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Posted: 10/12/2001 4:35:41 PM EDT
I'm a college grad considering the Army and OCS. Anyone here have any comments or advise towards OCS? How should I prepare, what should I expect (etc)? Did you get the branch you wanted, or something completely different? Thanks...
Link Posted: 10/12/2001 5:09:56 PM EDT
To prepare, get in the best shape you can. Run a LOT. As for branching, you fill out a wish list and the Army gives you what they need, based on your list. Obviously, some branches are harder to get than others. What are you interested in?
Link Posted: 10/14/2001 8:28:26 PM EDT
From what I've heard, a male OCS grad stands a high chance of being selected for the combat arms branch. That includes infantry, armor, air defense, and artillary. I'd pick (airborne) infantry first - not sure if thats a hard branch to get in or not. Second choice, I'll have to think about it - armor probably. I've already started running - I've got a ways to go though...[xx(]
Link Posted: 10/15/2001 6:26:20 AM EDT
I'm not an OCS grad, but saw Infantry OCS candidates at Benning when I did IOBC and IOAC. They got dogged severely in comparison to a ROTC/USMA grad going through IOBC. They take seemed to be following the exact same course of instruction, often filing into a class as the ROTC/USMA students filed out. The difference was that the OCS guys would be treated like basic trainees in the halls, of building 4, while us officer types ambled about freely. I'm not too up on OCS, but it was obvious that these guys were not yet commissioned but, would be infantry officers. I would assume that indicated branch selection happens prior to OCS course selection. Meaning you "Officer and Gentleman" training was intersptersed with branch specific training and Infanry guys went to a differnt course than Armor guys. I could be wrong, but I know those OCS cadidates I saw got a good dose of Infantry topics at Building 4.
Link Posted: 10/15/2001 6:45:25 AM EDT
Why not the Marines? If it's because you imagine it too be too difficult, then you've chosen wisely.
Link Posted: 10/15/2001 7:29:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/15/2001 7:30:41 AM EDT by Sukebe]
I graduated from Ohio Army Reserve National Guard OCS in 89. While it was state OCS the course requirements were dictated by the Federal OCS at Ft. Benning. OCS is an Infantry based school but this in no way determines your branch. That is determined both by your wants and the needs of the Army. The Ranger hand book is your Bible. Get one, learn it, know it, live it. Get the Army Officers Guide as well. Get in shape. Run a lot. Do a lot of push ups you will be fine if you work yourself up to 100 without resting. Weight train and get some new G.I. combat boots and walk a lot in them to get your feet used to the cheap issue boots you will get. Break them in and get your feet callosed and you will save yourself a hell of a lot of misery when it comes to blisters. Go in with an opened mind and a closed mouth. Pay attention to everything that the TAC officers tell you and learn from someone elses mistakes. If you are given a task to perform or a resonsibilty, take it seriously and do your best even though it will not be good enough. Don't volunteer but show initiative and be a team player, don't seek personal recognition. Nothing is accomplished alone. Take the honor code seriously. If you are successful and graduate you will never regret the experience. I was active duty USMC before joining the National Guard. I was prepared for the military B.S. and the mental B.S.. I you have no military service there really is no way to prepare. Just expect to be treated like shit and everything you do will be wrong and don't take any of it personaly even when it seems very personal. Have thick skin and remember why you are there. Stay focused on your goal, which is to graduate. As for Major Murphy's comment about choosing wisely, like I said I was active duty USMC. OCS was not extremely difficult for me but it was tough just the same(state OCS might sound easier but it has unique aspects that I don't have time to go into) It wasn't as tough as Parris Island but then again I was better prepared mentally for OCS than when I arrived at boot camp when I was 18.
Link Posted: 10/15/2001 7:47:59 AM EDT
I don't know too much about Army OCS, but my friend did attend Marine Corps OCS while he was still in college, so I can tell you a little about that. Anyhow, according to my friend, OCS is completely hardcore when compared to a program such as ROTC. Whereas ROTC cadets are treated pretty well on the whole, OCS cadets are basically treated like recruits in basic. Basically, the first 6 weeks of my friend's program was full of verbal abuse and yelling, but it got much better after the the 7th week. Anyhow, if Army OCS is anything like Marine OCS, expect to do lots of running and expect to have no privacy whatsoever. Also, in Marine Corps OCS, your MOS isn't formally assigned until after you graduate from both OCS and college and then choose to accept your commission. Afterwards, it's off to Officer Basic and then off to your MOS school. However, since this Marine OCS program I'm referring to is for students that are still in college, it probably won't be the same for someone who's already graduated.
