T Nation

Officer Candidate School

Just curious if anyone has any experience with officer candidate school in any of the branches. I am graduating from college soon with a degree in bio and psych. I had to work and took some time off while I was pursuing my degree so I am about two years older then most grads(24).

I am torn between finding some lame job that my degree could get or trying to go to grad school (maybe dental). I have always thought about ocs and loved all things related to the military. I like the discipline they demand. I like all things tactical but what guy doesn’t. I love training. It just seems like a lifestyle suited for me. But I know the life of an officer differs greatly from an enlistee.

Another conundrum of mine is my father. He owns a very successful business and has always stressed the importance of making money to me. And I know the military will never pay near as much as he would like to see me earning.

Anyways I am just curious if any of you have experience with it in any branch and what sort of jobs within the military you can get as an officer. I do not know if any sort of carry over exist with the sort of degree I will have.

With the corruption in the current government, I’d think long and hard before signing your life over to the military. According to Nobel Prize nominee Jim Garrows, who has numerous high-level military sources, Obama’s new litmus test for high-ranking officers is asking them whether they’d be willing to fire on American citizens (sounds bonkers, but go ahead and look it up). If possibly killing your own countrymen is the kind of “service” you had in mind, go sign up and get some.

If, on the other hand, you’re not a (1) psychopathic murderer, or (2) a brainwashed kid who buys the propaganda, or (3) some poor guy who desperately needs the money and benefits the military offers, then you might want to reconsider.

If you need help making the right decision, go read the speech “War is a Racket” by Smedley Butler–it was true back in the 1930s, and it’s even more true now.

I could not find a valid source for that litmus test of military ranking officials. But I did find this.

[quote]Travacolypse wrote:
With the corruption in the current government, I’d think long and hard before signing your life over to the military. According to Nobel Prize nominee Jim Garrows, who has numerous high-level military sources, Obama’s new litmus test for high-ranking officers is asking them whether they’d be willing to fire on American citizens (sounds bonkers, but go ahead and look it up). If possibly killing your own countrymen is the kind of “service” you had in mind, go sign up and get some.

If, on the other hand, you’re not a (1) psychopathic murderer, or (2) a brainwashed kid who buys the propaganda, or (3) some poor guy who desperately needs the money and benefits the military offers, then you might want to reconsider.

If you need help making the right decision, go read the speech “War is a Racket” by Smedley Butler–it was true back in the 1930s, and it’s even more true now.[/quote]

Im an enlisted guy, no fancy officer stuff when i was in.
I always saw them running around ft. Benning.

[quote]Travacolypse wrote:
If, on the other hand, you’re not a (1) psychopathic murderer, or (2) a brainwashed kid who buys the propaganda, or (3) some poor guy who desperately needs the money and benefits the military offers, then you might want to reconsider.
quote]

I am not any of the 3 people you mentioned above. However, I have been serving our country for the past 20 years. I was enlisted for 15 years, and then attended Army OCS in 2008.

A-Rod, if you want actual advice about the military from someone who has been doing it for 20 years instead of the inane ramblings of some “hey, check out this anti-Obama quote” guy, then let me know and we can have a real discussion on what might be best for you (even if it isn’t the military).

[quote]Travacolypse wrote:

If, on the other hand, you’re not a (1) psychopathic murderer, or (2) a brainwashed kid who buys the propaganda, or (3) some poor guy who desperately needs the money and benefits the military offers, then you might want to reconsider.
[/quote]

As a vet of the US Army (Enlisted/Infantry) and again as previously mentioned not a member of any of the groups listed above. Travacolypse your hasty generalization on a topic you clearly have little to no experience with lacks any sort of credibility. OP take everything with a grain of salt, especially from those lacking first hand experience. If you want a real opinion of what the military does have to offer, your best bet is to speak to a vet or active duty. Not some simplistic propaganda.

