Recommended Motivation: Films You’ll Love

Candidates, there are so many motivators out there who bother me every day with questions like, “What more can I do to prepare for OCS?” that I am debuting a new series of posts. This summer’s posts will give you plenty of ways to use up all your time before OCS to get ready or motivated for your future Marine Corps life.

Today’s post: These are my personal recommendations of films to watch to either learn about USMC culture, history, or a general United States warrior ethos (vis-a-vis Band of Brothers).

The Pacific

The Pacific centers on the experiences of three Marines (Eugene SledgeRobert Leckie and John Basilone) who were all in different

The Pacific DVDs
The Pacific DVD set

Regiments of the 1st Marine Division. You should read the books it was based on–but wait for a future post on that. The program was lauded by critics but actually met mixed reviews by the Marines I know, due to the overall depressing mood. Historically accurate, it shows war for the hell it is, so don’t expect any “tales of glory” like an old John Wayne-type movie. Still, it’s important history and you should view the stories with the mindset, “one day, men such as those will be ‘my Marines,’ who I will be leading.”

Band of Brothers

Greatest war mini series ever. Not Marines, but soldiering is soldiering. The series holds many lessons of leadership and warfighting that will be highlighted at OCS and beyond.

Band of Brothers DVD set
Band of Brothers

Continue reading “Recommended Motivation: Films You’ll Love”

Guest Post: The Tragic Result of Using New(er) Boots During Week-Long Patrols at TBS

Patrol FEX Your Patrol FEX (field exercise) will most likely consist of four 4-6 hour long patrols through dense brush and vegetation with a full combat load.  So it’s a lot of walking.  I am normally extremely careful with my feet–even to the point of regularly applying preventative moleskin before strenuous physical events to avoid the creation of hot spots or blisters. Here, I put on that … Continue reading Guest Post: The Tragic Result of Using New(er) Boots During Week-Long Patrols at TBS

Guest Post: Questions About Mike Co at TBS

Quick answer to a question about who gets recycled to Mike Company The most common reasons are failing at one portion of the period of instruction (POI) or injury. For example, one lieutenant arrived at The Basic School (TBS) and went through the POI, all the while injuring his back. He was then placed in Mike Company, where his role was to support the students … Continue reading Guest Post: Questions About Mike Co at TBS

Guest Post: TBS is Backwards Day

 TBS (The Basic School) is backwards day!  Your staff intends for you to be frustrated.  And you are meant to be stressed to the point of constantly and fruitlessly asking yourself, “WHY????” in the most exasperated tones.  Just forget the “why” and do what everyone else is doing.  That may not be the path to good leadership, but it’s the way to graduation! After all, … Continue reading Guest Post: TBS is Backwards Day

Why You Will Leave the Marine Corps (After One Tour)

A 2011 study at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government of young officers who had left the military found that their top reasons for doing so were not the high operating tempo or the chance of being maimed but rather two other factors: “limited ability to control their own careers” and “frustration with military bureaucracy.” –Thomas Ricks, The Generals You’re going to enter the Marine Corps … Continue reading Why You Will Leave the Marine Corps (After One Tour)

Wet is the Enemy

Camp Dry is a godsend for the poor miserable creature known as the Officer Candidate. Wet is the Enemy. Always. It’s snow in the winter or freezing rain in the fall or freak rain showers and saturated, muddy ground in the summer. Next comes swollen, wet, blistering feet or soggy, chafing skin under belts and pack straps. I distinctly remember my whole squad feeling the … Continue reading Wet is the Enemy

Candidate Q: Spouse housing at TBS?

Candidate Question: During OCS and TBS, would my wife be provided housing in Quantico? A: Fantastic question! Very important–for OCS you will not be provided any type of housing for her at all. You should get a reduced BAH to help cover your rent but don’t count on it. At TBS you will live in the barracks (Bachelor Officers Quarters) and she can live in … Continue reading Candidate Q: Spouse housing at TBS?