OSS ST LOUIS, MO
OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. OFFICER CANDIDATES SCHOOL
2. PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
3. STUDY GUIDE
4. GENERAL INFORMATION & GLOSSARY
OFFICER CANDIDATES SCHOOL
Officer Candidates School is located at Marine Corps Combat Development Command
(MCCDC), Quantico, Virginia. On the banks of the historic Potomac River, it is an
exacting course designed to build and measure the candidate’s ability to function
effectively under mental and physical STRESS!
The officer candidate receives basic military instruction and physical training in a
controlled environment. Candidates are evaluated academically, physically and in
leadership potential. This manual is designed to provide information on the activities and
requirements at OCS.
ORGANIZATION OF OFFICER CANDIDATES SCHOOL
OCS consists of a Headquarters and Service Company tasked with administrative and
support functions, and a number of candidate companies. Each candidate company has
three to five platoons of approximately 50 candidates each. The Company Commander is
a Marine Corps Major; he is assisted by his Executive Officer, a senior Captain. Platoon
commanders are usually Marine Corps Captains, and they are assisted by three highly
qualified Marine Corps Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs).
The NCOs provide instruction in basic subjects such as military drill, care of equipment,
and military routine. The Platoon Commanders primary mission is to evaluate the
candidates and appraise their potential to be Marine Officers.
The OCS staff is carefully selected. Professionally competent and purposefully
dedicated, these officers and NCO’s will closely scrutinize each candidate and
recommend for a commission only those who achieve the high standards of the Marine
Officer candidates’ performance is continuously evaluated during training to determine
potential as future Marine Officers. The three areas of evaluation are: LEADERSHIP
(50%), ACADEMICS (25%), and PHYSICAL FITNESS (25%).
The primary purpose of the academic portion of the program is to provide instruction in
the basic military skills and techniques, and through assimilation of these skills, provide a
basis for evaluation. Although the subjects covered are basic, you will have to apply
yourself. Instruction is given in Marine Corps history, weapons, military customs and
courtesies, rank structure, military justice, first aid, traditions, interior guard, land
navigation and small unit tactics.
As an officer candidate you will receive instruction on the principles of leadership.
Throughout the program, you will be observed for evidence of your leadership potential.
All candidates are assigned various company jobs or billets on a rotational basis. This
provides an opportunity for practical application of those leadership concepts taught in
Evaluation is further supplemented by interviews with your Platoon Commander,
leadership problem solving classes, and a reaction course. The reaction course is a series
of simulated problems using real objects and affords the candidates an opportunity to
demonstrate their capabilities by means of leadership problem solving under physical
stress and fatiguing conditions.
Other leadership traits are evaluated by observing your demonstrated ability to command
and control units during close order drill, small unit tactical exercises, and routine
The entire course is designed to develop, expose and to measure your leadership
The physical training program at OCS is designed to teach, then test and evaluate, a very
high level of physical fitness in a minimum time period. It is built on principles that will
test physical courage, willpower and determination, while preparing you for the rigors of
future Marine Corps duty. You will find it both challenging and demanding.
The OCS program incorporates mental and physical fitness as well as strength,
endurance, flexibility, coordination and overall good health. The Marine Corps requires
its officers to have the strength and endurance to move rapidly to move from one area to
another without undue fatigue; always maintaining the ability to perform the mission
when they arrive at their destination.
Although the physical fitness training at OCS accounts for only a portion of the
candidates’ final grade, it has a great influence on total performance. Poor performance
in physical fitness may have an adverse effect on an individual’s self-confidence and thus
detrimentally affect leadership performance. More importantly, poor physical condition
may lead to injury that could result in disenrollment from the OCS program. Those
candidates who are content on reporting to OCS capable of performing only the
minimum standards will find themselves falling behind.
It is essential that you begin at once for the physical aspect of OCS. There will be
specified requirements which will have to be met and no time for “starting from scratch”
once OCS has begun. On the first training day all candidates are administered a Physical
Fitness Test (PFT) to determine their initial level of fitness. PFT’s are also administered
during the middle and final weeks of training to test and evaluate the progress of the
individual’s fitness development. The following are the minimum/ maximum standards
for each individual component of the PFT:
TEST EVENT MINIMUM REQUIRED MAXIMUM STANDARD
MALE PULL-UPS 10 20
CRUNCHES 70 100
3 MILE RUN 24:00 18:00
FEMALE FLEXED ARM HANG 50 SECONDS 70 SECONDS
CRUNCHES 70 100
3 MILE RUN 27:00 21:00
Additionally, all candidates will be examined during medical processing to ensure
compliance with height and weight standards established by the Marine Corps.
To prepare for the level of conditioning at which OCS begins, you should start today on
the exercises described in the remaining paragraphs of this chapter. You should attempt
to exercise at least three to four times per week. Experience has shown that the two most
important factors in successfully meeting the physical requirements of OCS are stamina
and upper body strength.
To start your conditioning program, you should first analyze your strengths and
weaknesses to determine where the major emphasis should be placed. All conditioning
activities have two primary objectives: muscular strength and endurance. These
components form the core of a conditioning program. The exercises which follow are
simple yet beneficial and can be practiced at home in a minimum amount of time.
Thousands of officer candidates have successfully completed the same training you will
receive. You will be expected to give 100% effort during your training, and your
performance will be evaluated daily by your platoon and company staff. The physical
training program is very demanding; there are no shortcuts to real fitness.
PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICAL CONDITIONING
Overload, variety, balance, regularity and progression are the principles of physical
conditioning. These five principles are the cornerstones of an effective, efficient training
program. Although you may be familiar with these words in other uses, they have a
special meaning to physical training.
OVERLOAD. A system of increasing resistance, distance, time or other exercise
variables in a training program in order to increase or improve physical performance is
known as overload. It may take form when you increase a bench press weight from 135
to 145 pounds, or start practicing 40 sit-ups a minute after being able to perform 35
easily, or strive to run three miles in 19 minutes after successfully running the same
distance in 20 minutes.
