NEW AND IMPROVED NAVAL OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL (OCS) COMMISSIONING PROGRAM PROCEDURES GUIDELINE AND INFORMATION SITE

*** DISCLAIMER *** ***WARNING *** *** NOTICE ***

This website is now OUTDATED! There are a lot of personal experiences that I listed that are no longer offered in the updated OCS training course in Newport, Rhode Island!

That said, there is a great deal of this guide that is still valid. The bits of information contained within this site are from my own experiences as I went through OCS in Pensacola, Florida from November 2001 to February 2002. This site is not the official OCS website (I have posted a link to it in my LINKS sections) nor is it an official reference source as these are my own experiences. Some of this gouge is outdated, so take it for face value. Please do NOT direct your questions about policies, waivers, your chances of getting accepted, etc. toward me. I will simply not answer those kinds of emails because 1) I do not have that info, 2) It is not my place to give out that kind of info, 3) I don't want to give anyone bum gouge. Please seek out the official websites for that kind of information. Thank you!


This information is provided to you from someone who has been there and done that. Current OCS instructions do not cover everything. In addition to the instructions the Navy has issued in submitting an OCS package, I will include some additional tips and information to help your package be more successful the first time around. This information is geared toward prior/current enlisted personnel, but the information can help anyone looking to put in a package for OCS.

  1. Here are the requirements that BUPERS lets you know about:

    1. BE A U.S. CITIZEN.

    2. HAVE A BA/BS DEGREE FROM AN ACCREDITED COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY. PAGE 02 RUEACNP4770 UNCLAS FOREIGN DEGREES MUST BE EQUIVALENT TO AN ACCREDITED BS/BA IN THE UNITED STATES BY AN INTERNATIONAL CONSULTING FIRM OR A NAVY RECRUITING DISTRICT EDUCATIONAL SPECIALIST.

    3. MEET AND EXCEED PHYSICAL READINESS REQUIREMENTS. INCLUDE LEGIBLE COPIES OF APPLICANT'S PRT HISTORY, OPNAV 6110/2 (PINK FOLDER). ONLY PAGES THAT CONTAIN INFORMATION NEED BE SUBMITTED.

    4. SUBMIT EKG WITH DOCTOR'S INTERPRETATION, IN ADDITION TO OTHER MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED IN REF B.

    5. POSSESS STRONG MILITARY LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL.

    6. MEET AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DESIRED DESIGNATOR. NOTE: THE AGE LIMIT MUST NOT HAVE BEEN REACHED PRIOR TO OCS GRADUATION AND COMMISSIONING. THE MAXIMUM AGE LIMIT BY FEDERAL LAW IS 35. FOR THIS REASON, WAIVERS ARE NOT ENTERTAINED BEYOND 35. THE AGE LIMIT FOR ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL IS 35 FOR THE FOLLOWING DESIGNATORS: AMDO (1525), INTEL (1635), CRYPTO (1645), PAO (1655), OCEANO (1805), SUPPLY (3105), AND CEC (5105). THE AGE LIMIT FOR NFO (1375), SWO (1165), SEAL (1185), AND EOD (1195) IS 31. THE AGE LIMIT FOR PILOT (1395) IS 29.

    7. SUBMIT EVERY TRANSCRIPT FROM EVERY COLLEGE ATTENDED.

    8. INCLUDE A RECENT COPY OF THE SERVICE RECORD ON MICROFICHE, PAGE 03 RUEACNP4770 UNCLAS INCLUDING PAPER COPIES OF ANY EVALUATIONS, AWARDS, PG 4'S, OR PG 13'S NOT INCLUDED ON THE MICROFICHE.

    9. INCLUDE A PAPER COPY OF THE EPSQ SIGNED AND DATED WITHIN THE LAST SIX MONTHS IN PLACE OF THE DD 398-2, NATIONAL AGENCY QUESTIONNAIRE. PLEASE DO NOT SEND A COPY ON DISK.

  2. THERE IS NO MINIMUM SCORE REQUIREMENT ON THE OFFICER APTITUDE RATING (OAR) PORTION OF THE OFFICER EXAM. HOWEVER, 35 IS CONSIDERED MINIMALLY COMPETITIVE FOR SELECTION. TO QUALIFY FOR AVIATION PROGRAMS APPLICANTS MUST MEET THE MINIMUM SCORES ON THE AQR, FAR, AND BI OF 3/4/4 FOR PILOT AND 3/4/3 FOR NFO.

  3. CNRC ASSIGNS OCS CLASS SEATS BASED ON BLOCK 7 OF THE APPLICATION OF COMMISSION AND THE ENLISTED PERSONNEL ACTION REQUEST (NAVPERS 1306/7). THE COMMAND SHOULD BE PREPARED TO RELEASE SELECTED APPLICANTS FOR OCS AT ANY TIME AFTER THIS DATE.

  4. SUBMIT APPLICATIONS, PER REF A, TO COMMANDER, NAVY RECRUITING COMMAND (CODE 31), 5722 INTEGRITY DR., MILLINGTON, TN 38054-5057. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT COMMANDS SEND PACKAGES VIA A TRACKABLE METHOD, I.E., FEDEX, UPS, OR PRIORITY MAIL.

  5. THERE ARE NO DEADLINES FOR APPLICATION SUBMISSION. APPLICATION PROCESSING TIME VARIES FROM FOUR TO SIX WEEKS AFTER RECEIPT. COMMAND PAGE 04 RUEACNP4770 UNCLAS CAREER COUNSELORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CALL OR E-MAIL CNRC/CODE 31 TO ENSURE PACKAGE RECEIPT AND STATUS OF PENDING APPLICATIONS. NOTIFICATION OF SELECTION STATUS WILL BE MADE VIA U.S. MAIL BY NAVY RECRUITING COMMAND TO THE APPLICANT OR APPLICANT'S CO/COMMAND REPRESENTATIVE.

  6. INQUIRES MAY BE ADDRESSED TO NAVY RECRUITING COMMAND (CODE 31) AT (901) 874-9211/9213/9224/9225/DSN 882 OR VIA E-MAIL AT OCSQUESTIONS@CNRC.NAVY.MIL.

    Now, these are the things they do not tell you but that you need to know:

    - Your birth certificate MUST be issued by the U.S. Government. I came into the Navy with my birth certificate that was issued by the hospital I was born at. This is not good enough for OCS. There are several places to get your birth certificate online. I ordered mine online and had it sent directly to the OCS package receivers. They had it in less than 4 days. This is one thing you don't want to hold up your application, so ensure you have a certified copy from the U.S. Gov't prior to submitting your package.

    - If you want to be a pilot, you must fill out the Vision Standards Statement, which is an eye surgery statement you can obtain from your local military medical facility that can perform flight physicals or optometry exams. This is only for wannabe pilots and Naval Flight Officers (NFO) and must be submitted with the package.

    - In addition to your physical and EKG with a doctor's interpretation, you must submit a VERY recent eye exam if you want to fly. It should be done within the last 6 months prior to submitting your package. This is crucial for wannabe pilots and NFOs.

    - There is an Officer Application that is in Word document form. This form is a godsend compared to the old Adobe Acrobat form. Ensure you leave no space blank. If something does not apply to you, put N/A in the blank.

    - They don't want the last three evals, they want ALL of your previous evals. I got an email from the OCS Help Desk that told me the board looks at all aspects of your previous military history. If you don't include all of your previous evals they view this as that you are trying to hide something. (No, I am not making this up.)

    - The pages out of your service record are very important, especially if they are not included on your latest microfiche. There is a new form for your page 4's. Make sure you send copies of the old Page 4's and of the new form. If you aren't sure whether or not to send a specific form out of your service record, send it anyway! You cannot send OCS too much info so send everything you have. They discard anything extra so don't worry about sending too much. Anything not in your application will force them to put your application on hold until you can send them the info they need. Also, make sure every page out of your service record is a certified to be true copy!

    - Order a copy of your microfiche to include with your package at least 6 months prior to submitting your application. This will save them time in having to get the information themselves. To order yours, log on to Bupers Online and request a copy to be sent to you.

    - Include copies of Letters of Recommendation in your package. The more the better. The higher the rank the better.

    - Take the OFFICER APTITUDE RATING (OAR) exam at least 6 months prior to submitting your package. Regarding this test, you can order study guides online that will help you with things such as Spatial Apperception and general avionics. Trust me, it helps! Also, if you want to fly, go to ground school or get your private pilot's license if you have the means. Having your license prior to submitting your package is EXTREMELY favorable.

    - Every page that is not an original needs to have the CERTIFIED TO BE A TRUE COPY stamp on it. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

    - Get your college transcripts well ahead of time. OCS wants to see the transcripts from every college you have credit through. Also, you need to send them a SMART transcript. They require this in addition to your college transcripts. Your local Navy Campus can print one up for you if you do not have a printer.

    - Your three interviews do NOT have to be done by a board. The interviews can be performed separately by individual officers. Make sure at least one has the designator in the area you are trying to get in to. Also, the higher the rank of the interviewer the better.

    - I cannot emphasize the next bit of advice enough. Go through your package with a fine-tooth comb. If even one word is misspelled they will view this as your inability to pay attention to detail. Have at least five people read your essays regarding what makes you think you'd be a good officer. It is amazing what other perspectives will catch that your own mind views as acceptable. Take the time to pain-stakingly go through every single block and every piece of paper in your package. Attention to detail is crucial.

    - If you have ever had a surgery you need to include the operational report and, if possible, any follow-up documentation that is located in your medical record. Upon submitting my own package, I was told I was not physical qualified for an appointment as a commissioned naval officer due to a simple shoulder scope and debridement without the operational report. My surgery happened over 2 years ago and even though the doctor wrote on my latest physical, "Right shoulder surgery 2 years ago - asymptomatic, full range of motion (FROM), and not considered disqualifying (NCD)," the OCS doc still wants more proof of physical suitability. You may even have to have a local Orthopaedic surgeon write a memorandum for you stating that you are cleared for OCS training. If you aren't sure if you should send a specific piece of documentation out of your medical record, send it anyway. Better to send too much than not enough and have your package held up.

    - Make sure you send your package off YOURSELF! You are ultimately responsible for your package; Not your command and not your Command Career Counselor. Make sure you send it via trackable method (Certified mail).

    Send your package to:

    COMMANDER NAVY RECRUITING COMMAND (CODE 31)
    5722 INTEGRITY DRIVE
    MILLINGTON, TN 38054-5057

    - Something you should keep in mind is your physical condition before going to OCS. If you do not get in good running shape before you get to Pensacola, you will be in trouble. The drill instructors often take you for 3 to 5-mile runs at anywhere between a 7 and 8-minute mile pace. Doing one mile in that time can be hard for some people, let alone 3 to 5 miles. Going to OCS without conditioning your knees and shins to the rigors of running on concrete can land you on hold for several months, and in some student's cases for years. One woman who rolled into my OCS class had been there for 116 weeks due to leg injuries caused by running on the road without being properly conditioned.

    Here are a few links that you may find informative:

    Officer Candidate School Homepage - the main site for official OCS information. Make sure you go to the Memorization page and *memorize* everything they have listed there! You will need to know it all by your 4th day.

    Seaman to Admiral-21 Application Page - Speaks for itself. This is a great program, especial for younger Enlisted that want to get into the officer ranks who don't have a college degree.

    Bureau of Naval Personnel - Official Navy website with loads of good info.

    Navy Supply Corps School - Contains information on the Supply Corps school, the base there in Athens, Georgia, and links to various Supply Corps websites.

    Ready for Sea.net - A website by Supply Corps Officers for Supply Corps Officers.

    Navy Knowledge Online - An excellent website that pertains directly to you, the Sailor. It gives information of Career, Education, Health, Finance, and well as many other references related to the Navy.

    Miltary Pay Charts - Speaks for itself.

    Bryan Weatherup's OCS/API/Primary flight and Helo Intermediate/Advanced gouge website - Lots of info for flight training.

