Officer Candidate Course | Quantico

Officer Candidates School
“Forging Resilience”

As the echoes of week 1’s challenges fade into the past, week 2 heralds a new week of relentless training and unwavering commitment. This week marks a pivotal continuation of the rigorous journey toward becoming a Marine, where candidates dive deeper into the crucible of discipline and resilience.

Building Marine Officers at Quantico

Week 2 at Officer Candidates School is a crash course in Marine culture. Candidates are immersed in Marine Corps Leadership Principles and Traits (remembered with the acronym “JJ DID TIE BUCKLE”) – the 11 core principles and 14 essential Leadership Traits that define good Marines and effective leaders. They’ll also be introduced to proper customs and courtesies and delve into Marine Corps history, learning about significant events, battles, and prominent figures. It’s a packed week that lays the foundation for their transformation into Marine Corps officers.

Building Endurance in Hiking

Week 2 isn’t just about classrooms! It’s time to hit the field for an introduction to “rucking” – carrying a heavy rucksack (main pack) on challenging hikes. Candidates will learn efficient packing techniques before embarking on a 3-mile trek, a dual-purpose mission. This initial march not only familiarizes them with proper loaded foot march conduct but also establishes the baseline Marine Corps pace of 3.6 mph. Don’t underestimate the importance of rucking – it’s a skill that requires practice, just like shooting or combat maneuvers. Throughout OCS, expect to see a lot of “rucking, rucking, and then rucking some more” as they build the endurance needed for Marine Corps life.

Week 2 concludes with a flurry of activity: candidates integrate ongoing physical training, tackle an obstacle course to test their agility and reflexes and dive into their first exam covering the knowledge they’ve amassed so far. This demanding schedule underscores the intensity of Quantico – even after two weeks, your candidate might still be adjusting to the new environment and sleep routine.

Make Their Day: Send a Thoughtful Gift Card to Your Marine Candidate
Lastly, your candidate will head to the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) next week. The Exchange is a store on base where your recruit will be able to pick up any supplies that they may need.

Now might be a good time to send an MCX gift card to your recruit in your next letter. They’ll be able to get what they need without worrying about how to pay for it. Once you start writing, you’ll see the option to add a gift card.

I’ll see you next week with more insights and stories during this pivotal time for you and your candidate.

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt. Maj. Paul Davis