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

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OCS in Review: Physical Preparation

Although I’m done with OCS, I will be writing a few more posts to help out future candidates. Basically, these are the posts that have been requested, or that I just wish I had to read before OCS.

For physical preparation, much advice I got was wrong, or misleading before I got to OCS. The workouts and much of the training has evolved considerably since past CO’s.

If I had to do it again, I would mimic OCS workouts as much as possible in my own program. So, to that end I’ll detail the current workouts at Officer Candidate School. Enjoy!

PPPA: Push/Pull/Press/Abs

PPPA is often an addition to a run or another workout. This was the only workout that pushed me to my full physical limit. Know your weaknesses, right?

First, pushup/pull-up supersets. For example, 10 pulls, 25 pushes, 8 pulls, 20 pushes, 6 and 15.  The numbers increase each time you do it. By week 8 or 9, I believe it’s something like pull-ups: 16/14/12 and pushups 45/40/35. Ouch.

Marine Corps Pushup!

Marine Corps Push ups!

Ammo can press/crunch supersets come next. I think the ammo cans are 20 or 30 pounds each (full of sand.) This is a great preparation for the CFT and PFT. These are timed events, so you end up doing about 2 min/1.5/1 minute for ammo can presses, alternating with crunches of about the same time.

Fartleks

Fartleks are 3-5 mile runs, interspersed with workouts every half mile or so. Fartleks are very similar to the Run Course/Mec Weight (or something like that) where you just don’t run as far, and do more workouts. An awesome cardio workout.

Example exercises: Pushups, pull-ups, crunches, sit-ups, frog sit-ups (wide knees like you’re doing a groin stretch), diamond pushups, body squats, bend and thrusts, burpees, dips, mountain climbers, sprints

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Commissioning

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!

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!!

OCS Preship Video “Welcome Aboard”

All candidates accepted to OCS watch this moto dvd, “Welcome Aboard,” which has several short videos on it which are intended to give candidates an idea of what to expect at OCS, as well as to motivate or educate them a little, I suppose.  Regardless, here’s a nice little video on Marine Corps history, which they showed to me.  More to come.

I watched these at the local officer selection office when I filled out paperwork, got fingerprinted, and ran my preship PFT.

Below is the video to give you a better idea of what OCS is like.  I think if you are a candidate who has done his research, (perhaps by being a reader here?) you will have learned enough that most of this will be review. This is the big video you watch, the main attraction:

The OCS Pre-ship Video

After you watch that, you get to check off a box on your preship checklist that asks “Have you watched the OCS preship video? (Not applicable to ROTC/MCEP or enlisted commissioning programs): Yes ☐ No ☐ N/A ☐ If no, why?”

I know I just made an enduring post which many will find while googling it which will allow them to check off that one box.  Ha ha, you can thank me later peeps.

PFT Page updated

Some helpful running information is now on the PFT page here:

https://manlypat.wordpress.com/physical-preparation/physical-fitness-test-pft-pullups/

Click for PFT

Click for PFT page