    Chris Harrison's OCS page - A member of OCS Class 05-04 made this website.

    CDR Ken Sherman's Navy News Website - A website owned by CDR(ret) Ken Sherman that includes updates on Navy news.

    Air Warriors Message Board - Good all around message board to get API and flight school info from.

    Test Books Online - I highly recommend the Military Flight Aptitude Tests book if you want to become a pilot or NFO. It really helps on your ASTB/OAR test.

    Navy Gouge - A great source of information and gouge for API/Primary students.

    Enlisted to Officer Commissioning Administrative Manual - Lots of good info and application forms for current Enlisted looking to join the Officer ranks.

    OPNAVINST 1420.1 Chapter Four - Adobe Acrobat file that outlines Officer Candidate School. You must have Adobe Acrobat reader installed to view this file.

    U.S. Navy OCS Message Board - A good site for those interested in talking about OCS.

    Warchop.com - A message board dedicated to Supply Corps Officers.

    Military.com - A decent military information website with military discussion forums.

    Navy Storekeeper.com - An excellent resource for Store Keepers and other Supply folks.


    What to expect at OCS

    The following information is based on my own insight and experiences in OCS to give you some idea as to what to expect when you get there. Your experiences in OCS may vary from mine, but overall this is good gouge. Keep in mind that some things may have changed since I graduated in February of 2002. Please use this as a tool to understand what OCS is roughly about and not as a precise reference as to how things will be for you in OCS. If you are one of those people that likes to send me emails bitching about how OCS should be a total surprise and that I am giving too much information away, I'll take this moment to respectfully tell you to shut your pie hole and stop sending me emails regarding your opinion on the matter. This is the same info that is available to the public and it has been covered numerous times by various video documentary crews. (My class was filmed by The Discovery Channel, so I know for a fact that it is available for public viewing.) I credit Ron Hollingsworth for the compiling and outlining of some of the following text.


    So, what can you expect at OCS?


    If you have never been in the military your first couple of days may come as a shock. If so, you may want to consider that it isn’t because of the training, but rather that you are finding it hard to accept the idea that a military life is what you truly desire. OCS is a training center. It is an environment that is designed to make you think about the choices you have made. More precisely, it is designed to make Candidates consider and reconsider their choices and to eventually have them come to terms with what they want. If you believe you want to be an Officer, it will become more obvious with each day that passes, and if you don’t then that too will be obvious. OCS is by no means easy and it is by no means extremely difficult. A friend once told me that military training is like a stream: All you need to do is get in and it will take you to its destination. At OCS you should be even more than willing to jump in and fight to make it across.

    Of the original 53 or so people in Class 12-02, we had about 42 graduate (not all of which were a part of the original people that showed up on 03 November 2001), so don’t get discouraged if for some reason you’re held up. About 3 of the original 53 dropped out and the rest were held back for various reasons. The most common cause of ‘rolling’ into another class is the failure of two graded evolutions. That is, if you fail an academic test and the retake, you’ll roll. So, any combination of two failures will hold you back. Rolls can occur from physical injuries or deficiencies (like if you cannot swim the necessary strokes or complete the 1-mile swim), academic reasons, disciplinary reasons (we had two guys roll out of our class for going to the Exchange without permission), or any other number of reasons the “powers that be” give you.

    Perhaps the hardest thing to get over or through at OCS is how regimented the training is. Everything you do is dictated by either a Candidate Officer, a Drill Instructor, or OCS regulations (a manual you’ll get to know backward and forward). From the minute you check into OCS they’ll have you sitting at attention with a “1,000 yard” stare. Whether standing or sitting, your feet will always be at a 45-degree angle and your head and eyes will be straight ahead. At the position of attention, your hands will be clasped into a tight fist with your thumbs along the trouser seam. While walking in buildings your right shoulder will remain 4” from the wall (bulkhead) at all times. That is, unless a Candidate Officer or Class Drill Instructor walks on the “deck” your on. At that time, you will then “brace the bulkhead” with your back and heels 4” to the wall. At that point you will give the greeting of the day, such as ‘Good morning, Sir!’ You will give this greeting ‘ballistically’, which means you will shout with authority and conviction. You only shout at the Drill Instructors and other Candidates…*NEVER* at a commissioned Officer. During the Officer Candidate phase of training you will be ballistic from reveille to taps, study period being the only exception. So, get ready to exercise your diaphragm. Perhaps the most confusing thing for new Candidates is responding to the Class Drill Instructor or a Candidate Officer. There are 5 appropriate responses to give:


    ‘Yes Sir’ - to answer a question
    ‘No Sir’ - to answer a question
    ‘Aye Sir’ - to respond to a command or order
    ‘Sir, this Indoctrination (Officer) Candidate does no know but will find out’
    ‘Sir, Indoctrination Candidate (your last name), Indoctrination Class (your class number), requests permission to speak to Class Drill Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant (the DI’s last name), United States Marine Corps.


    Keep in mind that not every Drill Instructor is a Gunnery Sergeant. If the DI you are talking to is a Staff Sergeant, your response would be - ‘Sir, Indoctrination Candidate (your last name), Indoctrination Class (your class number), requests permission to speak to Class Drill Instructor, Staff Sergeant (the DI’s last name), United States Marine Corps. It is best to come to OCS with the Marine Corps enlisted rank structure memorized.

    Going back to the first day. If there are one or more persons on the deck that you’re on, and a Candidate Officer or Drill Instructor walks onto the same deck, the first person that sees them will shout “Attention on Deck. Stand by!” That way everyone can hear, prepare to brace the bulkhead, and call the greeting. This will mostly occur when everyone is in line awaiting instructions. The Candidate Officers have their own rank structure, to which everyone recognizes by calling ‘Attention on Deck’. The Class Drill Instructor, however, outranks everyone other than a commissioned Officer. There is a change in all this procedure while proceeding in formation or in a line. In the case of forming up or being dismissed from formation, only the first and last person gives the greeting as they pass a Candidate Officer or Drill Instructor. You do no brace if proceeding and they are already on the deck. This only applies for 2 or more people. Also, the greeting of the day will be given when departing and when entering the threshold of a doorway, in particular when exiting or entering a building where Drill Instructors, Candidate Officers, or Commissioned Officers are standing.

    Perhaps the most stressful time spent for Indoctrination Candidates is during meals. There is a procedure for entering, seating, eating, and departing. Also, from beginning to end, chow Hall serves as a feeding frenzy for the Drill Instructors. They are always standing by to ‘correct’ or ‘adjust’ even the slightest infraction of procedure, personal appearance, or military bearing. Here is an example of the procedures and a demonstration of how regimented OCS is.

    CHOW HALL PROCEDURES: First of all, a section leader from the class will be appointed, he/she changes daily. They will break ranks and proceed up the steps, giving the greeting of the day as he/she moves from deck to deck. He/she will then face the class and shout: “Indoctrination Class (your class number), upon receiving the command, execution move, you will ground your war-belts to the starboard side.” (War-belts are belts that hold your canteens, which you will have with you daily). Then the class will shout, “Aye, section leader.” Then the section leader will shout, “Ready...move!” At that time everyone will place his or her belt to the right side. The same orders will be given for your chrome-domes (helmets). Then, the section leader will say, “Indoctrination Class (your class number), upon receiving the command, execution march, you will half step up the ladder-well, perform an immediate column left and reform at the door.” When reformed, the section leader will give the command, “Ready…adjust!” At that time the class will square themselves away and shout a little ditty that goes like this: “Discipline. D-I-S-C-I-P-L-I-N-E Discipline-is-the-instant-willing-obedience-to orders-respect-for authority-and self-reliance. Freeze, Candidate, freeze!” During the ditty Candidates adjust their uniforms, whether that means getting your gig line straight, removing your gloves and putting them in your overcoat, or removing your cover (hat). Then the section leader calls out, “Door Body off the rear.” The last person on the left side responds, “Aye, section leader.” (The Door Body is usually the shortest person in your class.) Everyone in the 4th column (the most left) steps forward one step and then sideways to the right one step to fit just perfectly in the spaces in between the people in the column to their right. The Door Body proceeds up to the section leader and says, “Door Body reporting as ordered.” The section leader says, “Door Body, post!” The person will then take a step back, respond with, “Aye, section leader,” and then situate his or herself next to the door. The section leader will then say, “Door Body, report the status of the chow Hall deck.” The Door Body will take one step forward, then do a left-face, slam their hands cupped against the glass to block out any reflections, and look in the door window to see if another class is in the line. If there *is* another class is in the line, the Door Body will step back to their original spot next to the section leader and respond, “Chow Hall deck NOT clear, section leader!” The section leader will respond, “Door body, report Chow Hall deck when Chow Hall deck’s all clear!” The Door Body will respond, “Aye section leader!” The Door Boy will periodically glance through the window to gauge when it will be appropriate for the class to go inside and line up. If no other class is in the line or the class that is in the line is down to their last 6-8 people, the Door Body will go back to the window to confirm that Chow Hall deck is all clear. When it becomes clear, the Door Body will shout, “Chow Hall deck all clear, section leader!” The class will then respond together and repeat what the Door Body said, which is, “Chow Hall deck all clear section leader!” The section leader will then order the Door Body: “Door Body, crack the door.” The Door Body will respond, “Aye section leader,” open the door, and then stand in front of it. The section leader will then march to the doorway, crash his or her left foot down on the metal plate, lean in with his or her face aimed to his right side, bring his hands up to his mouth, and shout: “Indoctrination class (your class number) marching in for chow!” The class will repeat this. The section leader will then say, “Column of files from the right (or left, it is their preference).”- At this point the person who is most forward in that column will say, ‘Forward’ while the first person in each of the other columns snap their heads to his or her direction and say, ‘Stand fast’, and then the section leader will say ‘March!’ The first step is always with the left foot. Upon entering the chow Hall everyone will stomp on the metal plate with his or her left foot and keep count, other than the first or last person, who both give the greeting. The way to count at OCS is by expressing each digit of the number. The number 03 is zero three, not just three. The number 17 is one seven, not seventeen. So, it would sound like this beginning with the first person… “Good morning sir! Zero two! Zero three! Zero four! etc. until the last people come up…Four four! Four five! Good morning sir!” The section leader will say the last good morning shout since he or she will be that last one in.

    After reforming inside the section leader will give the command, “Indoctrination Class (your class number), proceed.” The class will respond with “Aye, section leader,” and proceed. Inside there are two columns. The person on the right snaps his or her head to the left, sounds of, “Forward-March!” He or she then snaps his or her head to the front, takes one step and snaps his or her head to the left again, saying, “Stand fast.” Upon receiving the command ‘march’ the person on the left will take three steps, pivot right, take three more steps, pivot left and continue to the trays. Perhaps the most important things to remember in the Chow Hall is to always maintain a 1,000 yard stare, to always keep a closed-tight fist with your thumbs along the trouser seam when standing at attention (not while you are walking…you have to swing your arms as to not look like a robot), to hold your tray with your thumbs on the top edge and your fist underneath with the tray and your forearms being parallel to the deck with your elbows tucked into the sides of your torso, to sit with your feet at a 45 degree angle flat on the deck (and NOT being split by a table leg), and with your back straight. In actuality all these formalities are merely a preparation for Drill.

