The Basic School

Following Officer Candidates School, newly commissioned officers head to The Basic School to learn how to lead and inspire fellow Marines. Guided by the mentorship of experienced Marines, new officers develop the leadership, knowledge and esprit de corps that define the Marine Corps.

While The Basic School curriculum emphasizes the skills needed to command an infantry platoon, lessons here apply to Marine Officers in every leadership role. You will build a foundation of military knowledge and gain experience in the responsibilities of leadership, from accomplishing a mission to working with your Marines.

Training progresses through four phases; the first focuses on the individual technical and tactical skills required of an officer. In the second and third phases, you'll build on those skills and prepare to lead by example in command of a platoon. Finally, in the fourth phase, you will study the strategic organization that makes the Marine Corps our nation's expeditionary force in readiness, and will prepare you to apply your leadership skills in action.

Marine Corps Martial Arts

Disciplined training in hand-to-hand combat

Water Survival

Practicing floatation techniques, waterproofing packs and avoiding hypothermia

Combat Intelligence

Collecting and interpreting information to gain a strategic advantage

Marine Corps History and Traditions

The legacy that distinguishes the Marine Corps


Reading military maps and terrain features, developing situational awareness

Military Law

Legal and ethical standards for Marines, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice


Equipment, procedures and information security

Amphibious Operations

Strategies for maneuvers across land and sea

Aviation Support

Planning and communicating the use of aviation assets


Coordinating the movement of Marines and equipment to supply a mission

Field Engineering

Manipulating the terrain for offensive and defensive tactics


Organizing reconnaissance and security operations

Infantry Weapons

The M16 rifle, the M9 Beretta, rockets, missiles, mortars, machine guns and grenades

Supporting Arms

Planning efficient and effective weapon support for combat missions

Vertical Envelopment Operations

Planning combined arms air/ground maneuvers

First Aid

Basic prevention and treatment of field injuries, basic combat lifesaving

Marine Corps Organization and Staff Functions

The role of headquarters, Operating Forces and supporting establishments

Drill, Command and Ceremonies

Building discipline, pride and esprit de corps