“You’re Going to Marine Boot Camp Then?”

If you’re like me, you’re already sick and tired of explaining the differences between boot camp, OCS, PLC, ROTC, and all the routes of joining the service.  Relatives and those unfamiliar with the military don’t understand the different “boot camps” out there.

For those who might ask an annoyingly if well-intentioned question, here’s your overview, so Listen Up!

Marines Boot Camp: Get it straight.

Marines Boot Camp: Get it straight.

You can enter the Marine Corps as enlisted or officer.

Being an officer requires a college degree.

“Boot camp” for Marine officer candidates is through the Officer Candidate School (OCS) program.  There are two tracks to get through OCS.

Officer Candidate Course, OCC, is the first kind of OCS.  It is a 10 week program which is completed after you have your college degree.  When you graduate, you have earned the right to accept a commission as a Marine Corps officer.

Platoon Leaders Course, PLC, is for freshmen, sophomores, or juniors in college to complete two 6-week sessions over a summer during their college careers.  When they graduate, they can commission.

ROTC is not one of the “boot camps,” it is a program for during college that trains students; in the summer they will still have to go through OCS to become Marine Officers.

Got it?  Hope so.

7 comments on ““You’re Going to Marine Boot Camp Then?”

  1. Michelle says:

    I’m a hopeful Marine Officer, as well. I’ll be shipping off next June to OCC. I started a blog when I started the process, too: http://siwelm.blogspot.com/ It’s a bit more personal than yours, but I’ve been detailing my encounters with the Marines, aside from my initial few info sessions with my OSO, and how they have affected my life.
    I’ll recommend a book for you if you’re interested. It’s called “One of Us: Officers of Marines- their training, traditions, and values” by Jack Ruppert. It was pretty motivational and gave a little bit of a glimpse into the world that is OCS.
    Anyway, I wish you luck in everything you do. Keep at it, Semper Fi.


  2. Matt says:

    Love the blog! Thanks for this insight into Marine Officer training. Hopefully I’ll be able to give this a shot next year.


  3. Candidate says:

    Thanks so much, Michelle!

    Good luck Matt, don’t let anyone or anything make you doubt your capabilities.

  4. Tony Hogrefe says:

    When folks who don’t know any better ask if you’re going to boot camp, just smile, nod, and say yes. It will save the aggravation of having to explain over and over.

    I do take issue with one remark you made, and I’m sure you meant no disrespect or intended any denigration…but..

    You referred to the Enlisted as ‘low ranks.’

    I would be mindful of how you bandy that term about in the future. If you were to utter that in the presence of a Sergeant Major, you should be fully prepared to have him ring your neck.

    An enlisted man will be your subordinate, but don’t assume that he is “lower” than you are. Remember – after you pin on your 2nd Lieutenant bar that PFC that is rendering a salute as you pass has been promoted more times than you have.

    Good luck to you, and Semper Fi,
    (former) Sgt Anthony Hogrefe

  5. Candidate says:

    Thanks so much for the feedback and definitely thank you for your service. I have huge respect for my enlisted friends and all enlisted Marines and didn’t mean any disrespect.

    More promotions..exactly. It’s very humbling to think that the ten-year veteran sergeants will be “serving under” a fresh Lt. My good friend is currently a Lance Corporal and tells me exactly how he feels towards 90 day wonders…keeps one’s ego in check.

    Thanks for the feedback, any other advice or criticism is well-received


  6. James says:

    I went to OCS and bitch slapped the DI for talking to an officer candidate in a negative tone

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