    As you wait for the entire length of your table to be filled with Candidates, you will have your arm straight out holding your “gouge” notebook out in front of you with your left hand. Your arm will get *very* tired after a while, but you will get used to it. When everyone has their food, and the Section leader gets his or her food and stands at the tables with the rest of the class, he or she will shout out, ‘Put it away, Indoctrination Class (your class number).’ The class will respond, “Aye section leader!” and then put their gouge books in their right sock. (You will have your gouge books everywhere you go, except to PT in the mornings.) When ready, the section leader will call out: “Indoctrination Class (your class number), these tables, both sides ready...seats!” The class will sit as fast as they can. The section leader will then say, ‘Adjust!’ At that time everyone will grab their chair and pull him or herself as close to the table as possible. The section leader will then say, ‘Pray at will.’ Everyone will then say ‘snap’ as they’re snapping their heads down as to appear to be looking at their food. After a few seconds the section leader will say ‘ready-eat.’ Everyone will snap their head up and say ‘snap.’ The section leader will wait for everyone to stop moving and then slam the table with his or her left hand 6 times and then give a time warning. (For example – “Class 12-02, this is your two zero minute warning!”) The warnings will occur every 5 minutes. When the section leader is hitting the table it is an indication for everyone to stop and prepare to respond. You will not sound off with food in your mouth and you will not respond to an Officer Candidate or Class Drill Instructor while sitting down. Try to remember these basic rules. While unsecured you will square your meals. This is perhaps the only difference between secure and unsecured during chowtime. Squaring meals is simple, but messy. Up, in, out, down about sums it up. While drinking, your fingers must be closed tight. Your two glasses *must* be touching both each other and your tray. Your silverware will be “grounded” to your plate and the edge of the tray closest to you. That’s a majority of what’s to be expected during chow Hall. It is perhaps the most stressful time of day until your 2nd week or so. So, if you anticipate it and prepare yourself for it, either for yourself or as a class, it can go a little easier. You may even get to be the recipient of a Drill Instructor’s guidance…when they jump up on the table that you are eating on and walk down the entire length of it. If your tray, glass, plate, or silverware is not grounded, expect to wear your food and be made an example of. Remember, use that “1000-yard” stare, even if the person in front of you has a wet noodle stuck to his or her face and makes you want to laugh.

    Seem like a lot to remember, doesn't it? Don't worry, you'll have it down in no time flat.


    OCS is a mental atmosphere more than a physical one. Aside from becoming physically fit, you should get started on memorizing everything that you will be expected to recall verbatim by day 4. You can see what you have to memorize by clicking on this link. and opening the links under the menu button "Memorization" such as Code of Conduct, General Orders of the Sentry, etc. Yes, you are expected to know every last word, in order, just as it lists on the website for every link under memorization. And, yes, your knowledge can and will be tested all the time...even when you are not expecting it.

    If you get there in excellent physical condition you may be better prepared, but the Drill Instructors push everyone they can to their limits. That way everyone can benefit from the training. The runs are not that demanding, but it would behoove you to run a 7-minute mile pace for 3-4 miles back to back. Perhaps your biggest enemy at OCS is time, and that does not only apply to runs but everything in general. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to accomplish what you need to. For example, you should take 6 pairs of white socks and white underwear, because your class only has one day a week to wash clothes, and if for some reason you miss that opportunity, well...you are going to be stinky and even more uncomfortable than you already will be from the training. Along the lines of laundry, I’ll add that you should bring an iron, especially if you drive because you could leave it in your car, even though I don’t think they’ll confiscate it. Irons are provided in the gear locker, but many of them have starch stains on them that can burn onto your clothing. Also, bring a sheet or blanket because when you get into a routine most people don’t make their racks (beds), but rather sleep on top and cover themselves with a blanket they buy down there. This will merely reduce your expenditures. However, this is not condoned by OCS guidelines. In fact, if you are caught sleeping on top of your rack with a non-issue blanket you may get a class-C chit, which is something you will have to work off. People still tend to use their own blankets from home so they don’t have to spend so much time making their rack and getting the corners all perfect. Males have to shower and shave every morning and that little extra time may help you. Think of it as risk versus reward.

    My only practical advice is to get everything done as quick as you can. For example, you should know everything in the appendix, and if you want you can get a pocket spiral note-pad and write all that information down. That way when you get there you can copy the rest of the appendix that isn’t listed here. If you are a prior enlisted or have access to some uniform items, I suggest you start your museum collection now. The inspections are a world unto themselves. In all you will spend about $2,000 American dollars on uniforms and preparing for inspections. But, that includes most everything you’ll need and you’ll be reimbursed a little over $1,300. You will have the choice of getting Navy issue uniforms or you can buy them from a local uniform maker. He charges more and the quality is not that much better (or even noticeable) than the stuff at the Exchange. Again, that is your choice, but I would advise just getting the stuff from the Exchange. If you need to get new stuff, get something re-tailored (due to weight loss or whatever), or get something repaired, it is must easier to go there then wait for guy to come back around.

    Beyond Indoctrination week, everything becomes routine (and a bit less stressful), but it will seem like an eternity until you secure as a class, which comes after your 4th week RLP. Perhaps one of the biggest contributors of undo stress is watch standing. Every now and then you’ll be required to stand a watch, whether it be in Battalion or Regiment. Your first watch will be one of the worst because when you are standing your ‘under instruction’ watch, the watch stander who is instructing you may hardly know what to do his or herself. Even though teamwork is the key, don’t rely only on what other Candidates tell you. Be sure to find out everything you need to know through manuals or Candidate Officers. Even though Candidate Officers seem intimidating themselves, they are nonetheless one of you but a few weeks ahead. Don’t be afraid to approach them and ask questions, but always maintain your military bearing with them as they do technically out-rank you. The worst watch in itself is the 0430-0630 watch in Battalion. It is during this time that Drill Instructors, Class Officers, and Class Chief Petty Officers make their entrance. You must stay especially alert and attentive to everything that is occurring on your station. You must salute all Officers and give the greeting in a stern but not loud voice. Everyone else you just give the greeting in standard ballistic fashion. Nevertheless, the watches will take time out of studying and preparation for MTT’s. This is why you must use what time you have wisely. While in class, I suggest you remain alert and attentive. While the material is easy, there is a lot of it. It is easy to lose your concentration and drift, but avoid it. Just paying attention in class will put you close to a passing score. With some reviewing and studying, you’ll get good grades.

    After being at OCS a couple of weeks, everyone will expect you to know basic procedures and proper military bearing. When you demonstrate to them that you either don’t know, just forgotten, or just don’t care to remember, they’ll give you some incentive to remember. They do this by two means. Either they will correct you on the spot and have you ‘work’ off your error, or they’ll give you a chit. Chits seem intimidating, but they’re really not that bad. Your world isn’t going to fall apart after receiving a chit, unless it is a Class-Alpha chit which is usually indicative of a very bad offense that can/will get your kicked out of OCS. Chits are merely another way to compound the stress. What will occur is that a Drill Instructor or Officer will merely say ‘I want a chit.’ You then follow through by obtaining a chit, filling it out, putting it on that person’s desk, and await the sentence. It would behoove you to know the persons name because it is required on the chit, so pay attention and look at his or her nametag. The two places where most chits are obtained are during watch and during chow. There is, however, a way to avoid all watches.

    During Indoc week you will be told that there are certain offices that need to be filled by your class members. Among these are: President, Vice-President, and MTT body who is meticulous and has attention to detail. The MTT body is a liaison between the class and the latest scoop on how to properly prepare a locker for inspection, which is usually known by the Class Officer, Class Drill Instructor, or Class Chief Petty Officer. There is also an Adjutant, who takes care of the paperwork, such as muster reports and sick call issues. The other offices are smaller, such as Linen Body, Mail Body, Chit Body, and Watchbill Coordinator. It just may happen that none of the people with these jobs will have to stand watches. The Vice-President in my class stood duty, as did the Watchbill Coordinator. (That is the position I held, and trust me you don't want that position - everyone hates you, no matter how good a job you do. After all, you give people duty, especially on weekends and liberty.) The only two people who did not stand watch were the President and Adjutant, mainly because they were always busy taking care of the class.


    There is obviously more to OCS than just what I can tell you here. And no matter what or how much I say about it, mere words can’t and won’t make it easier. What makes it easier or more bearable is your own frame of mind. If within your own state of mind you are motivated to get through, you will get through with little or no problem. But if you let the Drill Instructors get to you, you will start to question yourself and your reasons for being there. Perhaps another thing to consider is that while the Drill Instructors are trying to alter your mindset, you have the ultimate control over what you think about. For the first week or two your eyes will be viewing OCS as an Indoctrination Candidate and a very junior Officer Candidate. A few weeks later you’ll have a bigger picture of OCS in general and your perspective will be different. In the end you will start to identify yourself as a commissioned Officer and all of what you experiences will be dwarfed by the new responsibilities you’ll be taking on. Just remember that the days and the weeks do pass and you’ll always be inching your way closer to graduation.


    Week 1


    I arrived in Pensacola, FL on the 3rd of November and took a taxi from the Pensacola Regional Airport to the front gate of NAS Pensacola. Actually, the taxi brought me to the exact spot I needed to be at to check in. Although there are quite a few hotels to stay at, the Comfort Inn on Navy Blvd was the least expensive hotel in the NAS region ($45 with military discount). Candidates are also allowed to stay On-Base at the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) or Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ) prior to Sunday if there is room available. The BOQ runs at $12/day, and the BEQ at $9/day for Space-available rooms. Candidates wishing to stay at the BOQ or BEQ must check in at Building 633. The total cost of taxi service from the Pensacola Regional Airport to Naval Aviation Schools Command, Building 633, is approximately $20. 456-TAXI provides good rates, although you really should consider driving your own car if you can. You can store personal gear in there and you will be able to get out in the town when you finally get liberty without having to rely on a taxi or another classmate. You will check in to Officer Candidate School at 0900 at the Quarterdeck of Building 633. All orders must be available at that time. However, financial, enlisted service and medical records were not turned in here. I suggest you eat breakfast prior to checking into the Quarterdeck because they’ll send you to Building 626, Regiment, immediately. You can eat at the Enlisted Galley, Navy Exchange Commissary or at the base McDonalds. I was the first to report in for my class. As soon as I walked outside from getting my orders stamped, I ran in to two fellow would-be classmates. We were al coking-and-joking and then the shouts came. “You! You there! Are you just reporting to OCS?” We gave back the response, “Yes.” We were then directed to a sidewalk and ordered to drink lots of water and tie our shoelaces…inboard over outboard. It doesn’t matter if your shoes are already tied like that, the Candidate Officers who are indoc’ing you will make you do it again and again…all the while yelling at you to break your concentration.




    The first week of training is the INDOCTRINATION WEEKS (or INDOC WEEK for short). This week is given for a few reasons:

    1) To prepare Candidates for the next 13 weeks of training, though I recently heard the program has been reduced to 12 weeks. Among the items taught are basic marching, facing movements, military bearing, and gouging (gouging is defined as memorization and knowledge of information pertinent to the course).



    2) To prepare Candidates for the first meeting with the class Drill Instructor. Candidate Officers (also known as Candi-O’s) lead the class from check-in until the class Drill Instructor and class Chief Petty Officer. (Chief Petty Officers often take over the class during the 7th week, after the Drill competition) are introduced.



    3) To complete all preliminary administrative work. During this week, Candidates will be taken to NOMI (Naval Operational Medicine Institute), PSD (Personnel Support Detachment), book bag issue, Navy Exchange, and various briefings.

    4) To introduce the Candidates to their class Officer.


    Some information regarding INDOC WEEK

    - You will identify yourself as ‘Indoctrination Candidate (your last name), Indoctrination class (your class number). There are no first persons or pronouns in OCS. (Such as I, he, she, we, they, or us.) You will always refer to yourself in the third person, such as, “This Officer Candidate…” Also, your class number will be composed of two numbers. The first is the number of classes that have entered OCS during that fiscal year. The second is the fiscal year itself. For example, my class was 12-02. That is, I was in the 12th class to be graduating in fiscal ‘02. Also, the proper way to say 12-02 is: One-Two-Zero-Two.

    - You will be unable to use the postal services during this first week. Take the necessary measures to ensure you won’t need to use it.

    - You will not be able to take care of a lot of personal business until you become a secured class (after Week-4’s inspection.) Potential Candidates should make financial arrangements prior to arriving at OCS. Time will not be given to open new accounts. You will, nevertheless, be expected to start a direct deposit account, and therefore need a routing number for an account. Bring a blank and voided check with you to OCS for easy reference.

    - Vehicle passes will be distributed on the Tuesday of Indoc Week. I would recommend that you drive your vehicle. When liberty is granted it will be a blessing in disguise.

