Wednesday, July 23, 2008

OCS Officers & Drill Instructors

When you arrive at OCS you will be assigned a Company and a Platoon:
Juniors are Kilo or India Company.
Seniors are Echo Company.
ROTC Bulldogs are Golf Company.
And PLC Combined/OCC are Alpha, Bravo, Charlie or Delta Companies.

Each Company
is assigned:
1 Major, Company Commanding Officer
1 1st Sergeant, Company 1st Sergeant, assistant to the CO
1 Captain, Company Executive Officer (XO)
and 1 Gunnery Sergeant, Company GySgt, XO's assistant.

There are anywhere between 3-5 platoons in each Company at OCS.
Each platoon is assigned:
1 Captain, Platoon Commander
1 Gunnery Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant
2 Either Staff or Gunnery Sergeants, Sergeant Instructors

Each platoon is assigned roughly 70-50 candidates right off the bat from pickup day.

Juniors - There is generally a higher attrition rate among Juniors because OCS is soo much different from civilian life. Juniors is where the shitbirds and bad eggs are noticed and sent packing.

Seniors - There is generally not that high of an attrition rate among Senior candidates. One because we know what to do and how things work because we have already spent 6 weeks at OCS. And two, because most of the shitbirds have already gotten the boot.


As far as drill instructors go, they are paid to yell at out. Dont get bent out of shape because they yell at you, its all designed to simulate how you act and react while under "combat stress-like" conditions, do you freeze up and fail or do you react calm, cool, and collected. This is why DI's yell at you.

One thing to know and never forget is never get on a DI's bad side. Everyone is going to screw up or mess up at some point, OCS is designed for you to mess up. Even if your right in the beginning, your wrong.. got me?? lol...
When you are taught something by the DI's, remember it, pay attention to detail, and RETAIN that information. The people who get singled out and labeled as shitbirds are the kids who cant retain info or pay attention to detail.

So, basically, learn something once, and trust me you will only be taught it once and then expected to perform perfectly every time after that, and then retain it, and execute correctly every time there after.
Learn - Retain - Execute
Its very simple..

Also, have thick skin. This is the Marine Corps you are joining, there's no room for emotions or hard feelings at OCS, this goes for DI's and candidates. If you are told to get your ass moving by either a candidate or a DI, then perhaps you should just double time it and get your ass moving. No need to bitch and moan, because all it does is kill moral, and waste time, which you don't have a lot of. So just have thick skin, take everything being yelled at you like a grain of salt or water rolling off your back. Just learn from it, act cool under pressure and you will begin to see that transformation after a few weeks, when that big ass DI just doesn't intimidate you any more, the yelling doesn't faze you anymore.. you are becoming a Marine, stay in that mind-set.


BOOTs, Best and Worst

Everyone has their personal 2 cents to add about the Boots issue at OCS, and I'm not any different, so if you care to read, here's my 2 cents:

Bates Lites are a godsend when PT'n in boots and uts, through dirt, and mud, and nasty quig water, they will stay light and not get wet and heavy. They are a great PT boot, made for gettin nasty. Bates Lites suck as humping boots, the sole is light and spongey, made for running, not humping. So dont ask a million questions about the Lites & Humping, they are not good humping boots. So just PT in them and wear a different pair for humps, simple..

ICB's are my favorite boot for daily walking over the bridge or for humps. Tough, thick sole for taking a beating. I have been wearing mine for a few years now and they are great. Although, they suck for PT, because they are heavy and have no air holes to let out the water. Dont make the mistake of wearing them in the quigley, lol, they are like running around in cement block shoes.

Finally, Danner's boots. The most expensive boots you can get in the Corps. They are very odd looking and very expensive. I personally have never worn them, people rave about them, if you want to shell out $189 for some boots your gonna virtually destroy at OCS in the nasty quig, then by all means, get some. For me, I stick to my Lites and my ICBs. Simple and effective.

So, moral of the story,
Bates Lites = PT
ICB's = Humping
Danner's = Fancy & Nice

What to Expect at OCS

In-Processing - Your first three to five days at OCS absolutely suck. You pick up gear, stand in lines, mark that said gear issued, eat "boxed nasty's", wait at medical, get your shots, and I think you get the drift... You stand in line for three days awaiting you Pickup Day.

Initial PFT - The Initial PFT is usually held the day before your Pickup Day, so most likely will be held on your third or fourth day at OCS. Its nothing more or less than any other PFT you have ran, except you run with about 300-400 other candidates. So run fast, because the slow moving corners of backuped candidates will slow your time. Don't fail your initial PFT because you will be sent home! And rightfully so... who doesn't show up to OCS in shape??..

Pickup - Pickup day is the day that your lives will change forever. You will meet your "Staff" or your "Hats". All of you will be taken to Yekel Hall and given a speech as to how hard OCS is and if you like to leave now, no questions asked, feel free to leave now. IF YOU LEAVE YOU ARE A PUSSY! And I mean that in the most delicate manner possible. After this speech by the Colonel of OCS, your different staff members are marched in to the classroom, looking crisp and mighty mean (Its meant to intimidate you, and Intimidated you shall be). Finally after this, you will all be brought back to the baracks, told to stand on line with your trash, and then your staff will come out of the duty hut guns a blazzin, and OCS begins!

Mail - Mail sucks at OCS. Im not going to write alot about it. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't. Make your staff happy.. you get mail. Suck at life, embarrass your staff.. no mail. Get It??..

