OCS Packing List

Officer Candidate School Packing List.  This will be a long post, but if you’re headed to OCS, it will be very helpful I promise.

Well, I have been struggling to get official information on what to bring to OCS.

  • First, below is a packing list I received from another candidate.
  • Secondly, I then had someone who went through OCS look it over for feedback.  Check it out!

Proposed Packing List–Not Official

Clothing:

-1 pair wrinkle free khakis 
-1 wrinkle free polos
-1 pair dress shoes and belt 
-2 pair dress socks
-1 towel 
-5 sets of medium(ankle) height white socks (NOT NO-SHOWS) 
-3 pairs skivvie shorts
-3 pair underwear 
-1 pair compression shorts 
-2 pair Thorlo combat boot socks (black) 
-1 pair Bates lights PT/Garrison boots [NOTE: Bates Lights no longer allowed for 2011]
-1 pair of go-fasters 
-1 pack PT shirts
-1 pair shower shoes

Hygiene:

-1 toothbrush 
-1 toothpaste 
-1 razor 
-2 packs extra blades 
-1 tube deodorant
-1 bottle antibacterial body wash and scrubber 
-2 small travel bottles of mouthwash 
-1 tube sunscreen 
-1 bottle liquid soap 
-1 tube Lotrimin Ultra 
-1 tub Vaseline 
-2 bottles hand sanitizer

Misc:

-2 Sharpie Rub-A-Dub markers 
-6 in. ruler 
-2 large notebooks (rite in the rain 4×6)
-2 small notebooks (rite in the rain 3×5)
-1 box erasable black pens 
-2 erasable red pens 
-2 mechanical pencils + lead
-1 eraser 
-1 red LED headlamp 
-1 durable watch 
-$400 cash ($300 in 100’s, $100 in $1’s and $5’s) 
-ATM card 
-Driver’s license 
-Cell phone and charger 
-4 rolls 1” white athletic tape (hockey tape)
-2 rolls ½” white athletic tape 
-1 roll electrical tape 
-2 tubes of Body Glide
-1 roll duct tape
-1 personal stamp with last name
-health, dental, or shot records
-ziplock bags (Quart – 1box; Gallon – 1box)

Response from OCS Graduate:

Bring an extra pair of civilian pants and a shirt.

The extra towel and athletic socks are not required; you’ll be issued about 8 pairs of those socks. Consider bringing 2 extra white wash clothes though because although you get issued 4 towels, you only get two wash clothes.

The 3 pairs of underwear also aren’t required. Just bring a pair to make it through the first day of in-processing. Your green silkies will be your underclothes forever hence .

Compression shorts and body glide seem interchangeable in my mind. I don’t think you need both.

Shower shoes are not required. Good call on bringing extra PT shorts (they are the right kind, right?), but I don’t think you’ll need extra shirts. I think were issued at least six shirts last year.

If you’re driving, leave the tube of deodorant in your vehicle to use on Libo. Same think with the Bates Lites (they won’t be required until about week 5 anyway).

Why are you bringing antibacterial body wash as well as liquid soap? One or the other.

The lotrimin ultra could be construed as an over-the-counter convenience/item supplement; those are strictly prohibited and could even get you sent home. I think there is antifungal spray in the squadbay medical locker anyway.

If you’re already bringing body glide and/or compression shorts, what do you need the vaseline for?

I’d forego the large Rite in the Rain notebooks. If you can’t fit them in your pocket, they’re worthless to you. If you still have them all after pickup, give the rest to others that don’t.

Red pens are unnecessary, I’m not even sure if they’re allowed. You’ll only really use pencils for the multiple-choice tests (and the Rite in the Rain pads if you don’t have a waterproof pen), so I don’t think extra lead is required. That seems like something that could be lost very easily anyway. Why bring an eraser?

1/2″ white athletic tape is not allowed. It has to be 1″. Good call on the electrical tape though; you’ll be using that on the straps of your day pack and ILBE pack (straps flapping in the wind is considered sloppy appearance).

I just checked and off-brand Body Glide is included in the large/small bag issue now, so I don’t think you need two sticks.

