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What candidates can expect


Firmness: All Candidates are required to meet Marine Corps standards. Candidates can also expect to be held accountable for their actions.

Fair Evaluation: The evaluation will be both mentally and physically challenging. Each candidate is provided every opportunity to prove their potential, because OCS wants candidates to succeed.

Respect: Every Candidate is treated with respect because each candidate has volunteered to come to OCS. The acceptance of the challenge to prove themselves as leaders is the first step in earning their commission as Second Lieutenants of Marines.


What it takes to succeed



  • A belief in oneself.
  • The candidate must understand why he/she is at OCS.
  • The candidate must remain dedicated to giving a maximum effort despite his/her shortcomings and failures and continue to display our Corps' virtues of honor, courage, and commitment. 


  • Integrity - honesty and truthfulness in all actions.
  • Morally and ethically beyond reproach.
  • Professional control of emotions; an ability to remain calm and composed under pressure. 
  • Mentally agile and an inquisitive learner.

Physical / Mental Courage

  • To embrace adversity and confront the unknown and successfully overcome them.
  • To challenge one's physical and mental capabilities to the fullest and continue forward to accomplish the mission despite fatigue and stress.
  • To display a balanced physical and mental courage that translates into a disciplined warrior ethos.

Teamwork / Unselfishness

  • Understand that the candidate is part of a team, something bigger than oneself.
  • Understand that the success and contributions of a candidate are for the unit, our Marine Corps, and well-being of one's fellow candidates.
  • Placing the needs of the team before his/her own.


  • To bounce back from failure or adversity.
  • To incorporate constructive criticism and move forward with renewed vigor.



The Candidate evaluations breakdown as followed:

50% Leadership

The leadership grade is based on practical application events and staff observation. Evaluations are based on command presence, communication skills, decision making, and leading subordinates. Leadership is evaluated using the following events and opportunities:

  • Command Evaluations I and II
  • Leadership Reaction Course I and II
  • Small Unit Leadership Evaluation I and II

25% Academics

The General Military Subjects taught to Officer Candidates provides basic information to include Marine Corps History, Tactics, Operations and Organization, Land Navigation and other military subjects. Officer Candidates are evaluated on this material through written exams and practical application.

25% Physical Fitness

The physical training program at OCS has been designed to teach, then test and evaluate, a very high level of physical fitness in a minimum amount of time. It is built on the principles which will test physical courage, will-power and determination, while preparing you for the rigors of future Marine Corps duty. The physical aspects of OCS are designed to test an individual's general strength and endurance under varying field and tactical conditions. You will find these aspects challenging and demanding.

  • FBDs:  Functional Body Development Course
  • Run Circuit:  A circular course in the immediate OCS area consisting of many exercise stations designed to build endurance and overall body strength.
  • Fartlek Course:  A 3 to 4-mile trail, consisting of 8 to 11 exercise stations, designed to build endurance.
  • Obstacle Course:  A 100-meter long series of obstacles that must be negotiated in a prescribed amount of time.
  • Confidence & Tarzan Courses:  A series of high obstacles created to build an individuals self-confidence while teaching military skills.
  • Conditioning Hikes:  These range from 4 to 9.3 miles with combat gear.
  • Pugil Sticks: Simulates close combat fighting.
  • Combat Course:  This is a 1.5-mile course which simulates a combat environment by stressing all around security and noise discipline while negotiating a series of obstacles.
  • Endurance Course:  A 2.5-mile course testing a candidate's physical endurance and ability to cross and negotiate various obstacles.
  • Combat Fitness Test:  Consists of physical events that stress fitness components comparable to those that would likely be encountered in combat situations.