Overloading the amount of work to be done is useful in all training pursuits, but is
mandatory if the goal of increased strength is to be achieved. The body naturally adapts
to performance under increased workloads, that increase is the only way by which
hypertrophy (an increase in the size and strength of muscular tissue) will occur.
VARIETY. The use of different training methods within the same exercise program to
maintain a high caliber or performance is known as variety. There is no reason why
physical training should ever be boring. This complaint usually reflects a lack of
initiative and imagination on the part of the individual conducting the training. If you are
in charge of physical training, remember that not everyone is as highly motivated as you
are! Be IMAGINATIVE, be INNOVATIVE, and you will be EFFECTIVE!
BALANCE. The elements of a training program which ensures well rounded
performance is call balance. Because the components of physical fitness for Marines are
strength, endurance, agility and coordination, your training programs should be balanced
so that you may progress in all areas and thus achieve a real increase in physical fitness.
A balanced program should include running, calisthenics or stretching and weight
REGULARITY. Regularity means making physical training a routine part of your
lifestyle. It takes personal motivation to get in shape and self-discipline to stay that way.
Training must be routine (three to five times weekly) if you are to make significant gains.
PROGRESSION. The movement from one level of fitness to a higher level of fitness as
a result of a program of increasingly more difficult exercise is known as progression.
Once you can execute 20 pull-ups, you can continue to increase your strength by doing
behind the neck pull-ups or by changing from a chin up to a pull-up bar grip on the bar.
Progression is the result of an effective training program. Once set goals have been
reached, others must be selected and established in order to achieve continued
SELECTING THE PROPER RUNNING SHOE
A substantial number of candidate injuries are the result of the candidate wearing
improper running shoes. Wearing the wrong shoe whether it be the wrong type, fit, or a
shoe that is too worn can result in stress fractures, knee problems, etc. The candidate
should report to OCS with a running shoe that is of proper fit and broken in / not broken
down (3 to 4 runs normally will break in a good running shoe / a general rule is to replace
your running shoes every 300-350 miles or approximately every 3 months). Note: If you
wear orthotics bring them when you report to OCS. The following information is
provided to assist you in selecting the proper shoe for your running style and foot type.
1. It's important to understand that you need to buy a shoe specific to running. Not a
sneaker, tennis shoe, cross-trainer, aerobic, basketball or walking shoe. But a
running shoe made for running and only running. A shoe dedicated to running can
cost anywhere from $65 - $100. It is important to make the investment in yourself
to purchase a quality running shoe that works best for you.
2. The best way to get a high quality running shoe that fits you properly is to go to a
running store. There are plenty of sporting goods chain stores that carry running
shoes, but only running shops carry a wide selection of brands and models and
have running experts who can put you in the best shoe for you. If you don't know
of a running store in you area, you can visit the following website for assistance in
locating a running store in your area: www.runnersworld.com . Go to Shoes &
Gear and then click on shoes 101. Some specialty running stores in Missouri are:
FLEET FEET SPORTS MARATHON SPORTS
13453 Chesterfield Plaza 278 THF Boulevard
Chesterfield, Missouri 63017 Chesterfield, Missouri 63005
Phone: (314) 434-9577 Phone: (636) 532-0522
TRYATHLETICS FLEET FEET SPORTS
1605 Chapel Hill Road 3813 Mexico Road
Columbia, Missouri 65203 St. Charles, Missouri 63376
Phone: (573) 447-2453 Phone: (636) 939-0161
Website: www.tryathletics.com Website: www.fleetfeetstl.com
RUNNING CENTER OF ST. LOUIS
9430 Manchester Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63119
Phone: (314) 961-2647
3. Once you've found a running store, commit to spending at least 30 to 45 minutes
there. Don't rush your shoe selection process.
4. While shopping ensure the salesperson is knowledgeable in fitting running shoes
and is a runner who understands your needs. If not, ask to see someone else.
5. You will be issued two pair of medium weight calf high all white socks when you
arrive at OCS. You will be allowed to use any similar white, calf high sock.
Bring a like sock when trying on shoes. The wrong socks (either too thin or too
thick) will alter the fit of the shoes you're trying on.
6. Bring the shoes that you have been running in with you to the store. This will help
the salesperson better determine the specific pair you need. If you wear orthotics,
bring them as well.
7. Have both feet measured for width and length-even if you think you know your
size. Your feet tend to spread and lengthen (from running and aging) so don't be
surprised that your running shoes may be a half or full size larger than what your
accustomed to wearing. Feet can change by ½ size throughout the day. It is best
to buy shoes in the afternoon after being on your feet.
8. Discuss with the salesperson your plans to attend officers candidate school and
that you will be running approximately 15 miles per week in running shoes, the
majority of which will conducted on graveled trails. (Additional running will be
conducted in combat boots). Ensuring that your upcoming training plans are
discussed with the sales person will assist them in fitting you in the proper shoe.
9. Your primary need is for a pair of shoes that fit well and feel comfortable. Fit and
feel are certainly an individual decision, but look for running shoes that fit snugly
(without being tight) with about a half inch (or slightly less) room between the
longest toe and the end of the shoe. Your toes should not feel cramped or
compressed. Your heel should not slip in the rearfoot when walking or running. If
one aspect of the fit is not right, don't buy the shoe
10. If you like a certain shoe, but don't feel it's wide enough (or it's too wide), ask the
salesperson if it's available in more than one width. Many models are.
11. Try on a wide variety of styles and brands. One brand isn't necessarily better than
any other. Take your time. Put your running socks on (and if you wear orthotics,
place them in the shoes) and walk around the store in the shoes. Jog around
outside. If it doesn't feel or fit right in the store, it won't feel better when you run.
12. Make certain the salesperson watches you run. There are some shoes that could be
wrong for you-for example, not enough support for big runners-and even if you
can't tell, the salesperson should be able to.
Detailed explanation of the different types of running shoes available:
You should wear cushioned shoes if you are a runner who needs maximum midsole
cushioning and minimum medial (arch-side) support. These shoes are best suited for
biomechanically efficient runners (you don't over-pronate), and mid-foot or forefoot
strikers. Runners who do best in cushioned shoes often have moderate to high arches.