Link Posted: 10/15/2001 4:31:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/15/2001 4:29:33 PM EDT by redleg99]
Branching for Army OCS is done differently than Marine OCS. It used to be you were branched at the end of OCS, but now I hear that it happens when you are accepted. Infantry or Armor branches are not too difficult to get into, but you have to be smart about the way you fill out your preference sheet. First of all, you have to put them as your top choices. Second, you have to NOT put “shortage” branches on your sheet. The reason is that if you list a “shortage” branch in your top 3, then that is what you WILL get. If there is one in your top 6, you might get it. So the question is, what are the “shortage” branches? It changes from year to year, but Artillery, Ordinance, Chemical and Transportation seem to be consistently among them. While I’m on the subject, I might as well mention the “tough” branches. Medical Service, Aviation, and Military Intelligence are all branches that you WON’T get unless you put them as #1 on your list. What’s the hardest branch to get? Believe it or not, it’s Finance. By the way, I got Artillery. Keep running. Your goal should be to finish 2 miles in 12 minutes.
Link Posted: 10/15/2001 4:48:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/15/2001 4:45:04 PM EDT by STLRN]
Redleg AS of the last OBC class I taught, Branch assignment was done at OCS, as was assignment of duty after OBC. But that was in 2000, so it might have changed. In that OBC class all the OCS guys were pissed off and felt they were treated like 2nd Class officers, since almost none got the branch they desired and almost all of them were going to Korea. As opposed to the USMA and ROTC grad in the same OBC classes who apparently got the branch they desired and many the duty station. What class were you in at Fort Sill? Who were your gunnery and fire support instructors? SOG Marine Officers, other than aviators and JAGs, are assigned their MOS after about 4-5 months of TBS. Marine OCS also has a different goal than Army OCS. Army OCS is a mixture of training and screening and evaluation. When an Army Lt graduates OCS, he expect to know all the basic know of small unit tactic necessary to carry him through his OBC, where he learns what is necessary to do his Branch. Marine OCS is only screening and evaluation; the only tactics taught there are to those necessary in order to test the candidates. After they are made 2ndLt in the Corps they go off to Camp Barret for the 6-month “The Basic School.” At TBS they are taught the skills necessary to be a provisional rifle platoon commander, regardless of the MOS they will get, they are expected to by rifle platoon commanders first. After TBS they basic officer is sent off to his MOS school or joint OBC to learn his MOS. The idea of TBS was liked some much by the other services, the Air Force and Army have adopted the concept for their junior officer. However they are not investing the same amount of time in their officers as we do. Physically Marine OCS is considered the toughest thing in the US military outside of the special operations community. I cannot comment on Army OCS from personal experience, only what former students have told me about it, and from that it appears to stress the physical a bit less.
Link Posted: 10/15/2001 4:56:05 PM EDT
I remember when I was at IOBC, we used some of the same classrooms at Benning that the OCS class used. I used to look at those poor bastards with their heads shaved, standing in the hallway at parade rest during their "breaks" while I went down to the snack machine on mine and think..."Thank GOD I was smart enough to go ROTC."
Link Posted: 10/15/2001 5:55:17 PM EDT
STLRN: I was in Class 4-99. My gunnery instructor was CPT Carpenter, and my fire support instructor was MAJ Pazminio (sp?) of the Venezuelian army.
Link Posted: 10/15/2001 6:00:35 PM EDT
ocs=organized chicken shit. can anyone tell me what book that is from???
Link Posted: 10/16/2001 12:54:08 AM EDT
I remember your class, Capt Hamilton was the Marine instructor and I Assistant Instructed with the Marines Platoon in that class several times. Don't know CPT Carpenter, but Paz's desk was right next to mine at Serby hall. He was good to go, he went back to Venezuela and replaced with someone who didn’t speak English.
Link Posted: 10/16/2001 6:19:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: I remember when I was at IOBC, we used some of the same classrooms at Benning that the OCS class used. I used to look at those poor bastards with their heads shaved, standing in the hallway at parade rest during their "breaks" while I went down to the snack machine on mine and think..."Thank GOD I was smart enough to go ROTC."
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Exactly! When did you visit Iron Mike? I was there in '85 for Airborne, '87 for IOBC, and '90 for IOAC.
Link Posted: 10/16/2001 7:02:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hipower: When did you visit Iron Mike? I was there in '85 for Airborne, '87 for IOBC, and '90 for IOAC.
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I was there in August 89 for Airborne, then in 90 for IOBC.
Link Posted: 10/16/2001 10:52:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter:
Originally Posted By Hipower: When did you visit Iron Mike? I was there in '85 for Airborne, '87 for IOBC, and '90 for IOAC.
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I was there in August 89 for Airborne, then in 90 for IOBC.
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Cool. We probably passed each other on the way to the snack bar while the OCS guys braced against the wall with those silly cards. [beer]
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