Officer Candidate Course | Quantico

Officer Candidates School
“Testing Time”

Week 4 is filled with challenges and determination. The first few weeks have only laid the groundwork for your candidate’s journey. Now, they’re ready to tackle the next exciting chapter on their path to becoming Marines.

Close Order Drill & Marine Corps History

Starting in week 3, candidates will focus on more close-order drill, History classes one, two, and three, and rigorous physical training. Each step in a close-order drill is meticulously taught, demanding precision and teamwork as candidates march in synchronized formations.

Leadership Tested: LRC 2 with Aquatic Challenges

Later in the week, Officer Candidates School pushes leadership skills to the next level. Candidates will return to the Leadership Reaction Course (LRC) with LRC 2. This iteration ups the ante by incorporating challenging water obstacles. The ability to effectively lead a fire team through these new complexities will be a key evaluation point. This focus on adapting leadership under pressure strengthens their ability to make quick decisions and guide their team through diverse situations, a crucial skill for any future Marine Corps Officer.

Building Endurance in Hiking

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.

Building Tactical Proficiency: The Fire and Movement Course

This week, Officer Candidates School focuses on building foundational tactical skills crucial for future success.

The Fire and Movement Course serves as a critical introduction to:

Tactical Obstacle Negotiation
Candidates will learn how to effectively navigate obstacles while maintaining combat effectiveness.

Cover and Movement
They’ll master techniques for utilizing cover and concealment to minimize exposure to enemy fire while advancing.

Fire and Movement
Integrating coordinated movement with accurate rifle fire is a core skill, and this course will provide a solid foundation.

This training ensures candidates acquire the essential technical and tactical skills needed to conquer the demanding Fire Team Assault Course later in training. The Fire and Movement Course is a stepping stone, preparing them for the complexities of battlefield maneuvers.

Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from your candidate right away this weekend during their first liberty evaluation period; they are probably studying for their next test.

As you can tell, your candidate’s week is filled with a lot of physical activity. This is to help prepare them for the continued physical demands that will be expected of them throughout the rest of training. In your letter this week, ask your candidate what they learned from executing the LRC and Fire Movement Crs. Remind them to rest, recover, and STUDY during their first liberty period this weekend.

Thanks for reading along for week four. 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