Advice for USMC OCS Female Candidates

Carl | August 15, 2012 

Candidate Allison shares her advice, having completed OCS last year.

I just graduated in the summer form OCS as a female. And I left with a fractured foot after graduation. Luckily I was PLC so it didn’t mess with my TBS date and I was thankful that I didn’t have to repeat OCS. The 12-mile hike was what caused a stress fracture. It was extremely hot and I knew I was dehydrated from about mile 3 to the end. If you get the chance to drink gatorade at night and on the weekends, do it. I had plenty of water, my sweat was water – no salt. A 5-mile run a couple days after the hike turned my stress fracture into a full blown fracture.

In my platoon females went to medical all the damn time. For aches and pains if I really had to guess. I know that some used medical as a “shameless” ticket home. If you don’t display the leadership qualities they are looking for, you go home. If you can’t climb a rope, you go home. If you can’t climb a rope and are failing every other event, you go home on board #1.

So words of advice to females:
1. Unless you think you’ve got a broken bone and you can’t walk around or hold your weapon without excruciating pain, don’t go to medical. Everyday you will wake up with aches and pains. a Corpsman will be in the front of your squad bay to take injured/sick candidates to medical. It’s tempting. I would be lying if I didn’t think about going to medical for aches and pains.

2. Drink gatorade/powerade at every possible opportunity. Don’t get soda and beer on the weekends, or if you do, have one and drink plenty of water and gatorade, especially on Sunday for at least 2 hours before liberty ends. PT on mondays after liberty are generally some of the most challenging, and thats not an accident. We had more heat casualties on Mondays after liberty than any other days.

3. Don’t take things personal. Try to avoid typical female mindset of forming cliques and talking trash about someone- EVEN IF YOU KNOW THAT CANDIDATE IS GARBAGE. There will be nasty-suck-at-life candidates, but that’s not your job to determine that. You can and should go to those candidates and help them, let them know where they need to improve and ask if you can help them. If it’s physical stuff, we had a pull up bar and a rope outside of our squadbay, but don’t forget that rest is an equally important aspect to getting stronger.

4. Female SI’s are the worst. Our entire company agreed that one of our SI’s was the worst. She was in our faces from day 1 to family day. We dreaded every day she was on duty and we knew that every night she was on duty we would be dumping our footlockers, stripping our racks, removing name tapes, and cleaning until 5 minutes to 2100, and that firewatch would have extra tasks for the night, and we would all be up at 0300 putting the squadbay back together.

5. Be a leader, not a SI. If you get a billet, be loud, be assertive, but don’t call people out and be little them. You’re not a SI you’re a leader. You need to make sure your squad, platoon, etc, is doing whats necessary, but you don’t need to scream at them and call them names.

6. Don’t leave hair in the head. Especially at 0445 when firewatch has to clean it up.

Learn More at Officer Candidate School

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