Motion Control Shoes
You should wear motion-control shoes if you are a runner who overpronates moderately
to severely. Motion-control shoes will give you maximum rearfoot control and extra
support on the medial (arch) side of the foot. Motion-control shoes are also best suited for
big or heavy runners who need plenty of support and durability. These runners often have
low arches (flat feet).
You should wear stability shoes if you are a runner who needs medial (arch-side) support
and good midsole cushioning. These shoes are best suited for runners who are mild to
moderate overpronators, and/or need added support and durability.
When you run or walk, you land on the outside edge of your foot and roll inward. This
entirely normal inward rolling is called pronation. For most runners, the pronation stops
at a healthy point. However, some runners roll inward too much. This excessive inward
rolling is called overpronation. Runners who overpronate should wear motion-control
shoes, which contain special foams and devices that are designed to limit overpronation.
How can you tell if you overpronate? Here's the easiest way. Take off your shoes,
whether your normal work-a-day shoes or your running shoes, and put them on a table
with the heels facing out toward you. Now study the heels. If they are fairly straight and
tall, you do not have an overpronation problem. If the heels tilt inward (toward the
arches), on the other hand, you are probably an overpronator, and should try motion-
control shoes. Many (but not all) overpronators are bigger, heavier runners with flat feet.
Information courtesy of www.runnersworld.com
The workout consists of three phases: the warm-up, the exercise, and the cool down.
Each part is important for different reasons.
WARM-UP. This phase is the start of the workout. Its purpose is to enhance
performance and prevent injury. The warm up should consist of a 10 to 15 minute period
of stretching, light calisthenics, easy running and mental concentration on preparing you
for whatever type of exercise you are about to perform. A proper warm-up will prevent
muscle tear and ligament strain caused by working the body too quickly.
EXERCISE. This phase is the body of the workout and is the key to progress.
Remembering that fitness is specific, the exercise phase should be geared directly
towards accomplishing your objectives, whether they are to increase strength, endurance,
agility, balance, coordination, or any combination of these physical fitness elements. Self
discipline and mental concentration throughout this phase is necessary to produce
satisfactory results. The “work” of the workout is accomplished during the exercise
phase. Upon completion of exercise, you should allow your body to “recover” from the
stress of intense exercise.
COOL DOWN. The last phase of the workout allows the body to recover to its normal
state. Once again, stretching, light calisthenics and easy running or walking can help the
body to recover to its normal rates of breathing, temperature and blood flow. A hot
shower and a brief period of rest will overcome normal feelings of mental and physical
STRETCHING ROUTINE. A comprehensive stretching routine can be found at:
One of the most popular forms of exercise is calisthenics. These isotonic exercises
improve personal strength, stamina and circular-respiratory endurance. Calisthenics are
one of the most flexible forms of exercise, because they may be executed in or out of
doors. They may be used for warm-ups or workouts, and because they require no special
equipment and consist solely of body movements, are limited only by the imagination.
CIRCUIT COURSES. A circuit course is a series of exercise stations arranged to
develop muscular fitness through the use of weight training and calisthenics selected and
organized for maximum effectiveness. Individuals who train on a circuit course enjoy
three distinct advantages:
A. Circuit courses apply the principle of progressive resistance.
B. Groups may train on the course simultaneously, each according to his capacity
and each getting a maximum workout in a short time.
C. Circuit training primarily improves both muscular strength and circular-
D. Circuit training can be very effective if these training tips are followed:
(1) Exercise no less than three or more than five times weekly.
(2) Overload (extend yourself) by working the highest possible stress level for
a one-minute period.
(3) While on station, you must execute repetitions at a continuous pace with
no rest or pause.
E. Circuit courses may exploit the resources of a “Universal Gym” or may be
tailored to your specific needs. The ways in which you use this concept are
limited only by your imagination.
CIRCUIT INTERVAL TRAINING (CIT). CIT develops skeletal muscular strength
and circular-respiratory endurance by including interval running. Interval running means
carrying the pace (walk-run-sprint) and progressing either by adding distance or by
shortening the elapsed time of the run. If the running is to be done around a track, you
can sprint the straight-aways and walk or jog the turns.
One of the most effective ways to increase strength is through the use of variable
resistances (weight) training. Hundreds of books have been written on this subject alone.
This section outlines a simple program, which if properly followed, will guide a healthy
person to increased muscular strength. However, you must realize that success at OCS
does not depend totally on developing massive upper body strength, but on a balanced
strength and endurance program.
WEIGHT TRAINING TERMS. Basic weight training terminology includes:
EXERCISE: A movement of a muscle group in a certain way.
REPITITION: One complete execution of a particular exercise.
SET: A number of repetitions performed consecutively without a pause.
PROGRAM: A listing of all the exercises necessary to achieve your fitness goals.
POUNDAGE: The amount of weight moved during one repetition.
WEIGHT TRAINING EQUIPMENT. The most commonly used forms of weight
training equipment are:
BARBELLS. (Adjustable weights)
DUMBBELLS. (Fixed weights)
EXERCISE RACK. (Squat rack, leg press)
TRAINING SYSTEMS. (Nautilus, Universal Gyms)
WEIGHT TRAINING GUIDELINES. Regardless of the equipment used, successful
results will be achieved if you follow several accepted principles.
1. The training must be regular, progressive and overload the muscle group being
2. The training should exercise all major muscle groups in this order; 1)Back/Hips,
2) Legs/Chest, 3) Shoulders/Arms/Abdomen/Neck.
And remember train to accomplish an objective:
1. Perform one set of each exercise at maximum effort (until failure) if the objective
is to develop simple strength.
2. Perform multiple sets of each exercise if the objectives are to gain flexibility,
recover from an injury, improve muscle tone or lose weight.
3. Rest at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours between workouts.
4. As strength and fitness develop, increase the intensity (difficulty) of the workout
but not the length or number of exercises.
5. Breathe naturally. Inhale as the weight is lowered to the body. Exhale as the
weight is pushed away from the body. Holding your breath will cause dizziness
and lessen your performance.
