Today we’re back again with another outstanding interview with a current United States Marine 2nd Lieutenant. Following up our interview with 2nd Lieutenant Koehler, is 2nd Lieutenant O’Brien (seen in the picture above). 2nd Lt O’Brien’s interview is an absolute must-read for any candidate seriously preparing for Officer Candidates School, so read it thoroughly and take notes!
Rob from Marine OCS Guide: Good afternoon Sir, thanks for taking the time to speak with MarineOCSGuide.com and helping future candidates in their quest to become 2nd Lieutenants! We’ll get started with this interview by asking what your current status in the United States Marine Corps is?
2nd Lieutenant O’Brien: My current rank in the Marine Corps is 2nd Lieutenant.
Rob: Great. When did you decide that you wanted to become an Officer in the Marine Corps and what specifically motivated you to make it happen? What gave you the drive to succeed and get to where you are today?
O’Brien: I first became interested in the program in March of 2010. I contacted a local Marine at the gym I was working at about joining up, possibly officer route, and he then forwarded me to my OSO in Lubbock, Texas. The catalyst that sparked my interest in joining the military was simple: I wanted to earn something in this life, I wanted to challenge myself in the most extreme way I could. The lacklustre and mundane aspects of leading a civilian life were driving me nuts. In short, I knew there was something better than working a desk job after college. It truly is a calling; a swelling of overanxious energy to join. You can’t join the Marine Corps with any doubt that you don’t want to be there. Now, what drove me? Easy, I looked at my increasingly dull life and knew I was making the right decision. When I was actually at OCS though, my family carried me through, and the guys going through the same thing got me through. I never was going to quit, and that’s the mantra I used: never quit.
Rob: What specific route did you take to Officer Candidates School?
O’Brien: I took the PLC Junior and Senior route, six weeks each over two consecutive summers. What’s good about the PLC program is that they give you an entire year (after Juniors) to contemplate if you really want to go back. Alot of guys didn’t, more than 40% didn’t return. So if you return to Seniors, it shows you’re committed to the cause. The benefit over the combined courses is that the duration each time you are in Quantico is shorter, and you get to have somewhat of a summer when you return home. But mainly, it’s the weeding out process that I like.
Rob: What were the biggest factors that you prepared for before attending OCS? What kind of workouts did you do to help you reach your physical peak?
O’Brien: Preparation for OCS isn’t hard conceptually–you just train your butt off– but physically and mentally, training for OCS is difficult and stressful. I’d say run 4 times a week, 5 at most, 3 at least, and do a heavy duty cross-fit workout. I also bought a pull-up bar in preparation of the PFT. Eat clean, no junk, hydrate, and be consistent. Make a plan, and plan on following it.
Rob: What did you find to be the most difficult aspect of Marine OCS? How did you overcome that specific obstacle to graduate successfully from OCS?
O’Brien: The most difficult aspect of OCS is the constancy and hurried pace of life. They cram such a volumious amount of activity in a day (and night), and the disorientation that it creates is tremendous. You have to be organized or it could cost you your candidacy. Everything else is just as hard, I just picked something I clearly remembered, but OCS will have something horrific for each and every candidate that arrives. You just can’t quit, and if your day isn’t going great, then use this mantra: FIDO (Fuck it, Drive on).
Rob: Lastly, what would be one piece of advice you’d give anyone about to attend Officer Candidates School in Quantico?
O’Brien: I’d say, if you were selected then have faith in it. I knew from the time I heard about the program I was going to succeed or literally die trying. I got hurt at OCS both times I went. The first time I jacked up my spine and the second time I sprained my ankle–TWICE. At the end of the day, either you passed everything or you didn’t, and I be damned if I said I didn’t.
Rob: Thanks for the awesome interview 2nd Lieutenant O’Brien.
O’Brien: You’re welcome Rob, I’m glad I could help.
There you have it. That concludes our interview with USMC 2nd Lieutenant O’Brien. A special thanks to Lt O’Brien for this awesome interview and insight into Officer Candidate School. If you have any questions on the interview, feel free to drop a comment below. Also, if you’re a Marine who’s dealt with Officer Candidate School in any capacity and would like to share their thoughts, we’d love to interview you. Please send an e-mail to [email protected] and we’ll get the ball rolling. Thanks to everyone for reading!