Recommended Reads

Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps Official Reading List:

Books Recommended for the Officer Candidate

The intent of the Commandant in issuing this list (MCBUL 1500) is stated as follows: “In an era of constrained resources, our professional reading program is designed to provide Marines with an intellectual framework to study warfare and enhance their thinking and decision making skills. The mind, like the body, grows soft with inactivity. All Marines must understand that mental fitness is as demanding and as important as physical fitness, for both require commitment and perseverance. In a world characterized by rapid change and great uncertainty, our reading program will act as a combat multiplier by providing all Marines with a common frame of reference and historical perspective on warfare, human factors in combat and decisionmaking. In so doing, the program will also strengthen the threads of cohesion that make our Marine Corps unique.”

I didn’t know about this list until at OCS, but for you motivated candidates with time on your hands, here’s a few recommendations for you.

A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard

Ender’s Game (The Ender saga) by Orson Scott Card

First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps by Victor H. Krulak

First to Fight

Continue reading

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New Marine Corps Commercial

I thought this was such a cool commercial, I couldn’t help but share.  These guys are enlisting but it can be motivating for officer candidates as well!!

Hooray!! Selected for OCC-202!

The news I have been hoping to hear for almost a year just came this morning!  Pending physical (which should be fine) I am headed to OCS in October!  Captain Smith, Pittsburgh OSO and helo pilot, called me with the good news this morning.

To celebrate, I had to run a pre-ship PFT today (a fair 275) and fill out alot of paperwork.  Ehh government..

OCS Video: Leadership

This is a great new video from the Corps on OCS, and its goal of Leadership

Media page updated here

USMC OCS-worthy PFT…again!

Tomorrow morning I will run another PFT.  Yes, my package is applied and in to the boards.  However, my 266 PFT is not awesome these days, and my OSO wants me to do better.  He is assured that the board will not meet until August 21, and we can send in any “updates” to the packet before then.  Interesting..

Goal:

19 pull ups, 100 crunches, 21:20 on the run.

95/100/80=275/300

That’s the word anyhow.  Wish me luck!

Flight Physical: Pensacola

Just returned from an awesome trip to Pensacola, FL (paid for by Uncle Sam, you better believe it.) It was to get my flight physical as I wrap up my application process.

  • Sunday: Fly from Reagan to Pensacola, hang out at a USO office with some free food and magazines in the airport.  Meet 9 other Aviation candidates and stay on base.
  • Monday: Wake up early! Blood tests, urine analysis, heart and eye tests, and chest and face x-rays. “Did you need your face x-rayed?” Was a joke of the day… any of us with seasonal allergies needed a sinus x-ray done.  All my tests seemed to be fine!
  • Tuesday: Anthro tests–they test your height, length of arms and legs while seated, and so forth, to see if you’ll fit in a cockpit. Other tests for candidates who didn’t pass yet.  Get to see the Pensacola Naval Aviation Museum.  It was a massive shrine to heroic Marine and Navy pilots from the last century of wars.
Naval Aviation Museum Interior: Old Blue Angels

Naval Aviation Museum Interior: Old Blue Angels

A great museum, definitely recommend checking it out if in the area.

  • Tuesday night: celebrating with all the candidates and some Marines at a local bar!  Everyone passed their physicals!
  • Wednesday morning: fly back to DC

I had a blast, just getting to hang out with Marines and aspiring Marine aviators.  Working in IT with a bunch of nerds (my usual weekdays) can’t compare to the energizing atmosphere of ten young patriotic, manly, motivated, cocky future pilots.  Several had been to OCS already and had plenty of tips and advice to share.

The whole visit, getting to stay on base, and meeting guys who will hopefully be at OCC-202 with me was exciting!  I definitely know this is what I want to do as a career, this is the organization I want to be a part of, and I can’t wait to get in.

ASTB Success!

To get into OCS with a flight contract, one must pass a written/computerized test battery and then take an additional physical in Pensacola, FL.  Last week I took my Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB) and passed with a perfect score!  Some of the recruiters had never seen a perfect score before, so I was thrilled as I had to study in between my final round of college finals ever.  The study guide was very helpful, so if you are thinking of going pilot, that is your ticket in based on my personal experience.

Now in June to complete my application I am going to be flown down to Pensacola for a few days of physicals, and I’ll let you know what that entails!