Upon graduation from Officer Candidates School, candidates are commissioned as officers. They have earned the rank of 2nd lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, something few achieve. These new officers now await their next training ground: The Basic School.
Following the Commissioning Ceremony, new lieutenants conduct their own "pinning ceremonies", where individuals of their choosing pin the gold bars, the insignia of a second lieutenant, to their uniform. At that time they will also receive their first salute, traditionally from an enlisted member of the armed forces whom they have chosen and asked to do so.
The Graduation Parade takes place at Officer Candidates School on the final day of training in recognition of those proud candidates that have met the challenge and have earned the right to lead their fellow Marines as officers in the USMC. During the parade, the top performing candidates receive awards and the Commanding Officer addresses all attending families and guests before the candidates’ pass in review.