All in all, you covered everything pretty well, but aside from civilian clothes you’re bringing too much stuff, some of which isn’t even allowed. So get an extra pair of civvies and cut all the aforementioned superfluous items and you should be good to go.

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38 comments on “OCS Packing List

  1. Mr. Roach says:

    Good luck to you. Both of my brothers are Marine officers. I was dinged on a medical before OCS. It was sad, but it looks like you dodged all the bullets and made it through all the gatekeepers. Good luck, train hard, and “be the grey man.” There’s plenty of time to shine at TBS.

  2. Josh says:

    just graduated from PLC seniors july 2. final pft was 295. That last pull up is a killer. if you have any questions about ocs dont hesitate to ask. get ready for 10 weeks of fun at summer camp…

  3. Candidate says:

    Thanks very much, I’ll try not to stick out too much at OCS. I’m so sorry to hear you were DQ’d at MEPS! That is tough to take. Many thanks to your brothers for their service–you truly live in a patriotic family.

  4. Candidate says:

    Josh, you’re a beast! Man, I’ve heard your PFT will take a hit throughout OCS. I am wondering, if you get hurt at OCS, can you get “light duty” for awhile or do they just automatically kick you out? Is there any mercy gray area?

  5. Josh says:

    my pft score actually went up. initial pft was around 283 and it went up by 12 when i took the final. if you get hurt it depends on how bad it is. theyll give you time to heal and if it doesnt get better or you miss too many physical events youll get dropped. ive seen many people get dropped for broken bones, etc. just hope that youre one of the lucky ones that doesnt get hurt :). have you been breaking in some boots to bring to ocs? before i went to quantico, i ran everyother day in boots to get my feet and body used to it. i would have to say that it did help me overall. running in boots also improves your run time in go fasters.

    im working on getting my pullups back up right now. using the recon ron program. need to get that 20.

  6. Josh says:

    when are you shipping out? youll be there during winter? winters and summers are brutal there. i did the plc program so i was there for juniors in summer 2007 and seniors in summer 2009.

  7. Candidate says:

    Hi Josh,
    Wow that’s crazy how much faster you got at OCS! Yes I have been wearing boots a fair amount to get used to them. I am going to OCS October 1, so in 2 days!
    I do have one question for ya–what did you bring for soap? Don’t you have to clean facepaint off and stuff like that?

  8. Josh says:

    They give you a bunch of stuff during inprocessing including a bar of soap. But in they also have soap dispensers in the head. Thats what i used to clean off the camo paint. they give you a lot of stuff that you wont even use. a lot of candidates kept the stuff they didnt use and returned what they could after graduation.

  9. Josh says:

    some words of advice, make sure you study study study all the knowledge they give you. a lot of candidates go to the boards and get dropped for failing academics, even though it should be the easiest part. also make sure you have the 5 paragraph order down asap. you NEED to know and use that for SULE I and II, as well as other events.

  10. Ty says:

    I had a question about the athletic tape. You have 1 inch listed (hockey tape), but all I find at athletic stores and walmart is 1 1/2 inch white atletic tape. Where do I find 1 inch? I am going to the winter class that start January 15. Thanks for the help.

  11. Kenneth Crowder says:

    I am attending OCS this summer and am currently running a 280 PFT. I max out the pull ups and the crunches with ease but my run time is lacking at 21:15 min. Should I be more focused on improving my 3 mile for speed or should I be training more for extended runs? (ie. 4 or 5 miles) I am 5’9″ 190 lbs so the weight requirement is technically an issue even though I am less than 10% bf. How closely are they going to monitor this and should I try to lose muscle mass before going in?

  12. Hi Kenneth,
    Great job on the 280, and good questions!

    Firstly, if you have very low body fat % they will “tape” you after weigh-ins if you get over weight. If you have low body fat %, you’re golden. And sorry to break it to you, but you could lose 10-15 lbs muscle no problem while there. Don’t let that worry you.

