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.

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..

PFT Bigger Success!

Hooray! My goal was a 275, but I got a 282 on my PFT, hopefully putting me over the top to getting into OCC-202!

Did the PFT about 0600, and the cooler temperatures definitely helped on the run portion.  I would encourage any other candidates that you can retake PFTs and apply higher scores to your application package.  Good stuff!


pft crunches

My PFT crunches, okay not really

Pull-ups: 19
Crunches: 100
Run: 21:20


Pull-ups: 20
Crunches: 100
Run: 20:58

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.

Great Pre-OCS Workout: Fartlek

  Fartlek is a word that translates into “speed play”.  The basic concept of this system is to train the body using different intervals of rest and speed.  Normal Fartlek sessions tend to consist of about 3 to 4 miles, running about ¼ mile or more then resting before doing it again.  The course you are going to familiarize yourself with at OCS is a twisted representation of this concept. 

This is a great example of a Fartlek course you can do on your own time in preparation for OCS. Feel free to mix in other exercises found on this site.

     The OCS course will consist of running to pre-marked exercise stations along Quantico trails.  Each station is marked with a specific exercise and number of repetitions.  The repetitions increase as you progress through training.  Below is an example of exercises to include in your own Fartlek course, as well as, some recommended distances to space them out.

     Each station should have approximately 400m to ½ mile between them.  Each exercise should count between 10-20 repetitions.

Box Jumps

Pull -Ups


Wide arm push-ups

Continue your workout

The Process Overview

Candidate Action Plan.  You can click for a pdf laying out the entire process from possible candidate to headed to OCS, or view it as an image below.  This is very helpful for the hopeful Marine Officer.


Candidate Action Plan

Candidate Action Plan

The following is quoting from http://www.sfmarineofficer.com/application.html


Prospect Phase

During this phase, you will gather information in order to make a well-informed decision. The Officer Selection Office will initially screen you to determine your qualification to apply for a Marine Officer Program, conduct an interview or perhaps several interviews, and answer all of your questions. Before an interview can be conducted your OSO will conduct an initial screening and gather basic information about you. The goal in this phase is to ensure that you know enough about the Marines to make a well informed decision, and for both you and the Officer Selection Officer to confirm that you are, indeed, Marine Corps Officer “material.” Married prospects are encouraged to bring their spouse to the interview(s).
Information about Marine Officer Programs can come from a variety of sources, but the best source, by far, is the Officer Selection Office. Other resources include books, publications, pamphlets and brochures, insights provided by current and former Marine officers, and the official Marine officer web-site: http://www.marineofficer.com. See our Links page for some recommended resources. Your goal should be to learn as much as you can about our programs and what Marine officers do in order to make a sound decision about whether or not you’d like to pursue one of our programs.

Once you make your decision to apply and your OSO completes his screening of you to determine if you are basically qualified you will enter the applicant phase.

Applicant Phase

During this phase, you will apply for acceptance to a Marine Officer Program. You will choose which option(s) (Ground, Pilot, Naval Flight Officer or Judge Advocate) you want to apply for, but keep in mind that some options are much more competitive than others. The process consists of several different steps, to include mental testing (as required), a physical exam at a Military Entrance Processing Station, a physical fitness test, a background check, and gathering your academic credentials. This phase can be accomplished in a short period of time for applicants who meet the qualification standards and are motivated to make it happen. At times, an applicant will not initially meet the standard in a particular area. Through dedicated time and hard work, these prospects can rise to meet the standards for qualification.

The Marine Corps is looking for the applicant who is willing to demonstrate dedication and determination. This phase culminates when the applicant’s “package” is sent before the Marine Officer Candidate Selection Board for review and competitive consideration. The Board convenes several times throughout the year to select the most highly qualified applicants. For PLC, you can apply at any time during the school year, but the selection board process is similar to the “rolling admissions” process that many graduate schools utilize. The earlier you apply, the better your chances of selection.

Whole Person Concept -The Marine Corps not only evaluates academic and physical test scores but also considers external activities such as community activities, school activities, sports participation, and work experience to select those candidates who will attend Officer Candidate School. Once selected, you become a Marine Officer Candidate.

Typically, applications will be handed out at the conclusion of the initial interview, but if you want to get started on the application immediately, feel free to download it here.

Rough Application

Recommendation Form

Candidate Phase

This phase is broken down into three stages: pre-OCS, OCS, and post-OCS. During the pre-OCS period, you continue to learn what will be expected of you at OCS and to prepare yourself to meet those challenges. The Officer Selection Office will continue to prepare you both mentally and physically for the rigors of OCS.

The OCS period starts when you “ship” from the Officer Selection Station to Quantico, Virginia. Your Pay Entry Base Date starts here…an important date impacting your future pay as an officer. You will attend OCS for either two six-week sessions or one ten-week session, depending upon when you enter the PLC program. OCC applicants attend a 10-week course that is offered in January, June, and October. OCS is designed as a test to ensure that you possess the physical capabilities, character, intellect, and leadership potential required of all Marine Officers.

As stated previously, upon completion of OCS, you will return to school if you are in the PLC program. OCC and PLC Law applicants will receive their commission upon graduation from OCS and either begin active duty immediately, or go to law school if accepted to one of our law programs. Approximately four to six months prior to earning your Bachelor’s Degree, you will make the decision to either accept or decline your commission. If you accept your commission, you will be appointed to the rank of Second Lieutenant and assigned to active duty (ground officers and lawyers for three and a half years; aviators for six to eight years upon graduation from flight school).