WEIGHT TRAINING EXERCISE. Weight training, like any physical skill, is best
learned under the guidance of instructors. The exercises listed will increase strength
when executed correctly. Take time to learn how to execute the movements of each
exercise safely and easily before you attempt the movement with a significant weight.
The first line indicates, that the first exercise, the leg press of 250 pounds, should be
executed no less than eight repetitions and no more than 12. If you find the weight is too
heavy, lighten it until you can execute eight repetitions of the exercise with good form. If
you can easily perform the exercise 12 times, increase the weight by 10 or 20 pounds
until you find a good starting weight at which you can execute eight repetitions with good
WEIGHT CONDITIONING PROGRAM
EXERCISES REPITITIONS SETS
Leg Press 8-12 3
Leg Extension 8-12 3
Leg Curl 8-12 3
Bench Press 8-12 3
Pulldowns 8-12 3
Military Press 8-12 3
Upright Row 8-12 3
Parallel Bar Dips 8-12 3
Bicep curls 8-12 3
Note: Use enough weight so that it is difficult to get complete the last set of reps, but not
too much weight where you are sacrificing form. Also consider increasing the weight
EXERCISES TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE ON THE PFT. The following
exercises are specifically designed to improve strength in the main muscles involved in
the pull-up and sit-up. These exercises primarily use barbells and dumbbells and follow
the principles of progressive resistance and overload. They are not intended as an all
around conditioning program, nor are they the only ones that will get results. However,
these exercises, or variations thereof, should be the heart of the program for a person who
is weak in the arms, shoulders and abdomen.
PULL-UPS. Through analysis, we find that the two main muscle groups that we must
concentrate on strengthening are the shoulder and back muscles.
DEAD HANG. This exercise is for the person who has difficulty in performing one pull-
up. Grasp the pull-up bar and hang for three seconds, then pull up as hard as you can.
Rest thirty seconds, then repeat for a total of three sets.
FLEXED HANG. Repeat as above, expect to pull the body up until the arms are flexed
at the elbows about 90 degrees. These two exercises employ isometric or static
CURL. Many variations of this exercise may be used to include dumbbells and barbells.
It is recommended that you include reverse curls.
PULL DOWNS. This is the single best exercise because the movement is almost the
same as the actual pull-up. Use the “lat bar” found on the Universal Gym. With a grip a
little wider than should width, pull the bar down in front of the head. It may be necessary
to have someone “anchor” you to the deck as you lift increasingly heavier weights. Also,
alternate this exercise by pulling the bar down behind the head.
BENT OVER ROWING. This may be done with the barbell or dumbbell. Someone
with a tendency to back strain should use the dumbbell. Bend forward at the waist, keep
the legs straight, grasp the barbell a little wider than shoulder width and pull to the chest,
keeping the elbows close to the body (inboard). When using a dumbbell, place one hand
on bench for support.
BENT ARM PULLOVER. Lie with your back on a bench. The barbell is held at the
chest with the elbows bent. Keeping the elbows in this position, pivot the arms at the
shoulders so that the weight is swung as far as possible causing the back to lose contact
with the bench. Do not arch the back. The barbell is then returned to the starting
position. Keep the elbows in.
IMPROVING PULL-UPS. For the person who has little trouble performing pull-ups,
but has reached a plateau and desires to improve, strap 10 to 20 pounds around the waist
with a belt or rope and do three sets of maximum repetitions.
SIT-UPS. The method of building a strong abdominal wall is the strengthen all four
abdominal muscles. It is reasonable to assume that a protruding abdomen indicates that
the abdominal muscles have been stretched. Therefore, we should choose abdominal
exercises to shorten as well as strengthen these muscles. Specific exercises are:
TRUNK CURL. Lie on the back with the hands resting on the front of the thighs,
elbows straight, chin tucked in. Raise the head, shoulders and upper back off the floor
while sliding hands down the thighs. The return is done by “uncurling.” This exercise
must be done slowly.
PELVIC TUCK. Lie on the back. Draw the knees up with the feet off the floor. Roll
from side to side with arms to sides for support.
REVERSE CURL. Lie on the back. Lift both knees toward the chest until the buttocks
are raised from the floor and return.
“V” SIT-UP. An advanced exercise done by raising the trunk and legs simultaneously
from lying flat on your back. Touch toes with fingers for each repetition.
In order to improve your running you must run, run, run. Running stresses many of the
major bodily systems. As these systems adjust to stress, they become more efficient,
capable and physiologically stronger. One such system is the circular-respiratory system.
Running forces the heart to pump blood throughout the body at a much faster pace than
what is necessary when the body is at rest. The blood carries much needed oxygen to the
body’s cells and washes away carbon dioxide and cellular waste products. The increased
stress on the heart causes it to grow in strength and ability to pump large quantities of
blood. All these changes result in increase circular-respiratory endurance.
The continuous motion of running strengthens the muscles of the trunk and legs and helps
control weight and maintain appearance.
Regular strenuous running is an effective way to control nervous tension and anxiety. A
hard run requires a great deal of effort and concentration, which takes the mind off of
Running which is rigorous enough to pump blood throughout the body aids in the
nourishment of body tissues by the circulatory system and aids in the proper regulation of
the body’s chemical makeup by stimulating the endocrine (glandular) system.
PROPER RUNNING FORM. Good running form is very important. The ideal form is
to have the head erect, the body leaning slightly forward with bending at the waist, and
the arms swinging loosely from front to rear in a relaxed manner. The hips should slowly
with each stride following the direction of the lead knee forward and upward. The feet
should land heels first, followed by the rest of the foot, as the center of the body weight
passes over the foot. The toes should always point straight ahead. Although the type of
run (sprint, uphill, jog, etc.) or individual build and style may require slight modification
of these general principles, certain rules should never be broken:
1) Carry the body in a relaxed fashion, loose and natural. Long and short striding causes
both unnatural fatigue and poor performance.
2) Breathe through the mouth and nose
Runnning should be frequent, with approximately three to five workouts a week for most
individuals. Too much running may lead to injuries, illness, and loss of interest. Too
little running will not help you improve.
