I am now a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps! I have completed the journey From Civilian to Marine Officer.

Thanks so much to all of you for your support. I will continue to update the site for a while; after completing OCS I have much more helpful information to share.

Little wife pinning on the butterbars!

Uncle Jack, my first salute: WWII & Korea vet

Officer Candidate School Graduation

December 11: the big day!

Finally my OCS journey is successful!

OCS Graduation

OCS Graduation: Delta Co. 2nd Platoon

OCS Graduation: 15 gun salute

OCS Graduation: 15 gun salute

OCS Grads

OCS Grads: Graduate Somma (L) & I

Officer Candidate School Sign

Good bye to Officer Candidate School!

Dress Blue Fitting

Getting fitted for my uniform

It sent chills up my spine to pull on the trousers with the blood stripe.


Three more weeks until my goal of years is accomplished!

Tradition holds that in the Battle of Chapultepec in September of 1847, Marine officers and NCOs sustained an unusually high casualty rate during the battle.[2] In 1849, uniform regulations dictated that the stripes were changed to a solid red. Ten years later, a scarlet cord was inserted into the outer seams for noncommissioned officers and musicians, while a scarlet welt was added for officers. Finally, in 1904, the simple scarlet stripe seen today was adopted, with the varying widths prescribed for different ranks.

Halfway done!

Hello all,

Surprise surprise, first post in over a month! I am home on liberty right now and I can say I am thriving at OCS. Mentally it has not been too challenging, academically I’m doing fine, and I’ve been keeping up fine on the physical training. I got a PR 289 initial PFT and today got a 275 on the intermediate PFT. I lost 3 pullups in the last month! I’ve been surprised how infrequently we do pull-up workouts. The whole platoon has been sick with the seasonal colds and flu going around this whole week, so everyone has been hacking up phlegm, sluggish, feverish and fatigued. Regardless, we all passed the PFT today. Yay Delta 2.

Some random thoughts:

I have enjoyed lots of the things we do at OCS, luckily! Almost every day I enjoy some aspect of our training. My favorite things so far have been individual runs and Marine Corps history classes.

I love getting letters in the mail, but don’t send food! And don’t ask about OCS in letters to candidates, they probably won’t have time to respond. Just write about walking your dog or taking my little cousin to the zoo or something random–the more your letter takes my mind off of the daily challenges, the better!

The physical training stuff posted on this site (which I followed) is spot on. Running is important, but all around fitness is the name of the game. We do way more pushups than I imagined though. My shoulders and chest are pretty sore.

OCS destroys your feet. Blisters, swelling, shin splints, tendinitis, is the name of the game. For everyone. Come with good inserts for your boots.

They pass out ibuprofen like it is candy.

Pain tolerance can be built. Mine is growing.

I am getting enough to eat–they are being pretty smart about getting the candidates a sufficient diet. (I haven’t lost any weight really but some men have lost 15 lbs already.)

I said enough to eat, not all-you-can-eat…

Sleep deprivation is the hardest thing about OCS I think. To get 6 hours of sleep a night is a luxury. Often you’ll get 4 nonsequential hours of sleep a night, then run 5 miles the next morning, drill, have classes, etc etc all day and just have to push through. Gotta stay motivated! At 22 years of age, it is something you can do though. I’m actually one of the youngest if not the youngest in the platoon, most are not immediate college grads. Lots of 24s, 25s.

Liberty is a blessing and a challenge–you get 24 hours or so off to go home (in my case) and eat and relax then you’re expected to turn around and “flip the switch” and be ready to roll again when it’s over.

Everything is a test.

Lots of OCC-202 attendees know my blog–thanks for letting me know you read it, and GOOD LUCK my brothers.

You’re always being watched and evaluated.

The ethical standards of the Marine Corps are honorable, inspirational, and traditional/conservative. The standards and morals this organization preaches and stands by unapologetically are refreshing in this world of political correctness and wishy-washy moral relativism.

The chaplain at OCS is a great source of encouragement and truly cares about all the candidates and their well-being. If the candidates don’t have anywhere to go on liberty, he has a house set up just as a hang out spot and gives away free food etc to any candidate who stops by.

I can’t wait until it’s over but I can see myself missing many aspects of OCS.

I’m tired and going to bed.

Prayers and letters appreciated.

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

Continue reading


Thanks to all who have shown support, to those who read and follow the blog, and to all of you who have found me and who I’ve been in contact with. I will see many of you soon, and I wouldn’t do this blog if I didn’t think it would help others.

Thanks to everyone

Thanks to everyone