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.

Leadership Principles

These 11 principles form the foundation of leadership in the Marine Corps. Living by these principles will make you a better officer. Together, they form the traits and values that define your character as a leader.

Adopting these principles will guide your actions with your Marines and your unit, and provide direction throughout your career. The skills you learn now will stay with you long after you’ve finished training.

The principles are also an important tool for self-evaluation. As you progress, you can use them to identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and seek self-improvement.

Your First Assignment

After earning a commission, your first assignment as a Marine Officer will be at The Basic School in Quantico, VA. In this intense six-month program, you'll build on the skills learned as an officer candidate to turn your leadership potential into command experience.

Leadership, Knowledge and Esprit de Corps

It is a privilege to command Marines, and your responsibility as an officer to provide the best possible leadership. Guided by your mentors, you will build a foundation of leadership for life. In the classroom and in field exercises, you'll gain the tactical knowledge you need to make critical command decisions and earn the respect of your Marines.

The Basic School instills a pride in the legacy you carry as a Marine Officer. As you study the history and traditions of the Marine Corps, you will become part of a lifelong brotherhood and gain the military virtue and bearing of an officer.

Preparing to Command

Training at The Basic School emphasizes the role of an infantry platoon commander. Patrolling and war-fighting tactics are among the skills you must further develop to lead your Marines by example. You will learn to mentor, train and develop the individual Marines in your command. You will also learn how your role contributes to the overall Marine Corps mission and organizational structure.
In the final phase, a five-day offensive/defensive exercise and a four-day combat exercise, beginning with a helicopter assault, will test everything you've learned.

You will leave The Basic School an effective leader, ready to command with confidence. Next, you'll continue on to specialized training to develop expertise in your assigned Military Occupational Specialty.

The Instructors

At The Basic School, Marine Officers with real-life experience and skills mentor and train second lieutenants. The training prepares new officers to lead Marines and achieve their assigned mission.

The Marine Corps assigns company-grade officers to instructor duty at TBS, where they shape the officers who will be placed in critical leadership roles. Throughout The Basic School, second lieutenants develop their leadership skills, tactical knowledge and command presence.

In every exercise throughout TBS, your instructors challenge you. They push you to respond to situations and solve problems as a Marine Officer. Their mentorship will help you to develop your own leadership style.