This blog documents my path from college student to Naval Flight Officer in the United States Marine Corps. It is my hope that others may find the information here helpful in their efforts to be Marines, Marine Officers, and Marine Aviators. No further updates will be published, though I may review comments from time to time.
We spoke to Caleb on Saturday night! Yay! He expressed again appreciation for your prayers and letters of encouragement! I said that sometimes I feel like I'm writing the same information. His answer, "That's ok, keep them coming!" Caleb is still sick. The crud has moved down into his chest. He keeps on going... has to. He described the Confidence Course and the Tarzan Course as FUN! "There is a technique and you just have to learn it!" There is still much to learn and accomplish! He is still operating on 3-4 hrs of sleep a night...
They had run another PFT that morning. He was very excited that he dropped a minute off his 3 mile run, but did one less pull up, and his normal 100 crunches.
Probably the news he was most excited about was another answered prayer. One of his buddies asked him to read the Bible with him, they agreed on a time and place. Not long after they started two more joined and others expressed interest. May God Bless them! "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord..."
How would you like to be under the eye of evaluation 24/7? That is what these candidates experience! EVERYTHING they do or do not do is jotted down, remembered or noted! Evaluations are not just from their staff instructors of various ranks, but they also have peer evaluations! Never a moment of privacy!
The evaluation breakdown is as follows:
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
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 12 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.
Lifestyle of a Candidate moving towards becoming a Marine Officer
This is pretty heavy stuff! I believe Caleb had a pretty good start to this lifestyle or he would not be at OCS today, he would not have been chosen to take the OCC. This course is very intense. He must prove himself in a few short weeks that he has what it takes to succeed!
Once again, thank you for your prayers. Please pray diligence in the following for Caleb today and the days to come.
He is still running, climbing over obstacles, climbing along and up ropes, trudging through the mud and water, planning and strategizing, sitting in classes, trying to stay alert and aware. He is being evaluated every minute of the day. Thank you for your diligent prayers.
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.
"Work hard, and you will be a leader; be lazy, and you will end up a slave." Proverbs 12:24 (CEV)
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. I Corinthians 9:24-25 NIV