HOW FAR? The key to success is to gauge your present ability and determine what you
would reasonably like to accomplish. A self-inventory of your running ability may be
made by looking at your last PFT three-mile run. If you ran slower than 26 minutes, you
should start a moderate running program of two to four miles three to five times a week.
If you ran between 20 and 26 minutes you may start with three to five miles four to six
times a week. If you ran less than 20 minutes, you’re a good runner and may train harder
(e.g. four to eight miles daily, up to six times a week). But keep in mind, these figures
are guidelines and do not apply to everyone equally. Also, the length and duration of a
run is only one of the training variables involved. Other important considerations
include: 1) how you feel when you start, 2) the environment you’re running in and 3) the
intensity (speed, pace) of the run.
TRAINING VARIATIONS. The following methods may be used to increase speed and
endurance and to decrease the time needed to recover.
Wind Sprints. These build speed and leg power. Distances should range from
30 to 50 yards. Start with 4-12 repetitions with at least 10 and no more than 30 seconds
between sprints. Effort should be high, but just under maximum in order to avoid injury.
Remember: “The aim is to train, not strain.”
Fartlek. This is a Swedish word meaning “speed play.” Usually preformed on a
path or trail, the runner varies his pace spontaneously by setting intermediate goals such
as running at three quarter speed to the top of a hill or sprinting to a target tree in a
meadow or running backwards to the next bend in the trail. This form of training
increases stamina and should cover a middle distance of one and a half to four miles. For
variety and additional conditioning, perform five repetitions of pushups, sit-ups, bends,
and thrusts every so often (from 3 to 12 sets on runs ranging from 20-45 minutes). This
program will develop your ability to recover quickly and keep going strong.
Interval Running. This is much the same as fartlek running except that the
variations in pace are preplanned and are usually run around a track or marked field.
This form of running is more complex and is done in sets. For example, on a field you
might walk 20 yards, jog 20 yards, run 40 yards at half speed and then sprint the last 20
yards of a 100 yard distance. Then you would turn around and start the next repetition of
a six repetition set. Or if a track is available, you might just run the straight-aways at
three quarter speed and jog the turns. Whatever your method, it should match up with
what you ultimately hope to be able to perform.
Speed. This is running at greater than 80 percent of your effort for a very short
period of time. This form of training will help you increase your speed and will also help
you to maintain moderate effort and good form over a long distance.
Resistance. The most popular forms of resistance running are up hills or across
sandy beaches. The distance should be kept short (60-70 yards) and the effort maintained
(50-80 percent of maximum). Four to eight repetitions make up the first set. As you
begin to develop power, work up to 12 repetitions.
Cross-Country. This run is laid out on a course over natural terrain including
fields, hills and woods. Comfortable distances range from 5-10 miles. Training should
be often (three to five times weekly), but remember that your body needs time to recover
following a peak effort. These runs strengthen leg muscles and develop circular-
Note: Every candidate should refer to the OCS website for further information regarding
physical fitness, especially for upper body strength for females. Contact the Officer
Selection Office for any additional information needed.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF PHYSICAL TRAINING
In addition to muscle soreness and stiffness, the person who exercises for fitness will
experience fatigue as a result of exertions. Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness that results
from prolonged or intense physical or mental activity. Fatigue is a regulator in that it
prevents us from damaging our body’s systems by overexertion. Fatigue may be
neuromuscular, organic, or mental.
Neuromuscular fatigue is indicated by cramps, heaviness in the limbs, and failure of the
muscular system to perform. It is temporary and normally not dangerous. Examples of
neuromuscular fatigue would be cramps in the stomach muscles when you’ve done just
about your maximum sit-ups or the heaviness felt in your legs at the end of a long run.
Organic fatigue is normally felt in the inner organs and is indicated by hyperventilation
(uncontrollably high rate of breathing), heat illness (the failure of the body’s cooling
system to maintain the normal temperature range), and nausea or other illness.
Mental fatigue may be brought on by nervousness, low morale, depression and lack of
rest. Energy is spent on worry and through muscle tension. Chronic mental fatigue
contributes to an inability to exert maximum physical effort.
Fatigue is natural. Everyone experiences it in one of its forms. It is important to be able
to recognize fatigue because unchecked fatigue will lead to exhaustion or collapse. An
example of exhaustion is the case of a runner who has gone far past the point of a good
maximum effort, is starting to experience severe muscular pain and inability to focus his
vision, nausea, a very high body temperature (104 degrees F or higher) and an
uncontrollable shortness of breath. If that person continues to run, one or more body
systems will fail and cause collapse.
SLEEP AND REST
Nature’s way of eliminating fatigue is through sleep and rest. Our need for sleep and rest
is obvious, and you should plan accordingly. The sleep is necessary in order for your
body to recover and build its reserves of energy for the following day. Even during OCS,
which may be the most demanding experience of you ever face, each candidate normally
is allotted a full eight hours of sleep. However, due to assigned essays, fire-watch,
inspection prep, and squaring away gear, candidates are lucky to sleep five hours each
night. It is important for candidates to be able to function and remain alert while their
bodies are adapting to the lack of sleep.
SAFETY POINTS FOR YOUR PHYSICAL TRAINING PROGRAM
1) To reduce the chance of injury and help promote a greater range of
stretching ability, familiarize yourself with, and utilize a good stretching
program. Calf stretches are vital to prevent stress fractures in the lower
2) Start at an easy pace and gradually build up. This will prevent injury and
build confidence as you become stronger and are able to cope with an
increase in demand.
3) Drink plenty of non-carbonated fluids to replace the vital balance of liquid
the body needs for proper functioning.
4) Wear good quality running shoes to prevent lower leg injuries that often
occur with a sudden increase in training. BASKETBALL HIGHTOPS
AND STREET SHOES ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR RUNNING.
5) If you train in combat boots, you must ensure they are properly broken in,
and have an adequate amount of tread on the soles. The boots must fit
properly in order to reduce the chances of blisters. IF YOU HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO TRAIN BOOTS PRIOR TO OCS, DO IT!