    Hey do not worry about 5 mile runs, get that 3 mile run time down, make that a priority! You will do innumerable 2-3 mile runs and maybe a few 4s but only two slow or individual-effort 5 milers. You will be fit enough to do the 5 miles when they come, for sure.

    Do alternate cardio, and hard sprinting workouts to work on that 3 mile, doing 5+ miles don’t really help your shorter run times.

    Does that answer your questions well? Let me know how you improve over the next few months! Good luck

    Semper FI

  13. Kenneth says:

    I was worried about losing the muscle but that’s okay. Losing the extra bulk could help me with my run time. I have one more if you don’t mind: How many times a week should I be running in boots?

  14. Well if I were you I’d start out slow. After a few weeks at OCS you will be in boots 100% of the time, and running several times a week. In my opinion, starting once a week and working up to 3 days a week in boots would be fine preparation.

  15. Mario says:

    Sir:

    I’m planning on going to OCS in 2 years. I have a few questions though. I notice you were talking about boots and what not. From what I understand, I though they issued you new ones upon arrival. Should I op and buy my own to train in…? And also are those the ones I train in the ones I take to OCS or do I buy new/broken in ones before OCS?

    Thanks!

  16. Hi Mario,
    Way to do your research ahead of time! Yes you get issued (actually pay for) two pairs at OCS. You can bring a pair ahead of time though, too. I broke in a pair of Bates Lights and took them, wearing them for many PT exercises since they were lighter. I highly, highly recommend getting a pair several months out and putting as many miles into it as possible. It will help your boots and feet.

  17. Mario says:

    LT.

    The information is much appreciated! Looks like I need to save up some bucks to buy some. Another Q I have is: Did you take the ASVAB?

  18. Buy them on ebay–they’re much cheaper on there than in a store and you can still get them new. Yes I took the ASVAB before shipping. I highly recommend the Barron’s ASVAB study guide. It helped me quite a bit!

  19. Mario says:

    LT.: Thanks for the information!

    LT.: This blog has inspired me to start my own blog. I believe it will add to my MOTO, enspire other aspiring prospect officers, and also keep myself with the eye on the target. If you don’t mind, when I get it up and running, May I post it on this tread or another one in your blog?

    LT.:

    I’d appreciate, and any other current or aspiring candidate/ Lt. at that, to give me any info on mine as I begin recording my journey.

    Semper Fi EVERYONE!

  20. Hi Mario,
    That sounds great! As you can tell, this blog has helped lots of people. Good luck, let your blog motivate you and I’ll put up a link for you.
    Lt

  21. Ci says:

    Hello all,
    I am shipping out on 03 June for OCC 204.
    I’ve started wearing the Bates light for summer for mock ruck sack marches, attempting to do a 4/5 mph as well as some jogging/easy running however I have gotten terrible blisters and faint shin pain.

    I hear that most women get dropped due to either injury or the lack of upper body strength. (I realize even if I can max out on the flex arm hang, it isn’t an indicator of strength). What can I do to boost/make the most of my pre-ocs pt? And is there anything I can do to avoid injury? I stretch thoroughly, ice and use biofreeze/massage my muscles daily. I am deathly afraid of getting shin splints. I had them in track in high school and would hate to get dropped for an injury after all I’ve done to get to where I’m at.

    Thank you in advance, the advice is greatly appreciated.

  22. Hi Ci,
    There’s no shortcut to being physically prepared for OCS. In my class, there was probably 80% drop rate on the women’s side. So you need to take it seriously!

    There’s plenty of workout advice on here already, particularly I’d point you to the recent OCS in Review posts.

    As far as shin splints, it sounds to me like you’re doing the right thing. Stretching is good. Also you can incorporate specific lower-leg strengthening routines. I would do dumbbell workouts, while balancing on one leg (for example, military press). Also check out other exercises recommended by physical therapy professionals:
    http://www.brianmac.co.uk/lowleg.htm
    http://foothealth.about.com/b/2008/05/14/9-exercises-to-help-prevent-shin-splints.htm
    http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/0161.htm

    I got mild shin splints at OCS–slow, focused warm ups helped me avoid their worsening. Even walking around on your heels before starting PT is an unobtrusive way to warm up those muscles.