Pay - You get paid on the 1st and 15th of the month. If you are smart and have gotten Direct Deposit, you have nothing to be worried about. If not, the 1st Sergeant will have to give you your hard check, and yell at you because you didn't get Direct Deposit and caused him to have to do more work. So just get Direct Deposit and have one less chewing out session.

Liberty - Be Smart!!! Libo at OCS is not for you to relax and chill out. It is designed for OCS to see what you are like when you are alone, and nobody is watching (at least you think they're not watching, and there are Marines everywhere in the surronding areas of OCS). Libo is meant for you to mess up, so that they can send your ass home. Simple as that. So be smart, do not go out and do stupid things or act like a retard. Go and relax, recover, call your girl, have a beer (not 15) and enjoy the quiet.

Preparing for OCS - Knowledge

Congratulations, your going to OCS...

This training will be unlike anything you have experienced in your life thus far. Here is some general guidance to help you prepare for OCS. Refer to the OCS Website and your Officer Selection Officer (OSO) for more guidance.

Once you have been selected to go to OCS, start studying up on some of the things you will learn there. Below are some useful downloads in preperation for OCS.

-Sample of a Daily Schedule at OCS -

- Candidate Regulations -

- The OCS Preparation Guide -

- The Returning Seniors Test -

- OCS Quick Study Guide / Cheat Sheet -

- OCS Preparation Tips -

The OCS Prep Guide, the Candidate Regulations, your OSO and other trained candidates are your most useful resources for preparing for OCS. Your OSO has some videos that will help you prepare for OCS as well. Also, you can download a bunch of OCS videos from the Marine Corps Times OCC Class 186 website. You should visit the OCS Website frequently for preparation information.
Physical training is continuous!!! Don't slack off even after you have been selected because it will come back to haunt you. As a candidate you are expected to maintain a first class physical fitness test even though you might be shipping in eight months. There will be various candidate get togethers throughout the school year to teach you things you need to know for OCS and we will also be checking to make sure you are staying in shape. Read on for physical preparation guidance.

You Are Shipping In a Few Weeks, Get your affairs in order

Thirty days before you ship to OCS you will have to conduct a pre-ship screening and a pre-ship PFT with the OSO. The purpose of the pre-ship screening is to make sure that your are physically and mentally prepared for OCS. This gives us time to address any concerns or issues in a timely fashion before OCS. If your PFT is not a first class PFT then you will not ship to OCS and you will be disenrolled.
When you go to OCS you will be gone for six or ten weeks and you will not be able to communicate with the outside world except through mail. After the third week you will be given approximately 30 hours of off-base liberty every weekend until you graduate. Make sure you have your personal affairs in order. Here are some things you should do before you ship to OCS.
  • Make sure you arrange to have your bills paid while you are training
  • Let your school and work know that you will be at training for a good portion of the summer
  • There me be a delay in receiving your pay at OCS initially so don't make plans for spending your OCS pay until your pay cycle begins
  • Review the OCS Prep Guide and consult with your OSO to make sure you have completed everything you need to ship to OCS
  • Continue studying the Candidate Regulations to that you can get a head start on OCS. Check the OCS Website for a more current version.
  • If you are returning for your second 6-week session of OCS you must master the Returning Seniors Test. This is one of the first things you will do at OCS and if you fail it you will get dropped immediately. If this is your first time at OCS this is a good test to brush up on.
  • If you have dependants, make sure that you have an adequate family care plan.

Preparing for OCS - Physical

OCS PT is not meant to strengthen you. You should not go to OCS looking and hoping to get into better shape. If you are out of shape going to OCS, then you will become in better shape. If you go to OCS, as you should, in good shape, then your body is going to break down, and you will lose strength. But you will all gain Endurance, and that's what OCS PT is all about. Physical and Mental Endurance, the drive to push on when your physically and mentally exhausted, stressed and fatigued. Ooh-Rah!

Preparation - You should consult the Preparation Guide link that I have listed above, and read the section about being physically prepared. If your too lazy to scroll up, then listen up. Run! Stop lifting weights, and Run! Keep working out, but switch to all body weight excersises. Such as push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, pull-ups, etc. Work all of these types of body-weight exercises into your running routine. You should be able to comfortably run four miles without coughing up a lung before you get to OCS. So remember, body-weight exercises and RUN! Run your guts out.

Juniors - More specifically, OCS PT starts with the Juniors at a pretty slow pace. You run in sneakers ("go-fasters") pretty much throughout all of the Juniors cycle, while running in boots and uts for some PT courses. Junior running paces are generally around 7-8 minute mile paces, not that hard at all... Junior PT is not difficult, at least I didn't think so. But you should still come prepared to smoke check every other candidate, and to help the weaker ones.

Seniors - Seniors PT is an entirely different story. We ran in go-fasters, I think three times, the initial PFT, the first run of the first day of Seniors cycle, and the final PFT. The rest of the cycle is ran in Boots and Uts, with LBV, two full canteens and weapon. We ran different ways every time, some individual runs, some squad, but mostly were timed courses. Such as the CFT, and the Endurance Course, which is a smokecheck!

Humps - The Juniors do the three mile, up to the 9mile humps. Nothing to bad, little walk in the woods during the day. The Seniors do the three mile, up to the twelve. But Seniors do the twelve mile hump at night (or early in the morning) in complete darkness. Its a little disoriententing at first, but you get used to it. Takes about three or four hours if I remember correctly. When your done humping, you shower up, then get bused over to TBS for breakfast with the new LTs.