As an alumnus of the Fort Benning School for Boys, and a longtime student of military and political history, I second at least one of Travelocalypse’s recommendations. Find Smedley Butler’s book, and read up on the man himself, including his involvement in the Bonus Army, and the fascist plot to stage a military coup against Franklin Roosevelt that he was asked to lead, by Prescott Bush and others. It will give you an interesting insight into how the military can be wielded as a tool of corporate interests, and not always to fight for truth, justice, and the American Way.

Thanks Scott

That is why I made the thread. I genuinely am looking for information. The websites seem limited and youtube doesn’t help much. I was hesitant to start with a recruiter because I feel that it is their job to get you to sign up.

First and foremost I need to figure out which branch would be most Ideal for me. Obviously the USMC OCS like to publicly extol their role as the spear tip. The toughest and smartest of all the armed services.

Personally I am inclined to lean towards the AF. I have family enlisted and in Germany as a matter of fact and they have nothing but high praise for the AF. I feel they accept only the best candidates. I watched several videos of OCS or OTS of the various branches and I was most impressed with the AF and USMC. No offense to you but the individuals in the Navy and Army programs that were recorded did not look like soldier material. Maybe it was just the videos I saw but the programs did not seem as intense.

I guess some questions I have are:

  1. How competitive is it?
  2. Where would I stand as a college grad with a science degree gpa > 3.0 and I am very fit and in shape person?
  3. How do you figure out what your MOS would be as an officer?
  4. Is there a lot of potential for upward mobility? For instance how long does it take someone who is competent at their assignment to move up in rank?
  5. Do you prefer life as an officer or an enlisted? Any regrets?

Thanks for any input you can provide. Really appreciate it.

[quote]scott.ross810 wrote:

[quote]Travacolypse wrote:
If, on the other hand, you’re not a (1) psychopathic murderer, or (2) a brainwashed kid who buys the propaganda, or (3) some poor guy who desperately needs the money and benefits the military offers, then you might want to reconsider.
quote]

I am not any of the 3 people you mentioned above. However, I have been serving our country for the past 20 years. I was enlisted for 15 years, and then attended Army OCS in 2008.

A-Rod, if you want actual advice about the military from someone who has been doing it for 20 years instead of the inane ramblings of some “hey, check out this anti-Obama quote” guy, then let me know and we can have a real discussion on what might be best for you (even if it isn’t the military).[/quote]

Varqanir

Isn’t that a school for troubled young men? I would never have thought you the type to be sent.

I guess I could try to read Smedley Butler’s book. It is only 80 pages so it is a short read. But I would not expect to find anything new or totally foreign to me. I went through high school during the Bush administration right outside of DC. Everyday I was reminded how “we” were only in Iraq for the oil.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
As an alumnus of the Fort Benning School for Boys, and a longtime student of military and political history, I second at least one of Travelocalypse’s recommendations. Find Smedley Butler’s book, and read up on the man himself, including his involvement in the Bonus Army, and the fascist plot to stage a military coup against Franklin Roosevelt that he was asked to lead, by Prescott Bush and others. It will give you an interesting insight into how the military can be wielded as a tool of corporate interests, and not always to fight for truth, justice, and the American Way. [/quote]

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
As an alumnus of the Fort Benning School for Boys, and a longtime student of military and political history, I second at least one of Travelocalypse’s recommendations. Find Smedley Butler’s book, and read up on the man himself, including his involvement in the Bonus Army, and the fascist plot to stage a military coup against Franklin Roosevelt that he was asked to lead, by Prescott Bush and others. It will give you an interesting insight into how the military can be wielded as a tool of corporate interests, and not always to fight for truth, justice, and the American Way. [/quote]

Its tough to find any job that pays in this country that doesn’t serve “corporate interests.” Even Gonzo, counterculture icons like H.S.T. end up making money for big corporations when all is said and done.

[quote]A-rod wrote:
First and foremost I need to figure out which branch would be most Ideal for me. Obviously the USMC OCS like to publicly extol their role as the spear tip. The toughest and smartest of all the armed services.