    - Medication of any sort should be brought only if directed by a physician. This includes acne medicine, aspirin, eye drops, athletic cream, and foot medications. Nevertheless, most of this will be confiscated. Contact lenses will not be permitted while in training at OCS.

    - Jewelry should not be worn, with the exception of wedding rings.

    - Most uniform gear will be issued on the Wednesday of Indoc Week. However, Candidates are encouraged to bring the items listed in Appendix A.

    - GOUGING was a major aspect of Candidate training. We were required to memorize gouge starting from the 1st day of training. Candidates should be familiar with the ARTICLES OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT, GENERAL ORDERS OF THE SENTRY, RANK STRUCTURE FOR THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS, AND THE CHAIN OF COMMAND FOR OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL prior to leaving for OCS. This gouge is listed at the end of the text under appendix B and should be memorized word for word.

    -An In-Physical Fitness Test (PFT) was given on the first Tuesday to determine the physical preparedness of the class. CANDIDATES ARE REQUIRED TO PASS THIS TEST TO CONTINUE FURTHER IN THE TRAINING. All Candidates are also recommended to learn how to swim and drown proof (floating, face down, on the surface of the water to prevent drowning) prior to arriving at OCS. The initial swim test consisted of swimming about 25 yards across a pool demonstrating 4 different strokes: back, side, breast, and the American crawl. What they’re looking for is controlled breathing. The initial test will be given on Tuesday of Week 2.

    - Candidates will be moved from Regiment, Building 626, to Battalion, Building 602 on the Friday on Indoc Week.

    - Candidates will be given one 5-minute phone call on the Sunday they arrive at Officer Candidate School. At that time you’ll be given emergency numbers and the address.

    - The Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Indoc week were, in retrospect, the hardest days as Officer Candidates. CANDIDATES SHOULD ANTICIPATE THIS AND BE READY!!!


    Week 2


    Divine Services were held for Catholic and Protestant Candidates. If possible, I highly suggest you go. A couple hours away from the monotony will do you good. They serve coffee and doughnuts there, as well as allow you to make a quick phone call on the church’s dime. Also, this Sunday will be the first opportunity to relax. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean you should slack up on things to do. You should get as much accomplished with your uniforms that is humanly possible.

    On the Monday of Week 2, we had our first Physical Training session. The lower classes join the upper classes initially for warm up exercises (these will be standard exercises taken from the Seal training manual), yet are later segregated into different types and lengths of runs. While the lower classes held sprints and endurance training, the upper classes ran Battalion runs approximately 2 to 5 miles. Additionally, classes begin on this day with our first class being Personnel Administration (PA). Classes were EXTREMELY fast and required a large amount of memorization and word recognition. The tests at OCS are all multiple-choice with anything below a 75 is a failure. Our first test was conducted on the Wednesday, two days after class had begun. Rifle Drill was conducted almost every afternoon until the 7th week beginning in the 2nd week. Although not an individually graded exercise, Drill was an integral part of the program that was required to condition Candidates to work as a team. Drill teaches your class discipline and obedience to orders and allowed the bonding process between the class and the class Drill Instructor to begin. In order for your class to be an “Honor Class” upon graduation, you must get the Drill banner for your guide-on, so it is highly encouraged to make sure everyone practices the movements.

    As the second week ended, the days became more and more routine. Battalion runs in the early mornings, classes in the late mornings until the afternoons with breakfast and lunch in-between, rifle Drill in the late afternoon, and then dinner in the evenings. After dinner, the entire Battalion was given a half hour of free time to shower or do whatever needed to be done before study period. Two hours of study time were then provided for the Battalion and evening gremlins (clean-up/sweepers) for an hour after. Taps commences at 2200 at which time all Candidates not taking an exam the following day, or not on a part of the oncoming watch standing, were ordered in to their racks and all lights were shut off. The Drill Instructors will walk around in the spaces for a good 30 minutes after taps. If they catch you out of your rack (even if it is in your own room) or they hear you talking, you *will* get a chit.

    The weekends consisted mostly of free-time and/or gremlins and were usually a respite from the stresses of the working days. Saturdays consisted of a morning Battalion run, some Drill in the afternoon, and free time in the evenings. You will also be given time to buy things at the Exchange, and to run out to your car to retrieve necessities. Do not bring contraband back from your car or the Exchange. Contraband is basically anything edible, medications that were not prescribed to you by the base physician, or reading material (other than a Bible). If you are caught with contraband, it will be confiscated and you may get rolled out of your class.


    Week 3


    On the third week, the program began to pick up in speed. On the average, each OCS class is given about 2 exams every week and a personnel inspection (uniform and hygiene inspection) every Monday. Military Training Tests (Room, Locker, Personnel Inspections, also called MTT’s) are given on the 4th and 9th weeks of training. Preparation for the 4th week RLP begins from the first week of training, but activity becomes frenzied at the end of the 3rd week till the day before the inspection. Of all the graded military events, the RLP is perhaps the most important, as a class may not secure (secured status provides many privileges with the most important being weekend liberty) without passing an RLP.


    Tests were also given in Naval History and Personnel Administration. There are 10 courses taught at Officer Candidate School with 13 exams given.


    COURSE

    - Personnel Administration

    - Naval History

    - Naval Warfare

    - Joint Organizations/Operations

    - Military Law

    - 3M (Material Maintenance Management)

    - Damage Control

    - Naval Seamanship

    - Navigation

    - Engineering


    Week 4


    As stated earlier, the Military Training Test is on the minds of all Candidates entering the 4th week. The first test is given on the Wednesday of the 4th week, and the passing grade for the class is listed as an 85. Individual passing is 81. MTT’s are an experience and may be best explained by the following excerpt from the May 30, 1994 issue of the Navy Times:

    “...The 34 Candidates dressed in well-pressed summer whites – seven others have already dropped out – are a diverse lot. They are black, brown, yellow, and white, male and female, nuke and aviation, surface and unrestricted line. But they share one thing in common today.

    They are all hating life

    Young men and women graduates from Harvard, Penn and state universities around the country, who weeks earlier were living carefree lives of students, stayed up until 3 a.m. last night polishing brass belt buckles until they reflected like mirrors.

    They slept on the hard linoleum floor so their bunks would be pristine and wrinkle-free for the morning inspection. Like alchemists, they experimented with novel ways to prevent ancient, rusting waste cans from flaking onto the floor when the Drill Instructors pound on them during inspection. They did the same with what look to be about 40-year-old brown leather book bags, which are cracked and worn with age.

    The DI’s enter the four-bunk rooms to smooth beds, clean weapons, and orderly lockers. When they end the inspection for each room precisely eight minutes later, slamming the door behind them, they leave behind a tornado-like path of destruction.

    Candidates are left standing at attention, but looking disheveled and demoralized. Their pants pockets are pulled inside out, their belts unceremoniously ripped from their waists and lying on the floor, their voices hoarse from shouting rapid-fire responses to the demanding DI’s.

    Towels that were folded with precision and freshly shined shoes that were placed in straight, ordered rows, are strew about the room. Carefully ironed uniforms are pulled off their hangers in piles. The bunks, so perfectly made, with the pillow an exact 12 inches from the foldover of the sheet, are a wreck.

    And the gunnery sergeants are just warming up.” - Patrick Pexton, “Trying to Tame a New Breed of Cats”, Navy Times, May 30, 1994.


    Gouge from upper-classmen and prior preparation are the most effective means of massing the MTT. The Drill Instructors and Chief Petty Officers use stress as a means to test the Candidate’s ability to solve problems. Perhaps, the only defense to such a strategy is confidence, a loud voice, and the clock.


    Week 5 - Week 6

    Week 5 and week 6 were fairly routine weeks. Rifle Drill became the main focus of these weeks, and the bond between the Drill Instructor and class became stronger. Also, on Thursday of Week 5 we had our final swim test, which is the third class swim test. It consisted of jumping from a 10-meter platform, swimming the length of the pool and back, treading water for 1 minute, and survival floating for 5 minutes. During the end of the 6th week a personnel inspection is held, which is a graded evolution and can affect the secured status of a class. It is not as hard as the MTT, but you should still be prepared for it.


    Tests in Naval Warfare, Military Law, 3M, and Damage Control are given in these two weeks. Good studying skills are essential to survival at Officer Candidate School, since the academic course is designed for stress, as well as for knowledge. The use of note cards and an understanding of the material did not always equate to a high grade. I discovered that the best way to study was to gouge among classmates after a good understanding of the material was obtained and ask each other questions. While at OCS, individuality, whether it is academic or military, is not tolerated. Teamwork is the key to success. For those of you who are slow learners, you may want to seek some refuge in the head toilet stalls an hour after taps has sounded. It will be the only lighted area you can be in after taps. It is strongly recommended you get all the sleep you can get, so staying up late is not always the proper thing to do. If you were going to use this little strategy, I would recommend using it sparingly.


    Week 7

    Drill Competition. On the Monday of the 7th week, the final Drill Competition was held on the Parade Field. This even was the culmination of 6 weeks of Drill, physical training, fire ants, sand, and rifles. This competition is designed to test the level of discipline, obedience, and military training instilled by the class Drill Instructor. Do not make your Drill Instructor look like an idiot. How well you do in the competition is a direct reflection upon him (or her, now that female Drill Instructors are being used in OCS).

    By the 7th week more emphasis is placed on the leadership training of Officer Candidates. The 7th week Candidates become a senior Officer Candidate class on board, while departing senior class enters the Candidate Officer (Candi-O) phase of training. The responsibility of the gouging and training of lower classes is thus transferred from senior class to junior class.


    Week 8 – Week 9


    Week 8 and week 9 were a fairly routine week. The final MTT was administered on the Tuesday of week 9, and the pistol qualifications were held on the Monday. Leadership courses began on the 9th week of training in preparation for the Candidate Officer phase of training.


    Week 10 - Week 13


    By this time, Candidates will also have received orders to their next duty station.


    Week 10 is known as gauntlet week. There are 3 academic tests, the out PRT, and another personnel (uniform) inspection. I highly suggest you obtain information regarding these tests weeks before they come up. Doing so will relieve a lot of stress during this week.


    We became Candidate Officers on the Thursday of the 11th week. As Candidate Officers, our main responsibilities were to:

    - Indoctrinate and teach incoming Officer Candidates
    - Continuously act as “Liaison Officers” between the staff and the lower classes
    - Prepare for graduation
    - Develop leadership skills for further use as Officers


    The Candidate Officer stage is the most enjoyable and the most demanding phase of training. As Candidate Officers, the Candidate is responsible for the well being of the lower classes and must learn to develop leadership skills to lead them effectively. Although liberty is given everyday from the early evening until 0200, Candidate Officers must work continuously at becoming leaders and responsible for the classes below them.


    Graduation was held on the parade ground on Friday, 15 FEB 02. Honor Class 12-02 graduated 42 Candidate Officers and commissioned them as Ensigns in the United States Naval Reserve.


    Here is some General Advice (also known as “Gouge”). This is from my own perspective, so take it only as advice, not the final word.

    OCS is a tough program and you have to want to get through it to make it to graduation. There are a few things that I believe are key to making it through OCS.

    Teamwork is important in everything you do. Academically it is important because naturally there will be people in your class who are better at or have previous knowledge in certain subject areas. Help others when you have the ability to help and accept help when you need it. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, academically and with the inspections. Always remember that you don’t have to like your entire class, but your classmates always deserve to be treated with respect. Never let pride get in the way and result in the failure of a graded evolution.

    The academic classes can be difficult, mainly due to the amount of information you must digest and then regurgitate in such a short amount of time. The key to passing is paying attention in class, studying the enabling objectives, and the points highlighted by the instructor. If you pay attention in class, most instructors make it fairly apparent which material is important to know and what is extraneous.

    Time management is perhaps the most important thing that is learned or developed at OCS. What makes OCS hard isn’t the academics, the inspections, or the other stuff, what makes OCS hard is doing them all at once. Time management is especially key during the Candidate Officer phase.

