Platoon Leaders Course Sr. | Quantico

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.

Close-order Drill and Academic Classes

Candidates will start focusing on close-order drill, academic classes, and rigorous physical training. Each step in a close-order drill is meticulously taught, demanding precision and teamwork as recruits march in synchronized formations.

Drill fosters discipline and lays the foundation for military bearing. Meanwhile, academic classes center on Marine Corps history, ethics, and core values, while relentless physical training pushes recruits to their limits, building the strength and stamina needed to earn the title of Marine.

The Purpose of Close-order Drill

  • To move a unit from one place to another in a standard, orderly manner.
  • To provide simple formations from which combat formations may be readily assumed.
  • To teach discipline to the troops by instilling automatic responses to orders. To increase the confidence of the commander, by giving the proper commands and the control of drilling troops.
  • To give Marines an opportunity to handle individual weapons.

Candidates are immersed in Marine Corps Leadership Principles and Traits (remembered with the acronym “JJ DID TIE BUCKLE”) – the 11 core principles and 14 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

Week 2 concludes with a flurry of activity: to ensure candidates retain all they are learning, they’ll end the week with Exam 1. Then, candidates will kick off the Basic Reaction Course (BRC). The BRC is an event where Candidates are briefed on a situation, given a mission, and then expected to formulate a plan and execute it. This is an essential building block in developing tactical leadership. 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.

Then, Candidates will the Leadership Reaction Course II (LRC). The LRC evaluates a candidate’s ability to lead a fire team in a controlled environment. A fire team is made up of four candidates who will each have the opportunity to lead the team through a new scenario with unique obstacles, both physical and mental.

Candidates are then evaluated by an OCS staff member for the duration of their actions as a fire team leader. When your candidate is the team lead, they will be evaluated by an OCS staff member on qualities such as their ability to make a quick decision, communicate that to their team, and then adapt the plan as they need to overcome obstacles. Not only will your candidate be evaluated by an OCS staff member, but at the end, they will receive an evaluation from their peers. Your candidate will continue to be assessed in a variety of leadership exercises throughout training, accounting for 50% of the overall grade.

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.

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