On this website, we’ll be talking a lot about the attending Marine Corps Officer Candidate School and how to survive/succeed while in Quantico, Virginia. However, we can’t overlook one of the most difficult parts of the whole process, actually getting accepted to OCS. For some people, it’s a rather easy and painless process while for other candidates, it’s a long and difficult experience. So to avoid that long and difficult experience, here are some helpful tips to gain acceptance to Officer Candidate School on the first try.
- Get a High PFT Score: Your physical fitness score may be the single most important aspect of gaining acceptance to Officer Candidate School. Someone with a high PFT score, around +285, shows that they are extremely serious about becoming an officer in the Marine Corps and treat their physical preparation as such. If you apply to OCS with a sub-par PFT (250 or below), it will not be easy to get accepted. However, if you apply with a 290+, you’d have an excellent chance to gain acceptance unless you had some kind of serious blemish on your application (sub-par GPA, arrests, DUI, drugs, etc). So what’s the tip? Don’t stop PT’ing until you reach the maximum score possible. The closer you are to a 300 PFT score, the better chance you get accepted to Marine OCS on your first try.
- Don’t be an Idiot: I’ve met a decent amount of people applying for Officer Candidate School who just don’t seem to get what it takes to gain acceptance. They slack off in PT, do multiple drugs, get tattoos in places visible in a uniform, etc. When applying for Officer Candidate School, you want to have a spotless application to which your OSO is proud to send in your packet and root for you. There are some things you can’t control in your past, but from the second you make becoming an officer in the Marine Corps your goal, you should do everything in your power to make that happen. Which means physical preparing to the full extent, following the Marine Corps guidelines of appearance, avoiding drugs and definitely not drinking and driving!
- Keep in contact with your OSO: One of the main differences between Officer recruiting and enlisted recruiting is the approach the recruiters have. Enlisted recruiters will constantly stop on top of their pool, where as officer recruiting is much more laid back. It’s your job to maintain contact with your OSO, not the other way around. You should always maintain contact with your OSO to ensure a good relationship, stay updated in your application process, etc. It’s something that many people don’t do, but a simple call twice a month will better your relationship and improve your chances of getting selected.
- Avoid Waivers as Best You Can: Many people have to deal with the waiver process when applying for Officer Candidate School. I did myself for a tattoo on my middle back in memory of my cousin who passed away and I’ll warn you that the waiver process is a pain. I completed my application for selection in September of 2009, but wasn’t actually accepted until around March because it took until February for my tattoo waiver to actually clear. There was nothing wrong with my application or my tattoo, yet the higher powers in charge were extremely backed up on waivers and took months to review it. Moral of the story is, some waivers are completely out of your control, but don’t do anything once you know your applying for Officer Candidate School that would require an additional waiver.
There you have it, 4 tips on getting accepted to Marine Officer Candidate School. Hopefully this has helped guide anyone applying for a prospective spot at OCS in the future. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.