Toughening your feet will prove to be very advantageous. Blisters are a
big problem and are usually caused by a combination of new boots and
feet that are unaccustomed to wearing boots.
6) During summer months, lightly salt your chow in order to replace
electrolytes that you lose through sweating. Drinking water alone is not
enough as this will flush your system.
NOTE: This chapter covers some of the subjects that will be instructed during the first
three weeks of training. More detailed subject matter is available through your OSO.
Sections 1 - 7 are:
1) Leadership Traits / Leadership Principles
2) 11 General Orders
3) M16A2 Service Rifle General Knowledge and Safety Rules
4) Rank Structure
5) Intro to Leadership Evaluation
6) Uniformed Code of Military Justice
7) Mission and Organization
1) LEADERSHIP TRAITS / LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES
The mnemonic device for the Leadership Traits is: JJ DID TIE BUCKLE
COURAGE (PHYSICAL & MORAL)
1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement.
2. Be technically and tactically proficient.
3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
4. Make sound and timely decisions.
5. Set the example.
6. Know your men and look out for their welfare.
7. Keep your men informed.
8. Develop a sense of responsibility in your subordinates.
9. Ensure that the task is understood supervised and accomplished.
10. Train your men as a team.
11. Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities.
2) 11 GENERAL ORDERS
1. TO TAKE CHARGE OF THIS POST AND ALL GOVERNMENT PROPERTY
2. TO WALK MY POST IN A MILITARY MANNER, KEEPING ALWAYS ON
THE ALERT AND OBSERVING EVERYTHING THAT TAKES PLACE
WITHIN SIGHT OR HEARING.
3. TO REPORT ALL VIOLATIONS OF ORDERS I AM INSTRUCTED TO
4. TO REPEAT ALL CALLS FROM POSTS MORE DISTANT FROM THE
GUARDHOUSE THAN MY OWN.
5. TO QUIT MY POST ONLY WHEN PROPERLY RELIEVED.
6. TO RECEIVE, OBEY, AND PASS ON TO THE SENTRY WHO RELIEVES
ME ALL ORDERS FROM THE COMMANDING OFFICER, OFFICER OF
THE DAY, AND OFFICERS AND NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF
THE GUARD ONLY.
7. TO TALK TO NO ONE EXCEPT IN THE LINE OF DUTY.
8. TO SOUND THE ALARM IN CASE OF FIRE OR DISODER.
9. TO CALL THE CORPORAL OF THE GUARD IN ANY CASE NOT
COVERED BY INSTRUCTIONS.
10. TO SALUTE ALL OFFICERS AND ALL COLORS AND STANDARDS NOT
11. TO BE ESPECIALLY WATCHFUL AT NIGHT AND DURING THE TIME
FOR CHALLENGING, TO CHALLENGE ALL PERSONS ON OR NEAR MY
POST, AND TO ALLOW NO ONE TO PASS WITHOUT PROPER
3) M16A2 SERVICE RIFLE GENERAL KNOWLEDGE AND SAFETY RULES
Three Main Parts to the M16A2 Service Rifle
1) Upper Receiver
2) Lower Receiver
3) Bolt Carrier Group
1. Upper Receiver
4 2. Lower Receiver
3 3. Bolt Carrier Group
4. Charging Handle
Four Safety Rules for all Weapons Systems
Rule #1: Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
Rule #2: Never point your weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
Rule #3: Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to fire
Rule #4: Keep the weapon on safe until you intend to fire.
Four Weapons Conditions:
A weapon’s readiness is described by one of four conditions. The following steps in the
loading and unloading process take the rifle through four specific condition of readiness
for live fire.
Condition 1: Safety on, magazine inserted, round in chamber, bolt forward, ejection port
Condition 2: Does not apply to the M16A2 Service Rifle
Condition 3: Safety on, magazine inserted, chamber empty, bolt forward, ejection port
Condition 4: Safety on, magazine removed, chamber empty, bolt forward, ejection port
Cycle of Operation of the M16A2 Service Rifle:
Applicable Ranges of the M16A2 Service Rifle
Max Range: 3,534m
Max Effective Range:
Area Target: 800m
Point Target: 550m
4) RANK STRUCTURES
USMC ENLISTED RANKS
Pay Grade: E1 Pay Grade: E2 Pay Grade: E3
Private Private First Class
Pay Grade: E4 Pay Grade: E5 Pay Grade: E6
Sergeant Staff Sergeant
Pay Grade: E7 Pay Grade: E8 Pay Grade: E9
Gunnery Sergeant Master Sgt, First Sgt Master Gunnery Sgt Major
(GySgt) (Msgt) (1SG) Sgt (SgtMaj)
Pay Grade: E9
Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
Note: When a Marine reaches the rank of Gunnery Sergeant, they can go two different
paths. One path is to be promoted to First Sergeant then to Sergeant Major. In this role,
they will serve as the senior enlisted Marine in a given unit and advise the Commanding
Officer on issues involving junior Marines. The other path is to be promoted to Master
Sergeant and then to Master Gunnery Sergeant. In this role, they will serve as subject
matter experts and remain in their Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). Crossing
between paths is not allowed.
USMC WARRANT OFFICER RANKS
Pay Grade: W1 Pay Grade: W2 Pay Grade: W3
Warrant Officer 1 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Chief Warrant Officer 3
(WO) (CWO2) (CWO3)
Pay Grade: W4 Pay Grade: W5
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Chief Warrant Officer
USMC OFFICER RANKS
Pay Grade: O1 Pay Grade: O2 Pay Grade: O3
Second Lieutenant First Lieutenant Captain
(2nd Lt) (1st Lt) (Capt.)
Pay Grade: O4 Pay Grade: O5
Pay Grade: O6
Major Lieutenant Colonel (Col.)
(Maj.) (Lt. Col.)
Pay Grade: O7 Pay Grade: O8
Pay Grade: O9
Brigadier General Major General
(Brig. Gen.) (Maj. Gen.)
