Before you can lead as a Marine Officer, you must first fight to become one. At Marine Corps Officer Candidates School (OCS), mind, body, and character are put to the test to evaluate your capabilities as both a fighter and an officer. No candidate at OCS will earn the officer commission they seek without demonstrating they can meet the standard found in our motto, Ductus Exemplo, Latin for “Lead by example.”
After graduating Officer Candidates School (OCS), candidates are commissioned as officers in the United States Marine Corps, marking the final transition from civilian to Marine Officer. Hear from the officers of Marine who have faced the challenges of Officer Candidates School and proven themselves capable as leaders our Nation can count on.
The mission of Officer Candidates School (OCS) is to educate and train officer candidates in Marine Corps knowledge and skills within a controlled and challenging environment in order to evaluate and screen individuals for the leadership, moral, mental, and physical qualities required for commissioning as a Marine Corps officer.
Much is expected of candidates who wish to earn the trust of our Nation by proving capable as Marine Officers. OCS ensures all who are pinned with the Marine rank of 2nd Lieutenant will first pass a stringent assessment based on three graded categories: Academics, Leadership, and Physical Fitness. Some of the training events at OCS take the form of:
Close Order Drill
Academic Classes and Discussions
Fire team Assault Course
Leadership Reaction Course
Stamina Course and Endurance Course
Small Unit Leadership Evaluation (SULE)
Daily Platoon staff evaluation
The arduous process of advancing from officer candidate to Officer of Marines is divided into five distinct phases, each that present distinct battles that must be overcome to continue.
After completing the rigorous training at OCS that develops our sense of belonging and purpose, newly commissioned officers report to The Basic School (TBS). In this six-month course, Marine Officers are no longer being screened, but trained to be competent and capable leaders our Corps and country can count on. From classroom settings to real life applications, TBS is where Marine Officers learn to effectively command and lead Marines for a common cause. It also represents the first time we truly feel the weight of the astounding responsibility placed on our shoulders.
As Marine Officers, we are all part of the same collective fight to advance our Nation, but it is at The Basic School that each of us sets out on one of four distinct career paths: Ground, Aviation, Law, or Cyber. Each of these paths includes a variety of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), and it is approximately at the halfway point through TBS that young officers have the opportunity to indicate their preference for MOS and geographical duty assignment. During this selection process, Marine Officers can expect:
The Quigley is famous—or infamous—for a reason. The obstacle course tests the mental and physical endurance of aspiring Marine Officers. Do you think you have the determination to overcome the Quigley?