become a … Continue reading OSO Q&A: Becoming an Officer

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

2017 Candidates, Are You Ready for the Marine Combat Fitness Test?

At OCS, candidates will transition to exercising more with boots and utes (MARPAT Camouflage) as the cycle progresses. This type of workout is epitomized by the Marine Combat Fitness Test (CFT). It is recommended that candidates have some exposure to working out in boots. Realistically, working out in boots is not much different than running shoes, however, there is a mental aspect that makes it … Continue reading 2017 Candidates, Are You Ready for the Marine Combat Fitness Test?

Humps (Hikes) at OCS

Hikes (known as humps) at OCS are one of the more difficult training evolutions that candidates will face on Brown Field. Preparation There are a few ways that candidates can help themselves prepare for humps. Most humps will occur before a major evaluation such as the Leadership Reaction Course or Small Unit Leadership Evaluation. You will spend the night in the field before the training evolution … Continue reading Humps (Hikes) at OCS

Know Your Boot Sock

Blisters are caused by heat, moisture, and friction. Foot care and boot sock choice are important factors in preventing issues with your feet. Taking the extra time to care for your feet is worth losing sleep or gaining the attention of the Sergeant Instructors. Two sock brands that are common at OCS are Thorlos and Fox River. Personally, the Fox River socks are my go-to … Continue reading Know Your Boot Sock

Example Mini OCS (aka OCS Prep Weekend) Gear List (2017)

What is “Mini-OCS”? OCS Prep Weekend, or “Mini-OCS” is a short, realistic weekend experience to expose candidates to facets of OCS before they ship. It prepares you for OCS, simply enough. We’ve written about it here before: My Mini OCS Experience Video Overview of OCS Prep Weekend   Your OCS Prep Weekend Packing List This gear list was shared by a candidate who recently (May … Continue reading Example Mini OCS (aka OCS Prep Weekend) Gear List (2017)

My Journey from Civilian to Marine Officer, Part III: TBS

Thank you to Lieutenant Schmuckatelli, a new Infantry Officer, who is sharing his journey through OCS and TBS with us. (Read Part 1: Pre-OCS here and Part 2: OCS here) The Basic School: You’re Not at OCS Anymore After 10 weeks of being a high-strung candidate having every waking moment scheduled for me, I was now a Commissioned Officer beginning the Basic Officer Course at … Continue reading My Journey from Civilian to Marine Officer, Part III: TBS

Tips from a Marine infantry officer for surviving winter OCS

Big thanks to Zach B., Marine Corps infantry vet, for sharing some thoughts about how to survive and thrive at Marine Corps Officer Candidates School…in the dead of winter.


I recently realized that I departed for OCC (Officer Candidate Course) almost 6 years ago to the day – meaning that somewhere out there some very lucky souls are about to spend the next 10 weeks in Quantico, Virginia.

tips for surviving quantico ocs in winter

So, I thought I’d drop the guys at Sandboxx a line and maybe give you all some last-minute pointers on how to survive OCS from January to March.

Here’s how I started out and some of the principles that kept me out of trouble long after OCC 206.

1. Be First:

There are few things worse than being cold wet and, if you make it through OCS, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to be cold and wet as a Marine.

If you’re first in the chute for the water obstacles (like the Quigley) or some sort of challenge, you don’t have time to Continue reading “Tips from a Marine infantry officer for surviving winter OCS”

Packing list update: bring this tape if you’re headed to OCS!

Thank you for reviewing our packing list, Second Lieutenant Will. The Fall 2016 graduate shared this update after his commissioning: But something for your packing list, that needs to go NUMBER ONE on the list is Kendall Covidien Waterproof tape. They’ve changed how sleeping works, which puts an absolute premium on night time time management and subsequently, gear markings. That tape, coupled with a waterproof map pen, … Continue reading Packing list update: bring this tape if you’re headed to OCS!