Academic Preparation

OCS Curriculum Selected Chapters

For all you super-motivated candidates who would actually like to study ahead of time before hitting the beaches at OCS, here is an excellent opportunity to actually get access to some of the curriculum you will be learning and tested on while there.

Selected chapters of OCS KnowledgeOCS Classroom

History 1-3 (pdf)

Op Order (pdf)

Close Order Drill (pdf)

Intro to Leadership (pdf)

Fundamentals of Leadership (pdf)

Land Navigation (pdf)

Weapons (pdf)

These are what I’ve been given and recommended as far as preparing for the academics at Officer Candidate School.  Good luck!

  • Land navigation
  • Tactics
  • Weapons
  • Drill
  • Combatives
  • Memorize the following five areas of knowledge before shipping to OCS. You need to know them. It is not enough just to read them over a couple of times; you will need to be able to recite them out loud, and under pressure, so practice that way:

1. Leadership Traits

2. Leadership Principles

3. General Orders

4. Code of Conduct

5. USMC and Navy Rank Structure

(http://web.mit.edu/afrotc/www/wing/ig/mk_database/af_know/rank_structure.htm)

1. Traits

The mnemonic device for the Leadership Traits is: JJ DID TIE BUCKLE

JUSTICE

JUDGEMENT

DECISIVENESS

INTEGRITY

DEPENDABILITY

TACT

INITIATIVE

ENTHUSIASM

BEARING

UNSELFISHNESS

COURAGE (PHYSICAL & MORAL)

KNOWLEDGE

LOYALTY

ENDURANCE

2. Leadership Principles:

1.       Know yourself and seek self-improvement.

2.       Be technically and tactically proficient.

3.       Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.

4.       Make sound and timely decisions.

5.       Set the example.

6.       Know your men and look out for their welfare.

7.       Keep your men informed.

8.       Develop a sense of responsibility in your subordinates.

9.       Ensure that the task is understood supervised and accomplished.

10.   Train your men as a team.

11. Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities.

3. General Orders of the Guard

1. To take charge of this post and all government property in view.

2. To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.

3. To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.

4. To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.

5. To quit my post only when properly relieved.

6. To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me: all orders from the commanding officer, officer of the day, and officers and non-commissioned officers of the guard only.

7. To talk to no one except in the line of duty.

8. To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.

9. To call the corporal of the guard in any case not covered by instructions.

10. To salute, all officers and all colors and standards not cased.

11. To be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.

4. Code of Conduct

ARTICLE I.

I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
ARTICLE II.

I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
ARTICLE III.

If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
ARTICLE IV.

If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
ARTICLE V.

When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
ARTICLE VI.

I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

5. Rank Structure

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Marine_Corps_rank_insignia

“Bonus” Knowledge

Acquire as much of the following as possible before shipping to OCS. Once you are there, you will be learning it when you should instead be sleeping. Before you start memorizing this section, however, make sure you have the above section memorized first.

BAMCIS = THE ACRONYM FOR THE TROOP LEADERSHIP PROCESS

BEGIN PLANNING

ARRANGE FOR RECONNAISANCE AND COORDINATION

MAKE RECONNAISANCE

COMPLETE PLAN

ISSUE ORDER

SUPERVISE

METT-T = THE ACRONYM USED TO ESTIMATE THE SITUATION

MISSION

ENEMY

TROOPS AND FIRE SUPPORT

TERRAIN AND WEATHER

TIME

SALUTE = THE ACRONYM USED TO ORGANIZE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ENEMY

SIZE

ACTIVITY

LOCATION
UNIT
TIME
EQUIPMENT

FIVE PARAGRAPH ORDER

The five paragraph order is an element of small unit tactics that specifies instruction to a unit based upon a METT-T Analysis (Mission, Enemy, Terrain & Weather, Troops & Fire Support, and Time) using the BAMCIS process (Begin the Planning, Arrange Recon, Make Recon, Complete Planning. Issue Order, Supervise) prior to potential enemy engagement. It provides a structure for the unit to be able to understand and execute the mission of the unit leader. You will receive more in depth instruction once at OCS. For now, just be familiar with the acronym “SMEAC,” outlined below (for more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_paragraph_order)

ACRONYM = SMEAC

SITUATION

MISSION

EXECUTION

ADMINISTRATION AND LOGISTICS:

COMMAND AND SIGNAL

HISTORY

– General Jacob Zeilin adopted the Marine Corps Emblem, the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, in 1868. The Globe depicts the western hemisphere, to show the global service and reach of the Marine Corps. The eagle symbolizes America, and the anchor with rope wrapped around it (the “fouled” anchor) symbolizes the Marine Corps’ naval traditions and roots.

