About Me

I am an officer in the Marine Corps.  I started blogging before I went to OCS in mid-2009.

This blog simply exists to help someone like me, who may be looking ahead to the whole process of becoming a Marine Officer, or to help someone who’s not sure if he would want to go for it or not.  I started the blog a year before I got to OCS.

I have reworked all the information from this blog into a brand new site about Officer Candidates School. Check it out!


OCS Blog author at Mojave Viper in 2010


35 comments on “About Me

  1. manlypat says:

    To follow my personal journey-related posts, check this out: https://manlypat.wordpress.com/category/my-personal-journey/

    It’s in reverse chronological order, which is hopefully not too confusing. It just happens that way. peace

  2. Mark Gale says:

    Interesting blog. You might be interested in a post by someone who just rode on a flight to San Diego with a group of Marine recruits. http://www.garrettwebergale.blogspot.com. Best of luck in your quest.

  3. Candidate says:

    Thanks–that was a great post! I read it

  4. Joe says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience and best of luck to you as you pursue your dream!

  5. 0ptomist says:

    Great blog. Have you been selected already?

  6. Candidate says:

    Not yet actually, hoping to go into OCC 202, starting this October.

  7. Taylor says:

    Thanks for sharing, there were a lot of really helpful links throughout your posts! I am currently going through the process of applying. I take my ASTB, PFT, and go to MEPS in August. I’m hoping to contract for PLC 2nd Inc. next summer. Have you heard back from the board yet?

  8. patrick says:

    I am also very seriously considering OCC in October or January. I am planning to meet with an OSO this week in Manhattan. Do you know what date the October class starts?

    Thank you in advance.

    Patrick Ford.

  9. Cooper says:

    Hey There Motivator! This is a great blog! Keep up the good work. I finished OCS last summer 2008. PLC combined class 198. I commission October 10th.
    You seem like you are pretty well prepared. OCS was hard but it was also fun. I made great friends there and I am sure you will too. I am from DC as well and I PT all the time if you want to work out. Who is your OSO? Mine is Captain Potter out of Hyattsville. Anyway, keep up the good work killer!!

    Semper Fi


  10. Jason says:


    I came across your blog while looking for some tips on how to prevent injury while at OCS. I too am hoping to attend OCC-202 starting 03 OCT 2009. I am also an Air contract. I’m from upstate SC so I did my aviation physical at MCAS Beaufort, SC. I’d really like to hear from you, so we could share stories, tips and anything else that might be helpful, so send me an email if you get a chance. Maybe I’ll see you in Quantico in a few months.

    Semper Fi,


  11. Alex says:

    Hi from a fellow officer candidate,

    I just got back from OCS about three weeks ago – I attended the summer session and made it to the start of week 7 before I was medically discharged. You’re doing an awesome job of preparing for OCS. I was so totally not ready which was a big mistake! I knew nothing about what OCS would be like (I didn’t even know what the FARTLEK was when I went back), I only knew I wanted to go. I should have prepared like you are and I wouldn’t have gotten sick and sent home (I can go back, BTW :).

    As far as tips are concerned, I don’t really have a lot to add to what you’ve got. Be prepared to be sleep deprived and to do Fire Watches at night (basically one hour guard duty in the squad bays).

    Here are some items that I wish that I had brought back with me when I went to OCS:

    -Black electrical tape (for tying straps to packs; black tape is “tactical”)

    -Headlamp (for use @ night; you’ll be doing lots of stuff @ night, like marking skivvy shirts, so you’ll want to have a red light head lamp so your hands will be free for other stuff – make sure you buy a head lamp with a red light since that’s the only type allowed!!!)

    -Duct tape (you will want this to help you make the name stencil you will use all the time)

    -Pens and notebook (a day planner might be helpful – you will get to the point where you’ll want to write the day’s schedule down, like when you’re a billet holder, so having paper with time slots already marked out will help. Just be sure whatever you buy will fit in your pocket.)

    To prepare yourself academically, know basic USMC history (i.e., USMC birthday, first amphibious landing, etc.). Also, you’ll be using the M16 A4, not the A2…basically the only differences between the two models are the hand guards and the carrying handle.

    Like you say on your blog, there’s really no way to be prepared for pick-up – they will make it really stressful!!! Just be loud in your responses to the sergeant instructors, move fast and with a purpose, and get used to hearing something once and being expected to execute it perfectly – not always possible, but can be done.

    Like you say, not much encouragement or positive feedback from the instructors – basically, if you’re not getting yelled at for doing something wrong, you’re probably doing it right. Pay attention to the DI’s in the first few days too – you will be doing some of their jobs, especially reporting your platoon in the formations (i.e., morning formation, forming after classes and for chow, etc.).

    Let me know if you have any questions – like I said, I made it to training week 7, so I basically did most everything you’ll be doing at OCS.

    God bless,

    Alex Smith

  12. Dan says:

    Thank for the info and sharing your experience! I’m looking forward to hearing how things go soon. My personal training begins next week as I plan to attend OCS in June, 2010.

  13. Tony DiPoto says:

    Great blog man. I’ll be there at OCS 202 with you. Flying out early Thursday morning from Milwaukee. Great preparation, let’s kick some ass.