    Officer Candidate School is difficult but rewarding. Remember to work hard, do your best, and have a little fun while you’re at it. Don’t forget to laugh once in a while.



    I. WHAT TO DO PRIOR TO REPORTING TO NASC PENSACOLA


    A. PHYSICAL FITNESS


    RUN!!!!! The single best thing you can do for yourself before reporting to OCS is GET INTO GREAT PHYSICAL SHAPE!!!! But, you do have to start slow at first if you are not normally a runner. I cannot stress this enough. You MUST be able to pass the IN PRT (Tuesday of the first week) in order to continue on with the program. The minimum standards for the PRT are listed below. I strongly recommend that you be able to exceed these requirements by the time you report. Your class will have to achieve an average of 287 points (out of 300 points) on the Out-PRT in the 10th week to get the PT streamer for your guide-on. The standards used for the PRT when I went through were as follows:


    EVENT---------MAXIMUM------------MINIMUM

    SIT UPS---------100 in 2 minutes---40 in 2 minutes

    PUSH UPS------67 in 2 minutes----29 in 2 minutes

    1.5 MILE RUN---8:10 or under------13:45 minutes

    They have changed since I completed OCS in 2002, so don't hold me to what it listed there. Women have slower times and have to do less pushups and situps, but if you are a woman it is a good idea to strive to keep up with the men. Gender should never be an excuse to be sub-par when the "pooh hits the fan" out in the fleet.

    The Navy's PRT standards have changed in recent years. Now there are age divisions broken into 5-year increments vice the 10-year increments that we had. Here is a link to the current PRT standards:

    PRT standards with point, age, and elevation breakdown

    While you are at OCS, you will be running anywhere from 2 to 5 miles per day, depending on weather conditions, the schedule for the day, and your Drill Instructor’s desires. Start running as soon as possible, but take it slow at first so you acclimated to the stress. If you can run about 3 miles at an 8 min/mile pace by the time you leave for OCS, you will be in good shape. Take advantage of the fact that you are coming from Florida and will be acclimated to the heat, especially if you are reporting in the summer. Also, make sure you bring pretty new and really good running shoes to OCS with you.

    You should also start swimming and doing sit ups and push-ups as soon as possible, especially if you are weak in these areas. You MUST be able to pass the swim screen (swim 15 yards using either the breast stroke or the American crawl, swim 50 yards using any combination of strokes, jump into the water from a 15 ft tower, tread water for 1 minute, survival float for 2 minutes) that is given on the 2nd day of the 2nd week in order to continue on with the program. You must also be able to pass the final exam of the swim program (i.e. the 3rd class swim test) given at the end of the 5th week. This test consists of jumping off a 15 ft tower into the water, swimming 50 yards using and combination of strokes, and survival floating for 5 minutes. Also, get used to drinking about 5-8 quarts of water a day especially if you are going to OCS in the summer. It was still hot in the beginning of November when I showed up and heat exhaustion is not something they take lightly. Hydration will be a way of life, get used to it.


    B. WHAT TO BRING


    You’ll want to travel light, but there are things you really should bring to make your life at OCS as easy as possible. Here’s a list:

    Important papers (e.g. orders, service record, medical/dental records, voided blank check). (An extensive list is included in the Navy OCS publication.)

    Vehicle registration and proof of insurance (if you plan on driving to OCS). (You’ll need these to get a parking pass. Ensure that your car will be OK after sitting for at least 4 weeks, maybe 6 weeks.)

    Toiletry Kit:

    Soap dish with a new bar of soap

    Toothbrush, toothbrush, razor and extra razor heads (I recommend the Mach3), shaving cream, deodorant, etc. Do not bring an electric razor. You may have one later on, but it really is a good idea to use a standard razor so that you have no excuses when you forget to charge your electric razor up and you are walking around with a day’s worth of facial hair.

    Prescription medication ONLY (Other medicines (e.g. Tylenol, vitamins, No Doze) will be confiscated in the first week. If you are caught with non-prescription medications, you can receive either a Class-Alpha or a Class-Bravo shit. Neither chit is good. You may end up disregarding this warning, like many others do…but, again, it is a matter of risk versus reward. Vitamins sure would be helpful, especially during the cold season…but, that is your call if you want to take that chance.

    Contact lenses and associated cleaning items (if applicable). Contrary to popular belief, you can wear contacts at OCS. Bring a good sturdy pair of glasses with an athletic strap to use at first. Once you have settled into a good routine and have the time for them, you can use your contacts. Just be ready to replace the ones you lose that fall out when you get thrown in the sand pit.

    Bring two pairs of running shoes. One pair should be new but broken in. This will be the pair you use to run in. The 2nd pair should be brand new and never worn. This will be the pair you’ll display for your inspections. You won’t wear the 2nd pair until after your 9th week inspection. You could also bring one pair to run in and then wait until gear issue to get a second pair (you have to get them, you do not have a choice) to use as your inspection set.

    A good digital watch with an alarm and a stopwatch. Make sure the battery is brand new and that it is a *loud* alarm. If you aren’t a heavy sleeper before going to OCS, you will become one during. Do not use an alarm clock that has a radio built it. It will be taken away until the last day of your OCS training.

    A two-week supply of white crew neck T-shirts, white athletic socks (not ankle high socks, they have to be full sized socks) and white underwear (During the first week, you will go through these very quickly, and you cannot do laundry for at least 7 days.) I suggest bringing 6-7 pairs of each.

    Jock strap (for males). You don’t actually have to bring this with you. You will have 2 issued to you. And, yes, they expect you to wear these during PT. The Drill Instructors will pick one guy out and see if he is wearing his jock strap. If he finds you wearing normal underwear, you will cause your entire class to get in the sand pit. The sand pit is full of fire ants, as is the grass, and sand fleas. Also, do not be like the 3 guys in my class who showed up to PT in the morning with nothing on but their running sweat bottoms. They thought that since the 1MC information (the speaker in the hallway that broadcasts overhead announcements) did not state that running shorts be worn, the only thing they wore was their sweat bottoms. When we got out to the field and were instructed to remove our sweat bottoms, those guys stood there not knowing what to do since it would leave them nude from the waist down. The worst part was that it was family day for the graduation class so lots of moms, dads, brothers, sisters, girlfriends, and wives were on hand to see what came next. Needless to say, the DIs made a public example of them and they never made that same mistake again.

    Sports bras (for females)

    One set of civilian clothes (besides the ones you show up in).

    Ribbons and medals (large and mini) and warfare pins (for prior enlisted personnel). These are required uniform items.

    One regular sized bath towel and washcloth. Get an oversized and fluffy white bath towel and write your name along the seam in big bold black letters. Someone *will* take your towel by accident if your name is not on it. Also, the towels they issue you are rather rough, so bringing a nice soft one will be a nice little amenity for you.

    About $250 in cash. (You probably won’t spend nearly what you make while at OCS, but you will spend a lot getting extra stuff for your inspections.) I brought $400 and went through it before I graduated.

    Calculator with basic functions, stationary, envelopes, stamps.

    Checkbook, credit card, and financial papers (HAVE A DIRECT DEPOSIT ACCOUNT ALREADY SET UP BY THE TIME YOU GET TO OCS! You will not have time to create a new account at OCS. I highly recommend Navy Federal because it is located at most Navy bases all over the world that have ship ports or air fields.)

    Conservative swimsuit (i.e. no Speedos, bikinis, etc.). If you bring Speedos or a two-piece, you will be sent back to change. It must be Navy Blue (dark blue) in color.

    Small flashlight (like a mini Maglite) with extra batteries (Technically, these are illegal, because most people use them to study at night after taps (2200). So, keep it out of sight)

    A bed sheet and/or blanket (Some people find it desirable to sleep ON your sheets instead of BETWEEN them. This is another one of those things that is technically not allowed. It takes some time and effort to make your bed the right way, and it MUST be made right every morning. You’re supposed to sleep BETWEEN your sheets every night. Just be DISCREET.)

    Many people are told not to bring gear like golf clubs, tennis rackets, camera, jewelry (aside from religious medals or wedding rings), etc. I would suggest bringing the sporting goods ONLY IF YOU ARE BRINGING A CAR!! You can store the gear in your car for later use (i.e. once your class has earned liberty). Actually, you should store the gear in your vehicle at all times, because 1) there is no room for it in Battalion or Regiment, and 2) you will catch some major hell if you check in on Sunday morning with your clubs or racket slung over your shoulder. Jewelry is OK, just don’t wear it except when on liberty. (When I say “jewelry”, I mean conservative pieces. No earring for guys and no nose-, lip-, tongue-, or anyplace else- rings for anybody.) Also, make sure you do not leave anything in sight worth stealing in your car. There are always thefts and break-ins in the student parking lot. Earlier this year there were three Air Crew students caught for breaking it to cars. They were responsible for over 50 break-ins. The area is poorly lighted and not guarded, so put your stuff in your trunk and keep it out of sight.

    A word to the wise: DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DAY BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR NASC PENSACOLA BEFORE YOU START GETTING THIS STUFF TOGETHER!!! It takes time to get it all together. Also, as you may have guessed, this stuff will cost you a few bucks, so plan accordingly.

    II. REPORTING TO NASC PENSACOLA

    A. HOW TO GET TO OCS

    By car:

    Whether you are coming from the east or the west, you’ll be on Interstate 10. Get off onto Interstate 110, which leads into downtown Pensacola. Get off of that onto Fairfield Avenue and head west (to the right). Take New Warrington Rd., which will branch off of Fairfield Avenue (follow the signs to NAS Pensacola). New Warrington Rd. will turn into Navy Blvd, which leads to the main gate of NAS Pensacola. One through the gate, bear left onto Murray Rd. If you are reporting on Saturday, take a right onto Moffett and then the next left. This road runs between the chapel and a large field. Naval Aviation Schools Command Headquarters, Bldg. 633, is located on the right side of the road. Park in the lot between Bldg. 633 and the field. If arriving Sunday, proceed on Murray Rd. until it ends at Radford Rd. Take a right on Radford Rd. After turning onto Radford Rd. you will see what seems like a large concrete parking lots along the seawall to your left. Take a left into the parking lots immediately after the small building, and then park to the right side of the parking lot entrance. (The reason for different parking directions depending on what day you report will be explained in the next section.)


    By plane, train, or bus:

    Taxi service to NAS Pensacola will cost about $5-$7 from the bus station and $10-$20 from the airport. I don’t know where the train station is, so I don’t know how much the fare will be.

    *** Note: SAVE ALL YOUR TRAVEL RECEIPTS (GAS, PARKING, HOTELS, PLANE/BUS/TRAIN TICKETS, TAXI RECEIPTS, TOLLS, ETC.), AND BRING THEM WITH YOU WHEN YOU CHECK IN. YOU WILL NEED THEM DURING YOUR FIRST WEEK WHEN FILLING OUT REIMBURSEMENT FORMS.

    B. REPORTING ONBOARD


    If you decide to report on Saturday, park according to the directions described in the previous section. If you did not drive, have the taxi drop you off in front of Bldg. 633. Proceed to the quarterdeck of Bldg. 633 (the middle door of the building; The sidewalk leading up to the door is flanked by anchors.) and BRING ONLY THE FOLDER CONTAINING YOUR ORDERS AND OTHER IMPORTANT PAPERS!!! All you will be doing on Saturday is letting the command know you are there. YOU WON’T BE STAYING AT OCS ON SATURDAY NIGHT!!! (I’ll explain more on this later.)

    After you get your orders stamped at Bldg. 633, proceed across the street to Bldg. 626 and go in the main entrance. There you will be met by either a Candidate Officer (someone in his/her last 2 weeks of OCS) or the watch (an Officer Candidate, usually in his/her 7th week). They will tell you a few things about reporting back the next day. You will be told you can spend Saturday night at the BEQ. More than likely the BEQ will be full, so you’ll need to go by the BEQ to have your orders stamped by them saying that they are full. This is done so you can be reimbursed for a hotel room off base for Saturday night. My advice would be to stay at a hotel in town or a Pensacola Beach on Saturday night and have a good time. Go out and have a nice dinner, go watch a movie, or do something else equally relaxing. THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME YOU GET A NIGHT LIKE THIS FOR 13 WEEKS, AND IT WILL BE THE LAST TIME YOU WILL BE OFF BASE FOR AT LEAST 4 WEEKS!!!! (Don’t drink much though. It will only make Sunday that much more difficult.)