    Good luck!

  23. Sean says:

    LT,

    I am shipping out in 2 weeks for the second PLC increment and have a solid PT score of about 245. Running is the least of my worries right now (I generally do about 20:30), so I have been working on my crunches and pullups for the last three months. Though I have increased my score dramatically, I feel like it is still a lot lower than most of the guys who are gonna be there. I was just wondering if I really am going to enter at the lower end of the spectrum, or whether I won’t be such a minority.

    Thanks

  24. Lieutenant says:

    Hi Sean,

    I haven’t been to a PLC but at OCC last year, average PFT score at the end of OCS was in the 280s. I would guess average initial PFT was 270 or so.

    I would definitely anticipate a 240 being at the bottom end of the spectrum.

    Good luck!

  25. chandra says:

    I noticed on the OCS website that a flashlight is listed with the things you shouldn’t bring. I have seen a lot of people saying to bring a headlamp though. Will they be okay with that?

  26. Yes! Excellent point. A normal flashlight is unnecessary. A headlamp would be very helpful. I would ensure it had a red lamp setting, too.

  27. SRollins says:

    I’m preparing for OCC 208 in June. As a female, it is more nerve-racking seeing the drop rate of female candidates. I have a solid PFT, last one was 297, and so over exercising is a concern of mine that I have to watch. I want to do really well @ OCS! I see the recommendations on the tape to bring but would you recommend arriving to OCS with some items already labeled? Also, for the 5 paragraph order how detailed would you suggest knowing the material prior to OCS?

    Thanks so much! Your website is admirable and inspiring. Congratulations on your achievements thus far.

  28. The life-impacting uncertainty of OCS can be nerve-racking for a candidate, but just let any nervousness be motivation for you!

    Know the 5 paragraph order, the general orders, everything as well as you can. I memorized about half the general orders before OCS, then when I got there lost hours of sleep at night studying them again when I had plenty of time in my civilian life when I should have been studying.

    Thank you for the kind words

    PS do NOT mark your tape ahead of time! There you’ll get a specific stencil to use

  29. Joe says:

    Just a heads up. As of 1st Increment this year, Bates Lites are no longer authorized for wear at OCS.
    I know because I leave next Friday and it’s specified on the Pre-Ship checklist.

    I’ve been told by a couple of our MECEPS that went last year that your staff might overlook that. But I wouldn’t take any chances.

  30. Drew says:

    Sir,

    I leave this coming Friday for OCS Juniors, I have been working hard on my run but I am still at right around a 22:30 for my 3 mile. Am I in trouble for the runs or is there enough build up time to where I will be ready by the longer attempts?

  31. Paul says:

    @Drew:

    I leave start travel tomorrow (May 26) for OCS Seniors. I did juniors last summer and when I went I was at a 22:30 on my preship, which I did not work on improving, I just maintained til OCS, my initial PFT at OCS I dropped a minute, and my final PFT I dropped another minute (20:40 apx). Are you motivated? How bad do you want it? If you want it, there won’t be a problem.

    Good Luck!!

  32. Andrew says:

    LT,

    I was wondering about the packing. Should I put it all in plastic bags or keep it in a regular shower kit?

  33. John says:

    Using the OCS Shipping Guide, other blog recommendations, and input from several LTs who recently graduated from OCS, here is a good OCS Packing List for 2013:

    CLOTHING:
    ————–
    Required:
    – 2 collared shirts (1 worn)
    – 2 undershirts (1 worn)
    – 2 pairs of slacks, pressed, with belt (1 worn)
    – 1 pair of dress shoes (clean, worn)
    – 5 pairs of underwear
    – 5 sports bras (females)
    – 2 pairs of serviceable running shoes (purchased within 3 months)

    Recommended:
    – 1 pair of broken-in boots
    – 2 pairs of dress socks (1 worn)
    – 1 towel (small for travel)
    – 1 pair of compression shorts
    – 4-5 pairs of Thorlo boot socks (black or coyote)
    – 1-2 pairs of good boot insoles (e.g. SuperFeet)