Personally I am inclined to lean towards the AF. I have family enlisted and in Germany as a matter of fact and they have nothing but high praise for the AF. I feel they accept only the best candidates. I watched several videos of OCS or OTS of the various branches and I was most impressed with the AF and USMC. No offense to you but the individuals in the Navy and Army programs that were recorded did not look like soldier material. Maybe it was just the videos I saw but the programs did not seem as intense.

I guess some questions I have are:

  1. How competitive is it?
  2. Where would I stand as a college grad with a science degree gpa > 3.0 and I am very fit and in shape person?
  3. How do you figure out what your MOS would be as an officer?
  4. Is there a lot of potential for upward mobility? For instance how long does it take someone who is competent at their assignment to move up in rank?
  5. Do you prefer life as an officer or an enlisted? Any regrets?

Thanks for any input you can provide. Really appreciate it.
[/quote]

I honestly don’t know anything about the USMC, but their reputation is unbeatable. I very good friend of mine went to AF OTS, and she loved it. What it really comes down to is which branch of service will give you what you’re looking for. Something to consider is the military drawdown and shrinking of the budget.

To answer your specific questions:

  1. I’m not sure what you mean by competitive. Are you referring to the application process or the actual school itself?
  2. Being a college grad, you will first have to attend Basic Training. It’s 9 weeks of drill sergeants yelling at you (I should know, I used to be a drill sergeant), but you’re also learning the basics (how to shoot, march, dress, etc). And believe me, basic training will get you into shape. As far as your actual degree and GPA, that will only be relevant for the application.
  3. Your branch (officer-speak for MOS) is assigned by the Army. Each candidate is placed on an order of merit list (OML) based on GPA in the course. Those who are higher on the OML get first choice of branch. Just keep in mind that in the end, the Army makes the decision.
  4. You will commission as a Second Lieutenant (2LT). As long as you stay out of trouble, you will get promoted to First Lieutenant (1LT) after 18 months. Promotion to Captain takes place around the 3 1/2 year mark. Upward mobility is actually quite good, and it is possible to get promoted to Major in 10 years.
  5. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as enlisted/Non-commissioned officer (NCO). I did it for 15 years, and got to the point where I was starting to look at retirement. I wanted to set myself up for a good retirement, and getting commissioned was the right path for me. I had a great time being enlisted, and I am having a great time being an officer. I have absolutely no regrets.

Final thoughts (for now): joining the military is a choice that only YOU can make. Some will laud you for it, and some will call you a psychopath with homicidal tendencies. I am happy to provide you with any advice you want. I am willing to discuss my 20 years of experience and possibly help you with this decision. If you want to discuss this further, I can give you my email address. Either way, I wish you the best of luck.

[quote]Travacolypse wrote:
With the corruption in the current government, I’d think long and hard before signing your life over to the military. According to Nobel Prize nominee Jim Garrows, who has numerous high-level military sources, Obama’s new litmus test for high-ranking officers is asking them whether they’d be willing to fire on American citizens (sounds bonkers, but go ahead and look it up). If possibly killing your own countrymen is the kind of “service” you had in mind, go sign up and get some.

If, on the other hand, you’re not a (1) psychopathic murderer, or (2) a brainwashed kid who buys the propaganda, or (3) some poor guy who desperately needs the money and benefits the military offers, then you might want to reconsider.

If you need help making the right decision, go read the speech “War is a Racket” by Smedley Butler–it was true back in the 1930s, and it’s even more true now.[/quote]

The dumbest thing I’ve ever read on T-Nation.

[quote]A-rod wrote:
First and foremost I need to figure out which branch would be most Ideal for me. Obviously the USMC OCS like to publicly extol their role as the spear tip. The toughest and smartest of all the armed services.

Personally I am inclined to lean towards the AF.
[/quote]

Go for what you’re inclined to lean towards.