    Okay, now to the good part. Sunday morning. Some people will say to show up as late as possible on Sunday, because the people who show up later don’t get it as bad as the first few people who show up. The initial indoctrination (from the time you report to the time you get into your room) is equal for everyone. However, those that show up early are constantly messed with while they are in their rooms doing stuff. Those that show up later (around 1000 or 1030) aren’t in their rooms very long before you go to lunch and therefore receive less abuse while in their rooms. It’s really up to you whether you show up at 0730 or 1030. The latest you can show up is 12:00pm. I recommend showing up no later than 11:00am.

    Park your car by the seawall, grab your bags, and start walking up the road toward Bldg. 626 (Regiment). (The road that runs between Bldg. 626 and Bldg. 633 runs into Radford Rd. Right at the entrance to the seawall parking lot.) If you arrive by cab, have the driver drop you off in front of Bldg. 633. As you approach Buildings 633 and 626, you will be met by a Candidate Officer (or 2 or 10). From that moment on, life as you know it is over. You are now in Officer Candidate School.


    III. WEEK ONE (INDOC WEEK)


    MAJOR EVENTS

    SUNDAY:-----Report onboard

    TUESDAY:----Haircuts, In PRT

    WEDNESDAY:--Meet your Drill Instructor (DI), Class Chief Petty Officer (CPO), and Class Officer

    FRIDAY:-----Outpost, Move to Battalion (Bldg. 602)

    SATURDAY:---Start physical training


    From the moment you arrive, you will be placed under constant stress, often by many people at once. You will be reprimanded for failing to do things, which are impossible to do in the first place. Don’t take it personally. Throughout your training at OCS, some people will be singled out more than others, but everyone will be tested equally over time. This is done for 3 reasons:

    1. Fear is a great teacher. Since OCS is only 13 weeks long (or 12 weeks, which I heard it was recently decreased to), they have to find a way to make you learn as much as you can in those few weeks. Thus, they scare you.

    2. It toughens you up. You will probably be placed under more stress at OCS than you ever will in the real Navy, depending on what you end up doing. So, if you can take OCS, you can take anything. After about 8 weeks, your fear of OCS has pretty much diminished. Fear mainly comes from the unknown, and after 8 weeks, you know the routine pretty well and aren’t scared of anything – and that’s they way they want it.

    3. They have to tear you down, individual by individual, before they can build you up as a team. The most important word at OCS is “teamwork”. Before you are built as a team, they must put everyone on the same level. That’s why everyone gets their head shaved, wears the same clothes, and everyone gets yelled at when one person screws up.


    As you are being indoctrinated on Sunday morning, the Candidate Officers will be teaching you things you really need to know. I know it’s hard to concentrate when someone is yelling at you, but you need to do your best to pick up what they are telling you. The faster you learn it, the less you will suffer. The following list contains some of the information you will be given on Sunday morning. Different classes will be given slightly different information depending on how the Candidate Officers were taught and what the DI has told the Candidate Officers to teach your class. Here are some basics though:


    When asked what your name is, the proper response is:

    “Sir/Ma’am, this indoctrination Candidate’s name is: Indoctrination Candidate (your last name), Indoctrination Class (you class number).”

    There are 5 basic responses at OCS. They are -

    When you are asked a question:

    “Yes, Sir/Ma’am” or “No, Sir/Ma’am”

    When you are given a command or an order:

    “Aye, Sir/Ma’am”

    When someone asks you why you or the class has screwed up (even if you have a good reason):

    “No excuse, Sir/Ma’am”

    When asked something you don’t know the answer to:
    “Sir/Ma’am, this indoctrination Candidate does not know but will find out.”

    (If giving this response, YOU’D BETTER FIND THE ANSWER, BECAUSE THEY WILL COME BACK AND ASK YOU LATER. If you still don’t know, then you lied to them, didn’t you?)


    When you screw up in the middle of saying something, the proper response is: “Sir/Ma’am, request permission to correct.”

    (When and ONLY when they say to proceed, begin again. DO NOT start from the point at which you messed up.)

    When you need to speak to a Candidate Officer, the proper response is:

    “Sir/Ma’am, Indoctrination Candidate (your last name), Indoctrination Class (you class number), requests permission to speak to Candidate (their rank, their name), United States Naval Reserve.”


    The Candidate Officer ranks are:

    One bar - Candidate Ensign

    Two bars - Candidate Lieutenant Junior Grade

    Three bars - Candidate Lieutenant

    Four bars - Candidate Lieutenant Commander

    Five bars - Candidate Commander

    Six bars – Candidate Captain


    NEVER abbreviate at OCS. For instance, never say “OCS”, say “Officer Candidate School”.

    When talking to staff (DIs, CPOs, Officers, Candidate Officers), yell at the top of your lungs (known as being “ballistic”) unless told to do otherwise. Do *NOT* be ballistic after taps or in the Officer’s hallway. Also, do not look anybody in the eye when you are speaking to them! Stare straight ahead, off into the distance (known as the “1000 yd stare”).

    When saying a number, it is always at least 2 digits. For example, “2” is said as “02” (“zero two”) and “8” is “08” (“zero eight”). Also, the number “9” is pronounced “niner”, not “nine”.

    The Sunday of Indoc Week is mainly for getting you into your room (called a “space”), getting your papers and gear in order, and teaching you and your class some basics of OCS life. You will be given a small notebook and pen, which you will you to copy “gouge” (i.e. required info). This gouge will include the Big Four: The Code of Conduct, The General Orders of a Sentry, The Chain of Command, and the Navy and Marine Corps rank structure and insignia. These are listed in Appendix A so you can memorize them before reporting to OCS. It would be helpful if you KNOW THE BIG FOUR FORWARDS, BACKWARDS, LEFT AND RIGHT BEFORE YOU GET TO NAS PENSACOLA!!!!! If you don’t memorize it, don’t worry. You will be given time to study. This is the most important information you will be required to know for the 4th week Military Training Test (MTT), your first inspection. Besides, if you know this stuff by the time you get there then you can spend time reading the Officer Candidate Regulations (OCR), which is the OCS Bible. There is a copy in each space, and ANYTHING in the OCR is fair game for ANY inspection.

    The first half of the week will be occupied with medical exams, uniform issue, haircuts, and the IN PRT. You will meet your class team (your DI, class CPO, and class Officer), but the DI is pretty much in charge for the first 6 weeks of OCS. The DI will make the Candidate Officers seem pretty tame. It would take and awful lot of paper to describe everything that will happen to you during the latter half of the week, so I’ll save that for you to discover for yourself. You will think to yourself over and over “Why am I here?” and “Is this really worth it?” The answers to these questions are “To become a Naval Officer” and “ABSOLUTELY.” Quitting may cross your mind. DO NOT QUIT!! DO NOT QUIT!! The reward is worth the price. Always remember who you are, where you are from, where you are going, and why you are here at OCS. Everyone has his or her own reasons and dreams for becoming a Naval Officer. Don’t let this one-stepping stone get in your way!


    Your address at OCS is:


    OC (Your name)

    Officer Candidate School

    Class (Your class number)

    Naval Aviation Schools Command

    181 Chambers Avenue, Suite C

    Pensacola, FL 32508-5221


    As you may have guessed, you don’t have a phone number, because you are not allowed to receive calls unless it is an emergency.


    IV. WEEK TWO


    MAJOR EVENTS

    MONDAY:-----Classes begin (This week’s class is Naval History)

    TUESDAY:----Water Survival classes begin

    FRIDAY:-----Naval History Exam


    Monday morning you begin acting like a regular old Officer Candidate. I won’t say that OCS is easier from here on out, but it is a lot better than the first week, and it will continue to get better each week. (By the way, after you move from Regiment to Battalion on Friday of the first week, you refer to yourself as “Officer Candidate (your last name), Class (your class number).”) If you didn’t already on Saturday, you will start to PT in the mornings with the rest of Battalion.

    Morning PT starts at 0510 with some stretching exercises, led by a Candidate Officer, followed by some aerobic exercises (not the Jane Fonda type either), led by a CPO and a DI. Then, you do the run, which will be short (approximately 1.5 mi) and slow (approximately a 9 minute/mile pace) until your class becomes acclimated to Pensacola. The runs are primarily done on the road, but later on in training do not be surprised if you start running on the beach.

    The classwork part of OCS consists of 8 academic classes interspersed with various Naval Leadership classes (Be prepared to do a bit of public speaking in your leadership classes). Honestly, the classes are not terribly exciting (depending on what class it is and who is teaching it), and YOU WILL HAVE A TENDENCY TO FALL ASLEEP. Try not to doze off, for the Instructors at OCS (mostly LTs and CPOs) will drop VERY USEFUL HINTS from time to time, especially during the review period before each test. You will have 8 tests all of which are 40 to 50 question multiple-choice tests. The classes and tests are listed below in the order that the tests are given:


    Naval History

    Personnel Administration

    Military Law

    Naval Warfare

    Seamanship

    Navigation

    Damage Control

    Engineering


    Which classes/tests are hard and which are easy? Well, that varies from person to person, but the information taught is basic. In general, your class will need a class test average of approximately 93 to get the academic streamer and an individual needs an average of approximately 97 to finish in the top 10% of the class and qualify for an academic badge.


    Each weekday at OCS is heavily regimented. The following is the basic daily routine:

    0500-0730 Reveille, breakfast, personal clean up

    0730-1040 Academics, Drill

    1040-1225 Academics, Lunch

    1225-1600 Academics

    1600-1655 Admin Time (study, Drill, personal time)

    1655-1830 Dinner

    1840-2110 Study Period

    2120-2150 Sweepers

    2150-2200 Personal clean-up, taps


    The weekends start out the same for the whole Battalion. On Saturday, you wake up at 0500, PT until about 0700, eat breakfast, clean-up, and then have more super sweepers. You will grow to hate sweepers, but it is important that your class does its part to keep the place clean and as GERM FREE as possible. The classes will be secured from sweepers in order of seniority starting with the most senior class (excluding the Candidate Officer class). Those classes that can go on liberty are secured (allowed to leave Battalion) about an hour after they finish sweepers. Unsecured classes return to their spaces and study, label clothes and other gear, and take care of personal business.

    Reveille on Sundays is at 0630 (which will seem like sleeping in at this point). Unsecured classes (those with no liberty) spend pretty much the whole day in their spaces doing whatever they need to do. I’ll go into what secured Candidates and classes do on the weekends in the “Week IV” section. It will inspire you to work VERY hard to pass the 4th week MTT.


    V. WEEK THREE


    MAJOR EVENTS

    MONDAY---Personnel Administration (PA) Class begins

    FRIDAY---PA Exam


    Your third week will be pretty uneventful relative to the first two weeks. At this point, your mind will be focused on the 4th week MTT. You may start seriously practicing for your Drill competition, depending on who your DI is.

    You may wonder why so many things depend on who your DI is. Aren’t they all the same? Well, yes and no. They all have the responsibility of teaching their classes certain things, so in this respect they are alike. However, they are individuals, so each has his or her own style and way of doing things. Some are really tough on you for the first 5 or 6 weeks, then they start treating you like people and kidding around (called “smokin’ and jokin’”) with you. Other DIs are not quite so aggressive at first, and they concentrate on different teaching techniques throughout your training. And then there are some *cough*Gunnery Sergeant Rocquemore*couch* who will kill you every step of the way without mercy. Which is the best? Each person will have to decide that for his or herself. I will say that no matter who your DI is, your class will grow to respect and admire the man (or woman as there are now female Drill Instructors at OCS).