  14. Candidate says:

    ooorah, Tony! That is awesome to hear–I’m from Racine myself originally. See you there, come MOTIVATED!

  15. homeschool mom says:

    Hi Pat,
    This is Marion Christoph, a friend of your mom’s. She told me to check out your blog. Very impressive with all the detail you’ve put into it. Your hard work will pay off. My oldest son, Henry is a plebe at USNA in Annapolis. I think you may have coached him in pitching some years ago. I forwarded your blog address to him. Best wishes to you and your new wife. It can’t be easy on her to have you gone so much, so I pray for her patience and endurance. I pray for yours as well.

    Marion Christoph

  16. Martin says:

    Very nice blog. Good tips on how to improve your PFT score.

  17. Paul says:

    Hey man much props to you.. Respect much what is posted here and what great information. I had planned on attending OCS straight from college but ended up taken couple year wait.. The information posted here is some of the most helpful stuff I have read.. I have read air-warriors, which was full of help, and other sites. However, this by far is the most helpful. I truly appreciate it and best of luck following the dream.. Hope to be in your shoes in a couple of years. All the best mate.

  18. Candidate says:

    Thanks so much, Martin & Paul! Good luck to you, Paul, keep working hard and you’ll excel at OCS.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations on becomming a Commissioned Officer in the Marine Corps. I was in the Marine Corps from 1974 – 1978. You have a fine tradition to uphold. Good luck at TBS.

  20. LavaDog says:

    Great site you have here. Can you please contact me via email. futurejarheads@yahoo.com

    Thank you sir.

  21. Annie says:

    I am so happy to have found your site. Do you happen to have an article on liberty?

    I am curious how it all works and what regulations there might be. I’m from California and we kind of need to plan out the details of when I am visiting him, before my husband leaves. Thanks!!!

  22. Aaron says:

    hey, i had a couple questions, i see you are married, how did that work at OCS. i am really thinking about joining and i just wanted some insight from someone whose done it. my email is brooksa321@gmail.com. Thank You

  23. Chris says:

    Amazing Blog!!

    I am starting the process to get into flight school like you! I have eye surgery scheduled for early next month and then the 6 month wait after that before I can start the rest of the medical parts and everything else. I really hope you don’t take this down! I have heard hearsay that flight training in florida is backlogged, any input regarding that?

    I have a few more questions and I was wondering if you could email an inspiring Marine Corps Pilot in case I have any questions along the route! Thanks!!



  24. Dotty says:

    Hey there! Great, interesting site. I have a quick question about a photo you have posted – someone seems familiar to me in it. Please e-mail me at dottydee843@gmail.com. I would love to know!

  25. jessica says:

    Thank goodness you kept a blog, i searched everywhere online to find out what the flight physical consisted of. your blog was the only place with what a recruit would have to go through. this made my senior project 20x better. thanks!!

  26. Kenneth Bautista says:

    Were you able to choose your MOS before attending OCS?

  27. Yes, only since I was a flight contract. Going into OCS you are flight, ground, or law. If you’re ground, then at TBS you go through a lottery to get your MOS assigned. Most Lieutenants at TBS are ground and are part of that lottery system.

  28. Dusty says:

    Keep this blog up for as long as you can! I am trying to become part of the OCC class in the Fall of 2011. It has been very helpful (and eye-opening).

  29. The people have spoken. I’ve received a surprising amount of similar feedback, so it will stay up for the foreseeable future.

  30. Clayton says:

    Thank you so much for this website. It has been extremely helpful and encouraging. Congratulations on making it through. I leave for PLC Combined this summer and this site has helped me prepare. From Racine eh? I’m from Lake Geneva, WI.

  31. LA says:

    Thank you! This site is insightful, and a lot of help.

  32. Sierra says:

    Thank you very much for putting in the time & effort. It is much appreciated, and I promise you that you are inspiring, motivating, and helping future Marine Corps Officers. Keep up the great work! The OCS Blog & all the links have been especially helpful also! Thank you again, Sir!

  33. Joe Johnson says:

    Hey I have a question about in processing at ocs what exactly goes on in the medical part?

  34. Ryan says:


    Not sure if you still follow your post but I want to wish you well on your Marine Corps career. As you know, leading Marines is sacred and it’s an honor to your country and to your Marines!

    I served on the enlisted side for six years and now working for a major corporation. There is nothing greater than the experience of being a Marine so make every bet of it. I am cutting close to 30 and I don’t want to live life with regret so I am looking to see if I can get an age waiver and will look at your historical posts on fitness and what to expect.

    Shock factor wont be an issue except keeping up with the young studs! Stay in touch and shoot me an email as I would love to speak with you one day!

  35. Neale says:

    WordPress!? My professor introduced this to us 3 years ago! I never thought it would catch on!

    On to more pressing news, I intend to become a candidate to OCC upon my graduation this May, being as that I was too late into my junior year to begin OCS/PLC. I’ve been researching what I can and to my surprise, a blog site has provided a lot more insight on the process than would an official site.

    I would simply like to thank you for supplying what knowledge you can share and commend you for the efforts you’ve employed them in.

    btw, how far along are you now? current rank? station? how many more years on contract?

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