I’m an alumni of the USMC Officer training program (OCS and TBS) and it’s got to be something that you really want. There’s no glamor or benefits by becoming a Marine Officer and the Corps wants people who want to be Marines. Frankly, if you’re leaning towards the AF then you probably don’t want to be a Marine and won’t be happy.

james

[quote]atypical1 wrote:

[quote]A-rod wrote:
First and foremost I need to figure out which branch would be most Ideal for me. Obviously the USMC OCS like to publicly extol their role as the spear tip. The toughest and smartest of all the armed services.

Personally I am inclined to lean towards the AF.
[/quote]

Go for what you’re inclined to lean towards.

I’m an alumni of the USMC Officer training program (OCS and TBS) and it’s got to be something that you really want. There’s no glamor or benefits by becoming a Marine Officer and the Corps wants people who want to be Marines. Frankly, if you’re leaning towards the AF then you probably don’t want to be a Marine and won’t be happy.

james

[/quote]

I’m an enlisted guy, however, the above advise is spot on.

[quote]scott.ross810 wrote:
I honestly don’t know anything about the USMC, but their reputation is unbeatable. I very good friend of mine went to AF OTS, and she loved it. What it really comes down to is which branch of service will give you what you’re looking for. Something to consider is the military drawdown and shrinking of the budget.

To answer your specific questions:

  1. I’m not sure what you mean by competitive. Are you referring to the application process or the actual school itself?
  2. Being a college grad, you will first have to attend Basic Training. It’s 9 weeks of drill sergeants yelling at you (I should know, I used to be a drill sergeant), but you’re also learning the basics (how to shoot, march, dress, etc). And believe me, basic training will get you into shape. As far as your actual degree and GPA, that will only be relevant for the application.
  3. Your branch (officer-speak for MOS) is assigned by the Army. Each candidate is placed on an order of merit list (OML) based on GPA in the course. Those who are higher on the OML get first choice of branch. Just keep in mind that in the end, the Army makes the decision.
  4. You will commission as a Second Lieutenant (2LT). As long as you stay out of trouble, you will get promoted to First Lieutenant (1LT) after 18 months. Promotion to Captain takes place around the 3 1/2 year mark. Upward mobility is actually quite good, and it is possible to get promoted to Major in 10 years.
  5. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as enlisted/Non-commissioned officer (NCO). I did it for 15 years, and got to the point where I was starting to look at retirement. I wanted to set myself up for a good retirement, and getting commissioned was the right path for me. I had a great time being enlisted, and I am having a great time being an officer. I have absolutely no regrets.

Final thoughts (for now): joining the military is a choice that only YOU can make. Some will laud you for it, and some will call you a psychopath with homicidal tendencies. I am happy to provide you with any advice you want. I am willing to discuss my 20 years of experience and possibly help you with this decision. If you want to discuss this further, I can give you my email address. Either way, I wish you the best of luck.[/quote]

Not much I can add to this. I also went from enlisted to officer although I changed branches. I used the Army to pay for my college then became a Marine officer. No regrets at all.

Just more random thoughts based on your questions:

  1. Agree that we need more detail. It’s competitive as hell to get in (speaking only as a former Marine). Once inside it’s very competitive to get your desired MOS.

  2. USMC OCS is different than what is explained above. You go through 10 weeks of Officer Candidate School (because you’re a grad). This is like Boot Camp or Basic Training but there is a distinct emphasis on leadership and you’re rotated through leadership roles. You’re evaluated on how well you do. After this you attend six months of The Basic School where you learn tactics, weapons, military tradition, etc. From there you attend whatever MOS school you’re going to. You’ve got 8 months or so of schooling before you ever hit the fleet.

  3. Essentially the same for the Corps. They break the class into thirds and the top third of each third gets their first choice. This is called “quality spread”. Yes I’m bitter being in the top third but not in the top third of the top third (kidding…it all worked out well for me).

  4. Same but rank is somewhat dependent upon MOS and what billets you get.

james

Recap:
You are 24 years old, and undecided about what branch you may or may not aspire to join. You say you like all things tactical and enjoy training, but honestly how would you know?

