T Nation

Officer Candidate School

Honestly how would you know whether I know or not? I am not entirely unaffiliated with the military. My brother is a veteran although he was not an officer. My grandfather was as well as several other members of my family. None were officers though.

In regards to selflessness. I am sure every single person who ever enlisted or became an officer did it for entirely selfless reasons. I am sure we could get into a philosophical debate and I could argue that not a single person joined for truly selfless reasons because regardless of why people join all probably get some sort of personal satisfaction. They have some sort of personal non-selfless motivation for joining. Either way that is not really what I would want to discuss.

How many countless people enlisted because they felt they had no other options in regards to their future or just wanted the security of a steady paycheck or to run away from their current situation. I would rather have someone who knows totally and completely what they are getting into rather then someone who just as an idea based on movies or whatever else they might have seen elsewhere.

You cannot know what you want unless you are aware of all the opportunities and possibilities out there. I came here because I know there are several members of the armed services on this board and that I would likely find some good insight here.

My family is the most important thing to me. I could have left that part out but I wanted to show people where I was coming from. I care very much about my fathers opinion. He raised me kept a roof over my head and helped support me through college. His opinion is one I value over pretty much everyone elses.

Either way thanks for your post.

quote]DirtyM wrote:
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]

There is nothing wrong with serving 20 years in the military and then retiring and starting a business or corporate career. You make O-4 or O-5 and get a pretty nice retirement package for the rest of your life, without regard for whatever else you end up doing. You get to do and see a lot of stuff regular people don’t get to do, you have something to be proud of and at 44 you still have another 30 good years to have another career.

I was enlisted in the USMC and officer in USN. I would gladly take officer any day. USN OCS was a joke compared to USMC boot camp (of course my experience was 40 years ago). We affectionately called USN OCS ‘knife and fork school’, in reference to it teaching you table manners. It was basically to teach you to wear the uniform and who to salute and when. I choose the Navy because as an engineer they had a lot of machinery and technology to work with. I served on a destroyer for a year, then an aircraft carrier for a year and then became an Engineering Duty Officer, and spent the rest of my career administering contracts for repair of ships by private contractors. Along the way I spent almost 50% of my career in schools, classes and/or training of some kind.

My next rotation, if I hadn’t shattered my knee in an accident, would have been 3+ years in grad school. I know the navy had a program to send promising junior officers to med or dental school, with Uncle Sam paying all the bills. If I had to do it over again I would look closely at AF or CG. The AF has a lot more opportunities, except if you are not a pilot you are always a second class officer, with limited upward mobility. The CG is a lot like the navy with ships and going to sea, except you are also into law enforcement, which is another interesting side to it. Just some other things to consider.

You are right. Although I think the military has other goals asides from killing people. One thing that interested me was the role of the combat rescue officer in the AF. They are an elite group of people but that sort of role is really what attracted me.

[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]

Thanks for the response very informative. How are you doing these days now that your out?

[quote]dswithers wrote:
There is nothing wrong with serving 20 years in the military and then retiring and starting a business or corporate career. You make O-4 or O-5 and get a pretty nice retirement package for the rest of your life, without regard for whatever else you end up doing. You get to do and see a lot of stuff regular people don’t get to do, you have something to be proud of and at 44 you still have another 30 good years to have another career.

I was enlisted in the USMC and officer in USN. I would gladly take officer any day. USN OCS was a joke compared to USMC boot camp (of course my experience was 40 years ago). We affectionately called USN OCS ‘knife and fork school’, in reference to it teaching you table manners. It was basically to teach you to wear the uniform and who to salute and when. I choose the Navy because as an engineer they had a lot of machinery and technology to work with. I served on a destroyer for a year, then an aircraft carrier for a year and then became an Engineering Duty Officer, and spent the rest of my career administering contracts for repair of ships by private contractors. Along the way I spent almost 50% of my career in schools, classes and/or training of some kind.

My next rotation, if I hadn’t shattered my knee in an accident, would have been 3+ years in grad school. I know the navy had a program to send promising junior officers to med or dental school, with Uncle Sam paying all the bills. If I had to do it over again I would look closely at AF or CG. The AF has a lot more opportunities, except if you are not a pilot you are always a second class officer, with limited upward mobility. The CG is a lot like the navy with ships and going to sea, except you are also into law enforcement, which is another interesting side to it. Just some other things to consider.[/quote]

[quote]A-rod wrote:
You are right. Although I think the military has other goals asides from killing people.
[/quote]

Maybe, but they suck at them.

Been pulled out of lots of crappy places by zoomies and others. Hate to break it to you, but those guys flew in when we were fucked, reinforced us, helped us finish killing whomever the fuck we were fighting and then we all left. Probably day-to-day more killing than anyone else.

More to the point, all the rescue people are for is so the combat arms guys can fight and kill another day. So it’s part of the machine of killing. A rather important part, in fact.

I happen to be fine with legally killing bad people, so I think they’re just dandy.

In fact, at this point, I’d be fine with nuking every population center over 5,000 in Iraq, Afganistan, and Iran.

Either you are 100% on board with that, or stay the fuck away.

you have to be at least 6’ tall to be in the CG.

that way when your canoe tips over you can walk back to shore.

So I finally went to the recruiters office. Unfortunately the Air Force recruiter is on vacation so I spoke to the Navy recruiter instead. Well he sure was a breath of fresh air. I thought being in fantastic shape and having a decent gpa would give me a good base as a OTS/OCS candidate. Apparently not.

I did more research on my own and found conflicting information. One individual said if your gpa was not in the range of 3.8 and up that you did not have a great chance of acceptance. Another little fact I read was candidates applying three/four times and waiting years to get accepted.

With all the military cut backs I feel like the AF would be the branch I would least likely be accepted into. Especially with my non-tech degree. I know a retired army major so perhaps he could help me out.

I decided to make a list of goals to help give me the most competitive application.

  1. Try to get a recommendation from my congress men.
  2. Try to get a recommendation from my school president.
  3. Other recommendations from professor/miscellaneous (maybe a recommendation from that retired military major)
  4. Maintain 3.0 + GPA
  5. Volunteer/internship that would aide in improving my application.
  6. Continue to improve physical fitness.

It will certainly be difficult getting selected but I think I can make a competitive enough application by the time I graduate.

Please share what you all think. Any advice to make my application the most competitive would be appreciated.

ROTC. 2 years in ROTC and you become an officer in active duty.

[quote]A-rod wrote:
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).[/quote]

Why did you study those fields? What led you to them? What did you want to do with them?

There are lots of non-lame jobs in those fields, but you have to want them.

I’m not really talking about the “follow your passion” approach, but what you do actually want to be doing?