Pay Grade: O10
US NAVY ENLISTED RANKS
Pay Grade: E2 Pay Grade: E3 Pay Grade: E4
Seaman Apprentice Seaman Petty Officer Third Class
(SA) (SN) (PO3)
Pay Grade: E5 Pay Grade: E6 Pay Grade: E7
Petty Officer Second Class Petty Officer First Class Chief Petty Officer
(PO2) (PO1) (CPO)
Pay Grade: E9
Pay Grade: E8 Pay Grade: E9
Senior Chief Petty Officer Master Chief Petty Officer
Master Chief Petty
Pay Grade: E9
Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
US NAVY OFFICER RANKS
Pay Grade: O1 Pay Grade: O3
Pay Grade: O2
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Ensign (LTJG) Lieutenant
Pay Grade: O4 Pay Grade: O6
Pay Grade: O5
Lieutenant Commander (CAPT)
Pay Grade: O7 Pay Grade: O8 Pay Grade: O9
Rear Admiral Lower Half Rear Admiral Upper Half Vice Admiral
RADM (LH) RADM (UH) (VADM)
Pay Grade: O10 Pay Grade: O11
(ADM) Fleet Admiral
Chief of Naval Operations (Wartime only)
5) Intro to Leadership
Leadership: The sum of those qualities of intellect, human understanding and moral
character that enable a person to inspire and control a group of people successfully.
Chain of Command for a Rifle Company:
Company Commander – Captain
Platoon Commander – 2nd Lieutenant
Squad Leader – Sergeant
Fire Team Leader – Corporal
Candidate Billets at OCS:
Candidate Company Commander – Captain - The Candidate Company Commander is
the senior candidate in the company and is responsible for the internal functioning of the
Candidate Company Executive Officer – First Lieutenant - The Candidate Company
Executive Officer is second in command of the candidate company. The Candidate
Company Executive Officer is responsible to the Candidate Company Commander for
the internal functioning of the candidate company headquarters. Candidate Company
Executive Officers must keep themselves fully informed of all activities and be prepared
to assume the duties of the Candidate Company Commander.
Candidate Platoon Commander – Second Lieutenant - When assigned, the Candidate
Platoon Commander is the senior candidate in his/her platoon. He/She will exercise the
control and supervision necessary to effectively control subordinate leaders and ensure
the proper internal functioning of the platoon. Each Candidate Platoon Commander is
responsible to the Candidate Company Commander for the functioning of his/her platoon.
Candidate Company First Sergeant – The senior enlisted billet in the Candidate
Company. He/She is responsible to the Candidate Company Commander for the internal
functioning of the company, including the general conduct and appearance of the
company in the company area.
Candidate Company Gunnery Sergeant – The Candidate Company Gunnery Sergeant will
assist the Candidate Company First Sergeant
6) UNIFORM CODE OF MILITARY JUSTICE
1. The following are subject to the UCMJ:
a. Cadets, Midshipmen and OCS Candidates
b. Reserve Personnel on active duty
c. Retired Personnel either in pay status or hospitalized
d. Members of the Fleet Reserve or Marine Corps Reserve
e. All persons serving sentences of court martial
f. Coast Guard
g. Prisoners of War
h. All persons, in wartime, serving in the Armed Forces in the field.
i. Certain civilian personnel serving with, employed by, or accompanying
the Armed Forces overseas as provided in the Code
j. Members of the Regular Component of the Armed Forces
2. A person is subject to the code where/when:
a. On U.S. Government property
b. When performing duty off base
c. Depending on the status of forces and agreements with foreign countries,
host nation may have jurisdiction
3. The definitions of apprehension, arrest, confinement and restriction are:
a. Apprehension – retaining someone suspected of UCMJ violations
b. Arrest – confinement to quarters awaiting disciplinary action
c. Confinement – physically located in a correctional facility
d. Restriction – confined to live in a limited area
4. UCMJ articles and descriptions:
a. Article 31 – Privileges against self-incrimination
b. Article 86 – Unauthorized absence
c. Article 89 – Disrespect towards a superior officer
d. Article 91 – Insubordination toward an NCO
e. Article 92 – Failure to obey a lawful order/regulation
f. Article 134 – General Article – “Offenses which are prejudicial to the
good order and discipline”, for example: Drunkenness, Illegal use of
Vehicle, Impersonating an Officer, Possession of illegal drugs,
5. Rights of the accused under Article 31 of the UCMJ are:
a. No compulsory self- incrimination
b. No interrogation without being informed of the charges
c. No interrogation without rights explained
d. No statement or evidence obtained in violation of Article 31 may be used
e. No self – incrimination in regards to statement or evidence
7) MISSION AND ORGANIZATION
1. Four components of a Marine Air Ground Task Force Element are:
a. Command Element
b. Ground Combat Element
c. Air Combat Element
d. Combat Service Support Element
2. The mission of a Marine rifle platoon is to locate, close with, and destroy the
enemy by fire and maneuver, or to repel his assault by fire and close combat.
3. Location of Marine Divisions:
a. 1st Marine Division: Camp Pendleton, CA
b. 2nd Marine Division: Camp Lejeune, NC
c. 3rd Marine Division: Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan
d. 4th Marine Division: New Orleans, LA
TRAVEL TO OCS. Candidates should travel to OCS in appropriate civilian attire.
Males should wear a collared shirt and trousers with a belt. Female attire should be
conservative and comparable to the standards set for males (slacks are highly
recommended over skirts). Attire should be serviceable, but does not need to be new or
expensive, as candidates will be wearing it for several days until uniform issue. Wrinkle
resistant clothing highly recommended. Blue jeans, shorts and T-shirts are not
acceptable. Comfortable shoes are a must. It is highly recommended that candidates
bring a pair of broken-in running shoes.
REPORTING TO OCS. Candidates flying commercial air will normally arrive at
Reagan National Airport on Sunday. Candidates should be met at the airport by the
Marine Liaison Team. Candidates traveling via private automobile should arrive at
Quantico between 0800-1800 on Sunday. Report to OCS Headquarters, building 2189,
Brown Field MCCDC.