Maybe becoming an officer in the United States military isn’t for you. I don’t see a whole lot of selflessness in your post. Each person on here who has responded KNEW what they wanted - and that is why I don’t see you as being too serious. You are fishing around on the internet to hear some cool stories or vignettes and maybe someone here will vie for your services in their particular branch. Do your own research (*ahem…this aint it), person who aspires to be an Officer in the Armed Forces.

Alas, you’re not a kid. Push your chips in the center of the table and decide what you want- who cares what your old man wants for you. Or, more likely walk away. We do not need indecisive and uncommitted Officers. Sound harsh? Am I a dick? I’m not a recruiter.

The Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force will do fine without you- as I don’t detect anything burning inside of you to be any one thing.

[quote]A-rod wrote:
Just curious if anyone has any experience with officer candidate school in any of the branches. I am graduating from college soon with a degree in bio and psych. I had to work and took some time off while I was pursuing my degree so I am about two years older then most grads(24).

I am torn between finding some lame job that my degree could get or trying to go to grad school (maybe dental). I have always thought about ocs and loved all things related to the military. I like the discipline they demand. I like all things tactical but what guy doesn’t. I love training. It just seems like a lifestyle suited for me. But I know the life of an officer differs greatly from an enlistee.

Another conundrum of mine is my father. He owns a very successful business and has always stressed the importance of making money to me. And I know the military will never pay near as much as he would like to see me earning.

Anyways I am just curious if any of you have experience with it in any branch and what sort of jobs within the military you can get as an officer. I do not know if any sort of carry over exist with the sort of degree I will have. [/quote]

This is a bit of a pricky answer, but don’t go into the military unless your goal is to kill people who threaten the USA or our allies.

I mean, take whatever path you want — all the branches have fantastic people — but that is the purpose of the military, and unless you are motivated to do that, don’t join. There are too many career people whose goal is career advancement, not country protecting.

[quote]thethirdruffian wrote:

[quote]A-rod wrote:
Just curious if anyone has any experience with officer candidate school in any of the branches. I am graduating from college soon with a degree in bio and psych. I had to work and took some time off while I was pursuing my degree so I am about two years older then most grads(24).

I am torn between finding some lame job that my degree could get or trying to go to grad school (maybe dental). I have always thought about ocs and loved all things related to the military. I like the discipline they demand. I like all things tactical but what guy doesn’t. I love training. It just seems like a lifestyle suited for me. But I know the life of an officer differs greatly from an enlistee.

Another conundrum of mine is my father. He owns a very successful business and has always stressed the importance of making money to me. And I know the military will never pay near as much as he would like to see me earning.

Anyways I am just curious if any of you have experience with it in any branch and what sort of jobs within the military you can get as an officer. I do not know if any sort of carry over exist with the sort of degree I will have. [/quote]

This is a bit of a pricky answer, but don’t go into the military unless your goal is to kill people who threaten the USA or our allies.

I mean, take whatever path you want — all the branches have fantastic people — but that is the purpose of the military, and unless you are motivated to do that, don’t join. There are too many career people whose goal is career advancement, not country protecting.[/quote]
AMEN!

Yeah, I’d stay out of it. Did my 6 years with a tour in Iraq. For the most part, and I know this is my experience, it was terrible. But I like to think for myself and that kind of attitude doesn’t float well in the Army.

But if you aren’t super Gung-ho, I’d choose the Navy or AF. Most civilian like of the branches. Not sure what your undergrad is in either. My buddy joined the Navy and they paid for his Med school which I think is a good deal and probably the only branch I’d want to go into if I had to do it over again.

[quote]Travacolypse wrote:
According to Nobel Prize nominee Jim Garrows, who has numerous high-level military sources, Obama’s new litmus test for high-ranking officers is asking them whether they’d be willing to fire on American citizens (sounds bonkers, but go ahead and look it up). If possibly killing your own countrymen is the kind of “service” you had in mind, go sign up and get some.
[/quote]

This is nothing new…I had to affirm same for a security post during naval service in 1982.