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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/28/2005 5:02:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/29/2005 5:35:19 PM EDT by Boom_Stick]
I'm attemping OCS selection for the Army reserves. I'll be taking the ASVAB and my physical this week then on to the board after I turn in my packet.

What kind of questions can I expect? How do they structure the interview?
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 5:32:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2005 5:34:08 PM EDT by Sukebe]
Did you take the Officer Selection Battery yet? The only intereview I recall for approval to attend OCS was an interview with my CO. IIRC, I didn't go to the Officer Selection Board until after I graduated from OCS. My memory may be failing me though, it was in 1988/89 afterall.
What I do recall is that you stand before a board of Officers, three or four IIRC. They ask you a few "softball" questions and swear you in. It had a rubber stamp feel to it.
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 3:08:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 5:22:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/29/2005 5:55:50 PM EDT by Boom_Stick]
Sukebe, it's called the "USAREC (United States Army Recruiting Command) OCS/WOFT Board." After the ASVAB and physical I'll get my packet togather, which consists of background info, waivers and letters of recommendation, etc... turned in by a certain date to make the next board. The boards are scheduled throughout the calendar but I'm going for the next one.

The recruiter told me the board is like a job interview. They ask about your prior service and what I have to offer the Army leadership wise. If it has the "rubber stamp" feel to it then it doesn't sound like they'll grill me. I still want to be sure of what I'm up against.

Originally Posted By Jarhead_22:
Be black, or at least asian.

LOL! I hope not, sounds like they need people to badly to be choosy about race.

Link Posted: 8/29/2005 11:01:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 11:22:04 PM EDT
I applied for the MArine OCS. I did not physically stand infront of a board, they just reviewed packages. I did not get selected. I cant run very fast.
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 11:47:33 PM EDT
I don't have enough college credits to help you out.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 4:44:11 AM EDT
I sat on an OCS selection board for the 101st when I was there. The board was active duty, and realize that everyone had been screened by the chain of command before anyone even got close to coming before the board. The board in this case was the last stop for anyone in the division that wished to attend OCS. I have no idea how it's done for USAR, but here's what we did:

There were three of us on the board. One Major and two Captains. We were all Combat Arms. The Major was Infantry. The two Captains were Aviation. As a side note, all three of use had been commissioned through ROTC. We had three selectees to interview. One was an Aviation Warrant Officer, one was an Infantry NCO from the Pathfinders, and the other was an Infantry NCO from one of the line units. Before the actual board, the three of us on the board reviewed the packets fairly quickly. There's not much in there that really we needed to know honestly, other than what they had written as to why they wanted to go to OCS. If they didn't have everything else squared away, it wouldn't have gotten as far as us anyway, so most of the packet was just reviewed for anything odd, or would standout.

There were no set questions. There were no trick questions. There were no bullshit questions. It was a simple, straight forward interview to find out just what we thought of the selectee, and what his potential was to be an officer. It was simple as that. We asked the usual, why's, what's etc, to get them talking and more relaxed. It's a high stress deal, and we all knew that, and it's something you take pretty seriously both as the selectee and as a member of the board, but you have to get the flow of communication going to see where the selectee is coming from.

That's about it. Expect questions like, "What kind of leadership experience do you have?" "What kind of problem solving skills do you posses?" "Why do you want to be an officer?" Some other general and specific questions, but none of the questions had a "right answer" per se. They were just questions to give the board an idea, or feel about your potential. Potential is what it was all about.

We recommended all three to attend OCS. I wouldn't say "rubber stamp". If you're going to get all the way to be one of the three guys going before the OCS board for the whole 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), odds are you aren't a dirt bag. So it's easy to say if you made it that far, you made it. But frankly all three of us would have had no hesitation in not recommending someone we felt shouldn't go. It wasn't a "formality" to us on the board, or to the three soldiers who appeared before it. I know we took the duty seriously, and it was no rubber stamp. It's just easy to recommend people that are indeed what you'd like to see as an officer.

It's not the third degree. You'll be easily putting way more pressure on yourself than the board ever could. Just relax, be yourself and answer the questions without really thinking too hard or worrying too much.

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 6:47:15 AM EDT
I had one of my guys sit for the same board for WOFT a few years ago, and it pretty much went like Ross describes. They asked him questions like "What will you bring to the Army?" He said it felt like most any other job interview except more formal.

I never had to sit before one, tech Warrants are judged solely on the packet you put forward, at least for the USAR.

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 7:51:57 AM EDT
I have sat on and chaired these boards several times in the past. I echo what Ross said - there were no trick questions. Probably the most demanding question that I normally asked was "if you were assigned today as the division officer (platoon leader?) for your division, what is the first thing that you would change and why? What policy/thing would you ensure did not change?" Sometimes I would take it further up the C-O-C, but normally kept it at the O1-O2 level. Good luck.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 9:17:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2005 9:20:53 AM EDT by Manic_Moran]
It was something of a rubber stamp for us in the Guard.

I guess if they had any character issues to deal with they'd be soon detected and run out of the programme. We had a hefty attrition rate once the course got going. Whilst I can see Ross's argument that the job of the board is to screen candidates for 'is he the right type', in my opinion that's the sole function of OCS in the Guard: It didn't teach me much about being an officer, but it got rid of people who shouldn't be.

Most of them were bland questions requiring no thought. Indeed, the only one requiring thought for me was "Why do you want to be an ossifer?"

I even called the female interviewing officer 'sir' and still passed!

Don't worry about it.

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 9:28:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2005 9:31:52 AM EDT by none_other]
While I was an enlisted man (army) your asvab and physical is standard for all branches (IM me if you need further info for these) What will they expect from an OCS canidate? Leadership, physical, and mental strength beyond what you expect from those you lead. That is what my officers expected from us and we no less from them. I was an 11B however and we all shared that. It will be different in a support MOS.

ETA: Please do IM me with any further questions. If I cant answer them, I know those that can. I wish you the best.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:05:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By none_other:
That is what my officers expected from us and we no less from them. I was an 11B however and we all shared that. It will be different in a support MOS.

The people that run OCS would beg to differ. We were all bundled in together and run on an infantry-based organisation doing infantry-based tasks in the field. There was no thought given to those who either came from, or were going to a non-combat branch.

They'd be right not to either, I don't see why non-combat MOSs should be any less deserving of the qualities that make a good leader than others. It's acceptable to have a little less tactical sense, I guess though.

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:15:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:

The people that run OCS would beg to differ. We were all bundled in together and run on an infantry-based organisation doing infantry-based tasks in the field. There was no thought given to those who either came from, or were going to a non-combat branch.


What is a non-combat branch? I thought the Army was organized into Combat Arms, Combat Support, and Combat Service Support.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:18:26 AM EDT

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:23:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Manic_Moran:


Sorry couldn't resist. Too much time around "Every Marine is a rifleman" types.
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