ITEMS REQUIRED AT CHECK-IN. Candidates will be given a ship folder with
copies of orders, medical records, travel itinerary, and other required documents. The
candidate will hold onto the ship folder at all times and will not put the ship folder into
checked luggage. See the packing list for further items required.
PICKUP. After three days of gear issue, admin in processing and medical, it is time to
meet your platoon staff, whose job it is to train, screen and evaluate you. Pickup is the
most stressful time at OCS. Immediately after you have been “picked up”, you will be
yelled at like no other time in your life. You will be called all sorts of names. Don’t take
any of it personally; it is just the staff’s way of getting you out of your comfort zone and
evaluating you under stress. It is extremely important to survive the initial shock if you
want to succeed. You will find yourself out on the parade deck with all of your “trash”
gear dumped on the ground and scattered everywhere. Try to keep your gear away from
other candidates’ gear so you don’t lose anything. If possible put all your gear in Ziploc
bags with your name on it. You will probably “pack and unpack” your gear about four
times during pickup. Study the “Do’s and Don’ts” Section and you will be fine. If
something unexpected or bad happens don’t lose your bearing and never let them see that
Your Friendly Instructors:
Don’t look scared!
Intensity = Success
LEAVE/LIBERTY. Candidates will be granted leave during training only for
emergency reasons. Red Cross verification of emergency condition is required for
granting of leave. Candidates will be afforded short weekend liberties. Family visitation
during liberty is permitted, however no visitors will be allowed during the training week.
Candidates will not have phone access during the week except for emergencies.
Candidates are afforded short weekend liberty opportunities. Although Candidates may
visit with family of friends while on weekend liberty, they are not permitted to receive
visitors during the workweek. Candidates will not have access to phones except on the
weekend or in emergency situations.
Candidates are authorized to wear appropriate civilian attire while on liberty. Appropriate
civilian attire is the same type of attire the Candidate wore while checking into OCS.
RELIGIOUS SERVICES. Religious services are held at OCS on the Sundays before
liberty is granted. After that time, Protestant and Catholic religious services are held in
the Marine Corps Memorial Chapel on Mainside.
THE O-COURSE ROPE
$350 ($300 for the small/large bag issue and $50 for haircuts and PX purchases)
2 pairs underwear
2 white undershirts
2 collared dress shirts – wrinkle free recommended
2 pairs dress slacks – wrinkle free recommended
1 belt (FEMALES: Only if slacks have belt loops)
1 pair dress shoes
1 pair of broken in running shoes (No more than 1 months old)
4-5 pairs running socks (all white no logos) www.thesockcompany.com
4-6 pairs boot socks (Thorlo Combat Boot Sock recommended)
1 durable watch (G-shock or Ironman)
1 hygiene kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shaving cream, etc)
1 pair of USMC boots (optional, must have eagle, globe, and anchor on side of
2 pocket-sized notepads
3 rolls 1 inch white athletic tape
2 sports bras (Females optional)
1 voided check (for setting up Direct Deposit)
20 1 gallon sliding lock Ziploc bags
20 1 quart sliding lock Ziploc bags
1 Magnum Sharpie permanent markers
4 Sharpie permanent markers
6 black pens “ink sticks”
1 pair thin glove liners (Fall & Winter Classes only)
Medicated foot powder
Red lens headlight (optional)
Current eyeglass prescription and civilian glasses if applicable. Do not wear
contact lenses to OCS.
Note: You can bring a cell phone and contact lenses; however you will only be
allowed to use these items during liberty.
DO’S AND DON’T’S OF OCS
Do speak in the third person – “This Candidate request permission to make a head call”
Don’t say I - “I request permission to make a head call”
Do address the staff by billet and rank – “Good morning Gunnery Sergeant, Candidate
Smith request permission to speak to Platoon Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant Erwin.”
Don’t say you – “Good morning you, I request permission to speak to you”.
Always speak to staff at the position of attention (POA), never at parade rest or at ease
Do salute all officers when covered (wearing 8 point cover), don’t salute officers in the
field or when in formation
When the staff says “ZERO!” yell “Freeze, Candidate, Freeze!” and don’t move.
Memorize the Basic Daily Routine (BDR) of your staff, this will make every day easier
Do be organized. Having a specific spot for everything and knowing where everything is
helps to alleviate the stress.
Do keep you foot locker and wall locker within regulations. The regulations are in your
Don’t ever lean against the bulkhead (wall) or racks (bed) or put your hands in your
Don’t eyeball your staff or the area.
Do memorize your rifle serial number and don’t ever leave your rifle unattended (the
sergeant instructors will steal your rifle and then you will have to get it back).
Do make sure that your weapon is always on safe and your ejection port cover is closed.
Don’t ever take your rifle in the head (bathroom) unless specifically instructed by your
Do sew your white nametapes on your blouse if they come loose, or the staff will rip
them off and you will have to re-sew the entire nametape.
Do make sure that your utilities (and all other items) are clearly marked so that you don’t
Do have your candidate regulations on your person at all times.
If assigned an essay, make sure that you complete and turn it in as soon as possible and
before the time hack given.
INTRO TO PUGIL STICKS
Aye Aye Sir – Required official acknowledgement of an order meaning I have received,
understand, and will carry out the order or instruction.
Yes Sir or No Sir - The response to a question, not to be confused with Aye Aye Sir.
As you were - Resume former activity.
Carry on - The order to resume previous activity.
Chit – A piece of paper. At OCS, a chit is documentation of something that you did
Field Day – Barracks cleanup
Gangway – Get out of the way!
Hatch – Door
Head - Restroom
Ladder – Stairs
Quarterdeck – Area between squadbays
Secure – To put away or to lock
Square Away - To organize or to make straighten
Starboard - Right side
Port – Left side
Deck – Floor
Bulkhead – Wall
Rack - Bed
Portholes – Windows or BCG’s
Survey - Turning in unserviceable items
Deuce Gear – 782 Gear
Taps – Time to sleep
Reveille – Time to wake up
BCG’s – military issue glasses
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
OFFICER SELECTION OFFICE – SAINT LOUIS
1222 Spruce Street, Suite 10.306
St. Louis, MO 63103-2817