– The Marine Corps Motto is Semper Fidelis, which means Always Faithful. The motto was adopted in 1883.

– The Continental Congress founded the Marine Corps on 10 November 1775. The 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Major General John A. Lejeune, established the birthday celebration.

– Two Marines have received two Medals of Honor, Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly and Major General Smedley Butler.

– Major General Lewis “Chesty” Puller received 5 navy crosses.

– The Mameluke Sword was awarded to Lieutenant Pressley O’Bannon after the battle of Tripoli. It is the oldest weapon still in use in the military today.

– Opha Mae Johnson was the first female marine.

– A. A. Cunningham was the first marine aviator.

– The term leatherneck was given to early Marines; because of the leather piece they wore around their neck to prevent from an enemy’s saber strike. The collar on the present day dress coat is raised and stiff to remind us of early Marines that wore the uniform.

12 comments on “Academic Preparation

  1. Dana Keene says:

    Good luck & Semper Fi.
    Dana Keene-L/CPL
    1963-1967
    Viet Nam
    Marine Artillery Forward Observer

    We love Marine Aviators who put it on the target!!

  2. James says:

    Keep in mind, SMEAC is not what’s used at OCS. OSMEAC with the ‘O’ standing for Orientation, is the proper mnemonic you’ll encounter there.

  3. Lcpl West II says:

    I am searching for the PFT standards for a united states marine in 1966. The old man swears the bar (not the pull bar) was set much higher then. He is saying the run time min was 19 min. Anyone could help.

  4. Lt Weeks says:

    LCPL, Ha ha that is a great argument you have going but I have bad news for the old man.

    The old PFT in the 60s consisted of 5 events. Max 100 points each, as now. A score of only 250 was passing to qualify an entrant into the Marine Corps!

    I found this old newspaper which detailed one entrant “Varney completed 17 pullups for 97 points [EASIER SCORING THAN NOW], and 100 points in three events by doing 85 situtps, 60 pushups, and 41 squat thrusts. Varney ran through the 300-yard shuttle run in a time of 43 seconds for 96 points to reach the 489 total.”

    Sorry, looks like the pullups are harder now, and the run vs the pushups are a matter of opinion.

    Ref: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=SJgrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mfUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5256,716126&dq=history+of+marine+corps+physical+fitness+test&hl=en
    Also:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=history+of+marine+corps+%22physical+fitness+test%22&hl=en&rlz=1C1CHME_enUS358US359&tbo=p&tbs=tl:1,tll:1960,tlh:1969&ei=gV9OS9OWEJKPlAfAof2NDQ&sa=X&oi=timeline_histogram_main&ct=timeline-histogram&cd=3&ved=0CEQQyQEoAw

  5. Caleb Tluchak says:

    Hey great blog! I have a question about the Marine Corps history. On the Marine Corps History I Quiz, I found a discrepancy. Question #8 asks: “Who was the first commandant of the Marine Corps?” The answer section states that it was William Ward Burrows. That isn’t correct according to what I researched. Burrows was the 2nd commandant, and Samuel Nicholas was the 1st commandant. I just wanted to let everyone know so that they don’t answer incorrectly.

  6. Shaun J says:

    The first official commandant was William Burrows. Samuel Nichols(first officer) was considered the first unofficial commandant. The question could be worded better but taking it for what it is worth would produce burrows.

  7. Shaun, Correct. Poorly worded question, just you need to understand official vs unofficial first Commandant.

  8. Roman says:

    Sir,

    Links to the pdf files are down.

  9. Jones says:

    I’m actually an applicant out of the Kansas City selection office, and I asked Captain Olmstead today about the website (where all the PDF files are), because I was planning on using them in preparation for OCS this summer. He said that the gov’t didn’t like him having a personal website related to officer programs, so he had to take it down. I wouldn’t count on it being back up anytime soon. Actually, I just wouldn’t count on it being back up ever.

  10. Rae says:

    Links arent working and I would love the chance to be able to study this information your talking about beforehand. Thanks

  11. Ryan says:

    The links are not working, I am planning on applying for PLC/OCS for the summer of 2015. If you could somehow send the study guides that would be awesome!

  12. Andrew says:

    new page with working links is at http://officercandidatesschool.com/ocs_academics/

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