    By the way, if the 2-week spacing between classes is maintained, the next class will be reporting on the Sunday of your 3rd week. Some will tell you that your “heat shield” has arrived to take the pressure off your class. This is basically true, but you are still a junior class, and things will still be hard.


    VI. WEEK FOUR


    MAJOR EVENTS

    TUESDAY:---LRC and Obstacle Course

    THURSDAY:--4th Week MTT


    Ah, the 4th week, your chance to become like everyone else by passing the MTT. Before I get to the rewards of being a secured class, let me tell you about the process. Up until about two hours before the inspection, you will think there is no way you’ll be ready for this. You’ll have stuff all over your room. It will look like a natural disaster. The night before the MTT other classes (especially the one right above your class in seniority) will come in your spaces to help you out (i.e. shine brass, shine shoes, check your locker, gouge you, etc.) Some words of advice:

    - Some people from other classes tend to come in and tell mostly amusing stories but useless anecdotes about their 4th week MTT. If they are also helping you out, great. If all they are doing is wasting your time, then tell them (in a polite way) to either help out or get out. Your time is very limited at this point, and you don’t need any of it to be wasted.

    - You will hear conflicting information from different people. The most important thing to remember is that EVERYONE IN YOUR CLASS MUST BE THE SAME. So, choose a certain way of doing something – your table display, for instance – and make sure everyone in your class does it the same way.

    - DO NOT DEPEND ON THE OTHER CLASSES TO DO SOMETHING FOR YOU!!!!! First of all, you may not be getting as much help as you thought or were promised. Secondly, if the other classes see a lack of effort on your part, they will blow you off and not help you out.


    No matter how much or how little help you received from other classes, your class will help the classes below you with their MTT preparation. No ifs, ands, or buts.

    Around 2100 or so, the other classes will take off leaving you alone with a mess in your room. Unless you and your classmates are superhuman, you will be up very late finishing up and cleaning up. Remember, being out of your rack after taps is not allowed, so BE DISCRETE (i.e. Don’t turn on your room lights.) Get some sleep that night, but don’t count on more than 2 or 3 hours worth. By about 0430 or so your room will finally look almost ready to go. After a shower and shave and a QUICK breakfast, you’ll return to your space and get into your inspection uniform. You’ll hear warnings over the 1MC (public address speaker in the hallway) system. YOU SHOULD HAVE EVERYTHING READY BY THE FIVE-MINUTE WARNING AND BE STANDING AT PARADE REST IN FRONT OF YOUR RACK WHEN THE IMMEDIATE WARNING IN ANNOUNCED!!!! If you notice something is not right after the immediate warning. FORGET ABOUT IT!!! Do NOT be moving around after that immediate warning. If a staff member sees you moving around, he will come storming into your room and deduct points, even before you are inspected. Also, do NOT spend a lot of time getting the floored squared away. The floor is worth only one hit. Do sweep and mop it, but if you see a “dust-bunny” come inspection time, forget about it…it only counts as a 1-point hit against the room. The most important thing is making sure your gear is set up like everyone else’s and that is it squared away.

    The class Officers will inspect the uniform that you are wearing and test you on your knowledge. KNOWLEDGE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR THE 4TH WEEK MTT! The knowledge is listed in one of the appendices in the OCR. The knowledge includes: the Big Four (General Orders of a Sentry, Code of Conduct, Rank Structure and Insignia for the Navy and the Marines, your Chain of Command) Mission of the Navy, Warfare Pins. Impress the class Officer with your knowledge and your uniform. When the DIs/CPOs come in to inspect your locker and see that you did well with the class Officer, they will usually go easy on you (that is, if you’re not totally “hosed up”). If you do poorly with the class Officer, be prepared for a rough time.

    Don’t panic with the MTT. Ensure that you know your knowledge, relax, be confident, and have fun with it! Timidity will kill you.

    What are the rewards for all this stress and hard work?? Well, if you pass (78 or better) and your class achieves an average of 81 or better, here’s what you get:

    - You can drink sodas and eat dessert at meals. (Drill Instructor’s discretion.) Also, you don’t have to wait for the entire class to be seated before you begin eating.
    - You can wear the Battalion T-shirts instead of plain white T-shirts
    - You can buy sodas and Gatorade during the study break
    - You can use the phone whenever your class gets back from dinner until 1840
    - You can now go places as a class without a Candidate Officer or your DI escorting you.
    - And, best of all---LIBERTY!!! You get to go off base (in your liberty uniform) on Friday nights from the time your class is secured (usually around 1900) until 0500 Saturday morning. You are also allowed off base liberty from the time your class secures after sweepers on Saturday until 1600 Sunday afternoon. Yes, you may stay off base Saturday night. If you sleep in Battalion Saturday night, you may IGNORE reveille at 0630 Sunday and sleep until 1600 if you wish. Once your class secures each day, you are then free to get sodas and watch TV anytime while your class is secured. You are also allowed on base liberty while you are secured. I can’t go into all of the things you are allowed to do and places to go while you are secured, but here are some of the more popular places:


    Seville Quarter (downtown Pensacola): a collection of bars and clubs, something for everyone.

    Flounder’s (Pensacola Beach): fun outdoor bar and restaurant.

    Captain Fun’s (Pensacola Beach): fun outdoor bar.

    MacGuire’s Irish Pub (east of downtown): great food and their own brewery. Their “Guinness” is better than the Guinness bought in stores.

    Los Rancheros (by I-10 near University Mall): good Mexican food and great prices.

    Hooters (by Cordova Mall or out on Pensacola Beach next to Captain Fun’s): good wings and nice atmosphere.

    For the guys (or adventurous ladies) - There are two notable topless-clubs: Babes and Sammy’s. Sammy’s is closer to restaurants like Outback’s and a cool sports bar called Damon's is right across the street.

    One word of advice: DO NOT DRINK A LOT ON FRIDAY NIGHTS!!!! 0520 Saturday comes pretty early when you’re hung over and the DI and CPOs love to punish the over-indulgent with LOOOOOONG runs. Also, don’t be surprised if you see the Drill Instructors or other staff members out on the town. They, believe it or not, have social lives after they tuck you in at night. Don’t go doing something stupid where they may catch you. Doing something undesirable with them to witness it is a swift way to get kicked out of OCS. Remember, you are being trained to be an officer AND a gentleman in and out of uniform.


    VII WEEK FIVE


    MAJOR EVENTS

    MONDAY:----Military Law (Mil Law) Class begins

    THURSDAY:--3rd Class Swim Test

    FRIDAY:----Mil Law Exam


    Drill practice becomes all encompassing by the 5th week. You should be practicing some of the moves (the ones that don’t involve marching) in your space at night. You perform like you train, so when training for the Drill competition (whether as a class or alone) be INTENSE!! Anything less than 150% intensity is not good enough.


    VIII. WEEK SIX


    MAJOR EVENTS

    MONDAY:---Naval Warfare Class begins

    FRIDAY:---6th Week Personnel Inspection (PI) and Naval Warfare Exam


    The 6th week PI is quite a bit different from the 4th week MTT. First, you are outside in formation. Second, only CPOs inspect you. It is just a personnel inspection, so the grades are usually quite a bit higher than they are for the 4th week MTT. Basically, you will be inspected for appearance and tested on your knowledge (same stuff you had to know for the 4th week MTT).


    IX. WEEK SEVEN


    MAJOR EVENTS

    MONDAY:-----Drill Comp!! Seamanship Class begins

    WEDNESDAY:--YPs are no longer a part of the curriculum, from what I was told

    FRIDAY:-----Seamanship Exam and Navigation Class begins


    INTENSITY!! Of all the things you’ll do at OCS, the Drill comp is the most near and dear to your DI. It is also the first streamer your class is eligible for, and if you get it you’ll start your quest for Honor Class. So, be sharp and be EXTREMELY INTENSE!!

    You may hear that after the Drill comp the DI somewhat fades into the background. That may be true, but completion of the Drill comp and earning the Drill streamer are not excuses to start screwing around. Whether you get the streamer or not, your DI will probably begin treating you a lot better after the Drill comp, SO LONG AS YOU STAY FOCUSED AND DON’T START SCREWING UP. Believe it or not, those DIs care very much how you are doing both as a class and as an individual.

    This also used to be the week that your class would go underway on the yard patrol boats (YPs). These are small (108 ft. long) boats on which you used to practice some of the concepts one would be learning in seamanship class. The YPs were great because much of what you learned on them started to make it all make sense. They were a lot of fun but are no longer a part of the program for reasons beyond my knowledge. Also, as you may have figured out, by the middle of the 7th week, YOU ARE HALFWAY DONE WITH OCS!!!


    X. WEEK EIGHT


    MAJOR EVENTS

    THURSDAY:----They used to have more YP stuff here. Now I do not know what they have.

    FRIDAY:------Navigation Exam


    This week is relatively uneventful. Your biggest worry will be passing the Navigation exam. Seamanship and Navigation are probably the most time consuming of the 8 classes you will take at OCS. They require a lot of practice with maneuvering boards (aka mo boards) and navigation charts. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!! The concepts themselves are not difficult, but you must practice plotting mo boards and charts to the point that you can do them in your sleep.

    I would also recommend that you start preparing for the 9th week MTT. The format for your last MTT is the same as that of your first. Since you have already been through one MTT, you know what to expect. Therefore, the 9th week MTT should be a little less painful.


    XI. WEEK NINE


    MAJOR EVENTS

    TUESDAY:---LRC and Obstacle Course

    THURSDY:---9th Week MTT and Damage Control (DC) Class begins


    For this week’s MTT, you will be inspected in your Certified Navy Twill (CNT) khakis. This is also the uniform you will be wearing as a Candidate Officer. The knowledge that you will have to know includes all of the knowledge from the 4th week MTT plus anything else listed in that appendix of the OCR. You will be less stressed out for this MTT than you were for the other for 2 reasons: 1) You’ve already had an MTT, so you know what to expect and 2) most of your gear for the 4th week MTT (labeled clothing, folded clothing, etc.) is still around and good to go for the 9th week MTT. So, the moral of the story is: LEAVE YOUR GEAR AS CLOSE TO INSPECTION READY AS POSSIBLE BETWEEN THE 4TH AND 9TH WEEK MTTs!!! Many Candidates buy an extra set of everything, one set for daily use and the other set for MTTs. Once their gear is MTT ready, they wrap it up in plastic wrap (helps keep lint off) and store it in a large Tupperware like box. That way, when MTT rolls around, just clean out your locker, pull out that Tupperware box and set everything up. After you pass the 9th week MTT, you may make a federal disaster of your locker if you wish. You can wear everything in you locker if you want.


    XII. WEEK TEN


    MAJOR EVENTS

    WEDNESDAY:---DC Exam, Out PRT, and Engineering Class begins

    FRIDAY:------Engineering Exam


    Your last week, essentially. Yeah, you have 3 more weeks at OCS, but this is the last big one to get through. For PT Wednesday morning, you will be performing the out PRT. Later on that morning, you’ll be taking your DC exam, after which you will immediately begin engineering classes. As of this writing, the engineering exam was scheduled for the Friday of the 10th week, and the 11th week PI was scheduled for Monday of the 11th week. As I left, they were contemplating reversing the scheduling of these two events (i.e. Engineering exam on the Monday of the 11th week and the PI on the Friday of the 10th week). Once you have gotten past whatever event is scheduled for the Monday of the 11th week you’re done with ALL GRADED EVENTS!!


    XIII. WEEK ELEVEN


    MAJOR EVENTS

    WEDNESDAY:---Victory Run

    THURSDAY:----Change of Command


    On Wednesday, you’ll have your Victory Run. That’s when your class, your class team (DI, CPO, Class Officer), some of the other staff members, and the 2 classes behind your class go on a little (about 2 miles) run to celebrate your completion of OCS requirements. After the run is a ceremony at which they will announce your billets (assignments) as Candidate Officers, awards for the Candidates who finished in the top 10% of the class in academics, military events, and PT are presented, and your class will present a class shirt to each member of your class team. (Each class has a shirt made up by a local print shop. You are free to put whatever you’d like on the shirt within good taste, of course, but most classes follow the same layout.)

