Platoon Leaders Course Jr. | Quantico

Officer Candidates School
“Testing Time”

As the third week unfolds at OCS, your candidate stands on the threshold of breakthrough and adaptation in their transformative journey. Week three is a pivotal period during which candidates begin to acclimate to the environment, stress, and expectations of OCS, marking a significant turning point in their Marine Corps experience.


Week 3 introduces candidates to the Leadership Reaction Course (LRC), a challenging scenario in which they lead a fire team (four candidates) through a series of physical and mental obstacles. OCS staff and peers will assess their ability to make quick decisions, communicate effectively, and adapt plans under pressure. This is just one example of the leadership exercises that account for 50% of their overall grade.

Pushing Limits In Training

Following the Leadership Reaction Course (LRC), Officer Candidates School throws another test at your candidate: the obstacle course. This physically demanding timed event pushes them to their limits as they navigate a series of challenging obstacles. There’s no time to rest – they’ll head straight back to the classroom for Exam 2, ensuring their knowledge stays sharp and they retain the critical information covered so far. This relentless schedule is a testament to the high standards expected of future Marine Corps Officers.

Sharpening Leadership and Precision

Week 3 at Officer Candidates School is all about refining leadership skills and mastering the basics. Candidates will build upon their initial Leadership Reaction Course experience with LRC II, further honing their ability to lead a fire team through challenging scenarios. Additionally, they’ll return to close-order drill, meticulously practicing movements to ensure flawless precision and uniformity. This focus on both leadership development and core Marine Corps discipline lays a solid foundation for the challenges ahead.

Thanks for reading along for week three. 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