Officer Candidate Course | Quantico

Paul here with your week 5 update for Officer Candidates School.

Starting off week 5, to ensure candidates are retaining all that they are learning, they’ll begin the week with their Exam 3. 

Next, candidates will be immersed in Land Navigation classes. They will be taught how to use a Lensatic Compass, how to read maps and identify man-made vs natural terrain features, plot points on a map, estimate ranges, and more. The goal is to ensure that candidates acquire the tactical skills required for execution during leadership evaluation events. They’ll go through a compass course and put what they’ve learned to the test in a day and night scenario in the upcoming weeks.

Candidates will also be introduced to terrain models this week. A terrain model is a visual tool to help Marines understand an operation’s order. A few weeks ago, your candidate learned the importance of creating and issuing a clear and concise order that their Marines can understand; terrain models help to reinforce the order so that Marines know exactly what to do. Now, candidates will learn about terrain models this week and their importance, but they’ll dive more deeply into them when they go to The Basic School (TBS) after graduation.

To wrap up week 5 your candidate will learn about fire team operations and take their final Physical Fitness Test (PFT.) The PFT measures their core stability, strength, and endurance while reducing risk of injury. It includes 3 parts: pull-ups or push-ups, plank pose, and a 3-mile timed run. The Marine Corps uses physical fitness as a means of preparing Marines to withstand the rigors of combat.

Your candidate will likely be pretty exhausted from this week’s physical activities. In your letter this week, be sure to ask them how their feet are fairing from their boots.

I’ll be back next week with intel on week 6.

Semper Fidelis,
Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Paul Davis