For many potential Marine Officer Candidates, questions about Marine OCS that go unanswered often prevent them from taking a leap of faith and applying. Specifically for college students applying for the Platoon Leaders Class, many have questions about spending a summer(s) away from home in an uncomfortable and unknown environment. While many people may attempt to sway you from attending Marine OCS during your college career, telling you your time can be spent better at an internship or summer job, here are some distinct benefits for attending Platoon Leaders Class that may encourage you to think otherwise.
Benefits of Marine Officer Candidates School, specifically the Platoon Leaders Class:
- No Service Commitment after College: the PLC program is an excellent way for college students to test whether or not they want to pursue a career as a Marine Officer, think of it as a military “test drive”. While ROTC programs require you to sign a contact and serve a certain amount of years after college, the PLC program simply requires you to complete the first 4 weeks of training at Quantico, Virginia. If after 4 weeks at Officer Candidates School, you no longer have the desire or interest to lead Marines, you can drop from the program before on the spot. Even if you complete Platoon Leaders Class and graduate from OCS, you are still not required to serve until you choose to accept your commission in your senior year of college. If you want to become a Marine Officer, the opportunity is there for the taking, but if you have second thoughts about it or find other opportunities elsewhere, you’re not bound to service until you decide to accept your commission well after OCS graduation!
- Excellent Leadership Experience: Whether or not you decide to become a Marine Officer, attending Officer Candidates School will change your attitude and abilities for the better. The leadership experience that you gain at OCS is second to none and will benefit you in whatever career path you may choose to take. No book, no business leadership seminar, no internship will give you the same type of trial-by-fire leadership experience that leading a platoon of candidates will. It’s something that will permanently change your mindset, work ethic and leadership for the better.
- You Do Get Paid at OCS: Some potential candidates are unaware that you are actually paid while you attend Officer Candidates School. If you attend the 6 week Junior/Senior sessions, you will be paid $ 2,720.00 for each individual session. If you attend 10-week PLC, you will be paid $ 4,530.00. By no means should the fact that you get paid at OCS be a leading motivator for attendance (money doesn’t seem to matter with a Gunnery Sergeant in your face), but it’s certainly an added bonus to return to college after OCS with some extra money for books, food, etc.
- Return to School with More Motivation: After you graduate from Officer Candidates School, returning to college may seem like a walk in the park. That’s basically because it is in comparison to the experience and obstacles that you just overcame at OCS. Many Platoon Leaders Class candidates find themselves receiving better grades after returning from Quantico, feeling more motivated in the gym and accomplishing much more in any given day. It’s a great feeling to return to the world you once knew as a different (in a good way), more motivated and disciplined student and citizen.
There you have it, a few reasons for the potential college student to seriously think about attending Marine Officer Candidates School in the PLC program. If you’ve attended Platoon Leaders Class in the past and would like to add an additional benefit of the program, feel free to comment below!