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Receiving Mail at Marine OCS: What You Need to Know

What Mail at OCS Means to Your Candidate Mail at OCS is often the highlight …

A U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt., a sergeant instructor with Officer Candidate School (OCS), watches over his candidates as they listen to instructions on how to complete the Quigley at OCS, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Oct. 5, 2016. The mission of OCS is to educate and train officer candidates in Marine Corps knowledge and skills within a controlled, challenging, and chaotic environment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jacqueline A. Garcia)

What Mail at OCS Means to Your Candidate

Mail at OCS is often the highlight of the day. Many candidates enjoy receiving sports scores, newsletters, newspaper clippings, etc.: anything they would have normally kept up with at home. Family and friends are encouraged to share fun stories, summer adventures, or jokes as this keeps candidates grounded and affords a moment of escape from the stress of OCS.

This post originally appeared on the USMC OCS Blog, the #1 site for future Marine Officers.

Mail Procedures

Mail call is conducted at the end of the day. The platoon is gathered in the squad bay and mail is passed out. Each candidate will be called to the front for their mail. Here are some guidelines for sending mail to candidates at OCS.

mail at ocs

An example squad bay at OCS, this time during an inspection.


Any packages/large envelopes received will be opened in front of the Sergeant Instructors. Contraband items (food in particular) will be stored in the contraband locker and candidates will have access to these items on weekend liberty. It is advised to not send food to candidates. Failing to disclose the contents of a package or contraband to a Sergeant Instructor is an integrity violation. So, if you send anything to a candidate, make a packing slip of what is in the package. Candidates are allowed to receive religious material at any point in training.    


You’ll have one PX call (the equivalent of a convenience store) during the week. When I was in week two of the 10-week course, the Juniors/Seniors (1st increment) were at week three and heading into their major evaluations. Many important items were bought out at the PX because the Juniors/Seniors were buying extra. My platoon staff allowed Amazon Prime resupply during the week. I would recommend having your family set up an order for the second week of training. A few candidates needed new notebooks, socks, cough drops, etc. and had no way of getting it. This will also be true for the second increment Juniors/Seniors as the 10-week candidates will be at their major evaluations when the new candidates arrive. Because of this, many important resources were completely bought out at the OCS PX. Once you have weekend liberty and a better idea of the training cycle, this becomes less necessary. Family members, don’t send anything you don’t want the staff to see.    

Sandboxx Letters Save Your Candidate Time

Sending letters to OCS via a mobile app is one component of the veteran-run company Sandboxx. Using Sandboxx to send your candidate letters (with photos) saves them time, as the letters come with an addressed return envelope.

Check out Sandboxx here

Mail at OCS Address Format

Please note the following format. Failing to include all the correct identification could result in the letter being hung up in transit or returned.

Last, First, M., 8525
B Company, 1st Platoon OCS
2189 Elrod Avenue
QUANTICO VA 22134-5033

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