    The Victory Run is probably where your class will find out if you are an Honor Class. Your class should have a pretty good idea by the end of the 10th week. To be an Honor Class, you must get at least 4 of the 5 possible streamers for your guide-on. Probably, the hardest streamers to get are the academic streamer and the PT streamer. If you do become an Honor Class, you get the “Honor” streamer and an “Honor Class” banner. You’ll put “Honor Class” on your class shirts, and all the other Candidates will refer to your class as “Honor Class (your class number)”. Now, you may be wondering, “Is that all you get for being an Honor Class?” NO! The REAL reason everyone wants their class to be an Honor Class is because YOU ARE ALLOWED TO WEAR CIVILIAN CLOTHES AS A CANDIDATE OFFICER WHEN YOUR DAILY WORK IS DONE!!!! (If your class did not get Honor Class, you still have to wear your class shirt around Battalion and Regiment, your CNT khakis for on base liberty, and your liberty uniform for off base liberty). So, it may not mean much after OCS is over, but for those 2 weeks it’ll mean a lot. And don’t slack off in ANY area, because you think it’s only a small percentage of your class’ overall grade. EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS!!!

    The change of command in Thursday afternoon in front of Regiment. Your class officially becomes Candidate Officers and accepts the duties and responsibilities of running Regiment and Battalion from the previous class, which graduates the next day. From this moment on, things change again-but this time for the better.


    XIV. CANDIDATE OFFICER PHASE (THURS. WEEK 11-THURS. WEEK 13)


    The Candidate Officer phase of the program gives you the chance to put into practice all of those concepts you learned in your Naval Leadership classes. It also gives you time to make arrangements for your graduation and departure from OCS, and it allows you to “unlock” and act like a normal person again before you return to the real world. As Candidate Officers, you will be responsible for running OCS. Notice I did not say that you would be in charge. It will be the responsibility of your class to run the Regiment and Battalion in the manner dictated by the staff. You will have liberty (on and off base) every night, but there will be times when you cannot take advantage of it, because you still have work to do. This stage of the program affords you the opportunity to make decisions for yourself, so don’t blow it. Use your head, work hard, and act professionally and responsibly.

    You will have enough free time during the days to begin preparing for graduation. Hotel reservations for friends and family coming to your graduation should have been made long ago (around week 6 or so), but everything else can be taken care of during the 11th and 12th weeks. I won’t go into all of the things you need to do to prepare for graduation and detachment from OCS (You’ll get a checklist and there will be plenty of people to tell you what you need to have done), but do remember that YOU are ultimately responsible for ensuring everything is in order!

    One of the most enjoyable events of this phase of training is the softball game/picnic. Your class will play a game (or 2 or 3) against the staff (consists of DIs, CPOs, class Officers, academic Instructors and other OCS staff). Typically, the staff wins (the Marines can play some serious softball…and they get to practice every week since they have a graduating class every week), but the point of the event is for your class to get to know the staff members as people. Your class will also have 2 luncheons during the last week. The top 50% of your class has lunch with the Director of OCS on Monday. Those luncheons are an opportunity to voice your likes and dislikes of the program and to offer suggestions for improvement. Use proper discretion when you bring up issues.


    XV. GRADUATION EVENTS (THURS. AND FRI. WEEK 13)


    After the change of command on Thursday, your only responsibility is to get your affairs in order so that you can leave the next day. You can show your friends and family around OCS and tell them all those wonderful stories about how you did 8,000 pushups (or mountain climbers or 8 count body builders or any other exercise) one morning in this little patch of grass (or sand). Thursday night you will have a welcoming reception, commonly know as “Hi Moms”, where your friends and family can meet your DI, CPO, Class Officer, and members of your class. Usually either the Commanding Officer of Naval Aviation Schools Command or the Director of OCS is present. After the reception (usually runs from 1830 to about 2000), many Candidates and their guests go out to a restaurant in Pensacola.

    You’ll have to be up before 0500 Friday morning (So, don’t stay out too late Thursday night) for your final PT session. (After you become a Candidate Officer, you won’t PT as a class with the rest of Battalion-except for your final PT session. And this time it’s actually a lot of fun.) After PT, you’ll have breakfast as a class with your class team, and then you’ll get ready for GRADUATION!!! The parade starts at approximately 0730, after which there will be coffee and donuts on the Battalion quarterdeck. The commissioning ceremony begins in the chapel around 0920. This is followed by your first salutes, which are given by your DI and CPO. Friday’s events are generally over by about 1100 (depending on how big your class is). The only things left to do is pick up your records from Bldg. 633, pay off your NEX bill (if you haven’t already done so), pack your stuff, and split.


    XVI. CONCLUSION

    So, that’s OCS in a nutshell. Not really, but at least you have an idea of what goes on. It will be difficult, it will be demanding, and at times it will seem like too much. Your time at OCS will probably be some of the hardest of your life, but they will also hold some of the fondest memories for years to come. Remember - don’t give up! It’s all worth it! Good luck!

    A WORD ON ROLLING

    “Rolling” is a term used to describe what happens when you are dropped from one class and must continue the program in another class. Admittedly, rolling is one of the worst things that can happen to you at OCS (aside from dying or getting disqualified from the program), but id does happen frequently and if you do roll, it’s not the end of the world. When you roll, the time you spend between classes DOES NOT count toward your graduating, and who wants to spend more time at OCS than is required? How can you roll? Let us count the ways:

    Academics/Military

    If you fail 2 graded events, you will roll. For example, if you fail a test, you have to take a make-up. If you fail the make-up, you have just failed your second graded event, and you will roll. Passing the make-up DOES NOT erase the initial grade. Instead, you are assigned the lowest passing score for the event. Once you have rolled into another class, you do no get 2 chances anymore. For every subsequent failure, you will roll. Make sense? Let’s say you fail the 4th week MTT, but pass the make-up. Then, in the 6th week you fail the naval warfare exam. You would roll. Once in your new class, you fail the seamanship exam. What happens? Well, your 2 chances have been used up, so you would roll again.

    Physical Fitness

    Determining when a Candidate rolls for physical fitness is not an exact science. Dropping out of so many Battalion runs apparently are grounds for rolling. How many times can you drop out of a run before you’re rolled? I couldn’t tell you. Not showing enough improvement in physical fitness from PRT to PRT seems to also be grounds for rolling. Every time a class has an out PRT, the entire Battalion performs the PRT. Your class’ PT body and adjunct will record your scores. This is how the class teams keeps informed of your physical fitness. Now, I’ve known of people falling out of more Battalion runs than they finished and were never rolled, so I can’t be certain what the hard and fast rules are for rolling for physical reasons.

    Medical

    If you are “med down” (i.e. exempt from some or all physical activity) for more than 5 working days (which is every day except Sunday), you will be rolled. This is one area where your DI, CPO, Class Officer, and anyone else who really wants to keep you in your class can’t help you. This may seem like I’m telling you to avoid going med down. Untrue! As soon as you know you are sick, go med down. If you are med down for 4-5 days and get the problem cleared up, then you are good to go. However, if you wait and try to tough it out and hope it goes away, you run the risk of 1) your condition worsening and then being forced to go med down (probably for more than 5 days) then rolling and 2) permanent damage to your body that could lead to disqualification from the program. The DIs and CPOs may talk out of both sides of their mouths on this. They’ll tell you that you should report to sick call as you are sick, then they’ll harass you about being a wimp (“Sick bay commando” is a favorite term.) Go to sick call. Better to take a little heat than to roll. I had someone in my class who was in OCS for 114 weeks because she failed to go to sick call for her shin splits. She ended up having surgery on both legs, which caused her to be in OCS for over two years. There was also a guy who was running his out-PFT that had been hiding his shin splits. As we were running down the home stretch of the out-PFT, everyone who was running around him heard a loud *SNAP* and he went down screaming. The guy had his tibia sticking out of his leg and was screaming in pain. He was so close to the finish, not even another 200m to go, and he ended up having to sit in OCS on hold for many months. Seriously, take the roll if you have to…but avoiding sick call, hiding an injury, and trying to be tough when you are legitimately injured is a good way to spend a lot more time in a place where a lot of time is a bad thing.

    THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE I WENT THROUGH!

    According to posts on an OCS website, some things have changed since I went through OCS in 2002. The most notable is that OCS is now held in Newport, Rhode Island instead of Pensacola, Florida. I copied this information from a post made by someone who recently went through OCS as of 26 Feb 2006:


    Latest News:

    INDOC week is now 3 weeks long vice 1 week. The first 3 weeks is set up to be an introduction to the military. They will transform you from civilian to Sailor. You have very little Chief interaction these three weeks and you will knock out RLP during this time. And they were saying sword drill as well. (Editor note - The owner of this website does not know what the original author of this part meant by the sword drill statement.)

    The rest of OCS will consist of personnel inspections, physical training tests and academics. You’ll take multiple classes at once and then take a test (like a final at the end). They are doing this to help with retaining information. Not sure if it will help.

    Uniforms cost us around $2400 for men.

    PT
    Mondays - Long run 2-4miles
    Tuesday - Strength and conditioning
    Wednesday - Sprints
    Thursday - Strength and conditioning
    Friday - Indian runs
    Saturday - Team Sports

    Academics

    -Naval History From NKO. This goes to your final avg.. Make sure you get 100%
    - Damage Control
    - Seamanship
    - Navigation
    - Division Officer
    - Engineering
    - Naval Warfare

    50 question test and you need an 80% to pass. You need to maintain a 85% avg to maintain your secure status.

    We never saw our DI’s after Taps but there are Command Duty Officers that walk around. They can only report you to your DIs.

    There’s only one RLP. It was during week 4. Now it's at the end of week 3.

    No more rifle drill.

    We had 2 swim tests before week 4.

    We had 2 Personnel Inspections. Not sure when they are now. Week 5 and week 9 is when I had them.

    At the end of week 9 you become a Candi-O.

    Graduate at the end of week 12.

    Again, these are updates posted by someone on a website. Take the gouge for what it is worth just as you should with the rest of the information on thie website.

    Here are some pictures along with some captions as to what they pertain to:

    Come your first Saturday at OCS, the DIs will test your mettle. Welcome to the dreaded "Black Saturday." Al I can really tell you is that you thought you woke up in Hell and not in OCS. The day is long, the road is hard, but it's all worth it in the end.



    A typical day in your room getting ready for the next inspection may look something like this -



    You will find new and inventive ways to joke about all of the stuff you have to learn verbatim such as this Sweepers Warfare Insignia Device I made up-



    Your first time out for liberty will have everyone looking spit-shined and well groomed -



    During your stay at OCS, you should go to a dining out. You can invite your spouse or significant other. Everyone looks sharp in their Dinner Dress Uniform for this event -



    This is one of the YPs OCS students used to do seamanship exercises on before they were removed from the curriculum -



    Here is a glimpse of the excitement you will have when you finish OCS -



    After swearing in, you do your first salute. You are expected to give your class Chief Petty Officer and Drill Instructor a silver dollar -


    There is no better example to follow than one of the sharpest Marines in the world, your Drill Instructor. This was my DI, GySgt Terry Jones -


    And when it is all said and done, you take your class picture then go check out. This is my class: Honor Class 12-02 -



    For a full-sized picture of the class, click here!




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    I hope this has been helpful and enlightening for those of you making your way to OCS. I am no longer posting my email address due to the large amount of people who send me emails and disregard my notice when you first open this website up that states - "Please do NOT direct your questions about policies, waivers, your chances of getting accepted, etc. toward me." So, if you have any comments, please feel free to post them on the Guestbook. If you have a question, please post your your name and email address in the Guestbook and I may write you back. But, please do not ask me about your chances of getting accepted or questions of that nature. To help offset the cost it requires to maintain this website and the bandwidth used for downloads, please consider donating to help keep it running.
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    Good luck with OCS. See you in the Fleet!