    Optional/Issued at OCS:
    – 1-3 pairs of white running socks
    – 1-3 Skivvie/PT shirts
    – 1-3 Skivvie/PT shorts

    HYGIENE:
    ————
    Required:
    – 1 toothbrush
    – 1 tube of toothpaste
    – 1 razor
    – 1 can shaving cream (travel size)
    – 1 stick of deodorant
    – 1 bar of soap or bottle of body wash

    Recommended:
    – 2 packs of extra razor blades
    – 2 bottles of travel mouthwash
    – Chap Stick
    – Female hair supplies
    – Manicure Kit (for inspections)
    – Hygiene Bag

    Optional/Issued at OCS:
    – 1 tube Lotrimin Ultra
    – 1 tube sunscreen
    – 1 stick of BodyGlide

    MISC:
    ——-
    Required:
    – 1 rugged, water resistant watch
    – $450.00 of cash or credit/debit for initial issues
    – 1 pair of eyeglasses as required (2 recommended)

    Recommended:
    – 1 Red Lens Headlamp
    – 2 Wide-tip Sharpie markers
    – 2 Sharpie Rub-A-Dub Laundry markers
    – 2 small all-weather notebooks (Rite in the Rain 3×5)
    – 6 inch ruler
    – 2 erasable pens – black
    – 2 mechanical pencils (or #2 pencil)
    – Personal name stamp kit (1/2 in. capital letters with tape)
    – 4 rolls of 1″ white athletic tape
    – 1 roll of electrical tape
    – 1 pair of small scissors
    – 10 Ziploc bags – Quart
    – 10 Ziploc bags – Gallon

    Optional/Issued at OCS:
    – 2 rolls of 1/2″ white athletic tape
    – 1 roll of duct tape
    – 2 erasable pens – red

  34. Justin says:

    Can any of you guys tell me what the main differences are between Juniors and Seniors? Is there anything I should do differently or training for specifically? I hear so many people say that Juniors is cake in comparison, but I found it to be extremely difficult, maybe I’m just weak. I think Seniors will be easier for me because it won’t be such a culture shock.

  35. OCC 220 Candidate says:

    Just a couple notes.

    You’ll probably want a roll of clear packing tape to “laminate” things such as the covers of your candidate regs, your liberty buddy card, etc.

    You’re issued towels but it may not be until the third day or so. I brought a small towel and was able to shower before gear issue and left the towel in my civilian bag once we put them away.

    You’ll probably want a nail clipper for inspections. That’s what the mouthwash is good for, too. They definitely checked my breath.

    Female candidates, I recommend adding a travel size hairspray to put in your cargo pockets in case you’re told your hair is busted and you don’t have the ability to get your hygiene gear from your locker.

    Red pens were used for peer evals, which happened after SULE I, LRC II, and SULE II if I recall correctly. Our plt had a limited amount of red pens and some candidates had to share. Trust me, you won’t feel like waiting for another candidate to finish before writing an eval for everyone in your squad. (Especially since those of us who finished evals early were usually allowed to study/square away gear/get extra BDR time, or even prepare for inspection. There was an increasing amount of freedom of choice as the cycle went on.)

    And it can’t be reiterated enough, mark your trash before you show up. You’d be surprised at how much stuff will get stolen or lost anyway, but if your name isn’t on it, chances are you will never see it again after pickup.

  36. OCC 220 Candidate, thank you so much for your comment!! We’ll share this info.

  37. Caleb says:

    Great info, however, it’s a little dated. Specifically the 1/2″ tape, body glide, and boot insoles (among other things) probably aren’t needed-as they’re issued. Although, it never hurts to bring a few extra items as stuff gets lost quickly.I attended second increment summer 2016 OCS and would recommend that guys check out the below sites as well to get the best overall gear list.

    https://www.fexgear.com/single-post/2017/02/25/OCS-Packing-List-USMC-2017
    http://openbah.com/archives/20051221/ocs-pack-list

    Anyways, great site and great info. Keep it coming.

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