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  • Nervous about OCS

    Hey guys. I'm new to the forum and I'm very new to the Guard (I go to MEPS in a week and a half). I graduated college this past spring and so I'm planning on going in as an officer. My plan is to go to BCT in January and then I'll come back for a bit and go to OCS around June if the scheduling works out.

    The thing is though is that I've heard a lot of bad things about OCS, specifically that it's very physically challenging. I'm a female but I'm definitely not weak, I've played sports my whole life and I've played professional football for the past 4 years as a linebacker. It's just that me and running are not friends. I've never been fast or good at running. I'm just worried that I'm not going to be able to perform like I need to. Right now I can run a ~9 minute mile and I can run 2.5 miles in about 28 minutes. I've heard that they time you on runs anywhere from 2 miles to 5 miles, and that if you don't make it in the required time, they'll recycle you. I'm hoping that that will change after BCT and that running won't be much of an issue anymore. It also doesn't help that I'm a bit overweight.

    Another thing is how long the training is. BCT is 10 weeks, plus 12 weeks for federal OCS, plus another 11 to however many weeks for BOLC-B. Does it really seem that long while you're going through it? And when will I complete BOLC-B? Right after OCS or do I get some time off?

    I know I could talk to my recruiter about all of this but I would rather hear it from people that have been there before. Any help??

  • #2
    Re: Nervous about OCS

    BCT will improve your run and overall PT quite a bit, especially if you give it your all. I think with a couple months of good solid PT you'll be doing better you thought you could. I didn't attend federal myself, so I can't comment on the runs there, hopefully someone gives some good info on it. As far as BOLC, you will likely have some time between commissioning and BOLC. Most people seem to have a couple months where you'll be back at home and awaiting a school date.

    As far as how long it seems, quite often you'll be kept busy to the point where time will fly by. You may even get a break between BCT and OCS to go home for a bit... talk to your state's officer strength management shop and see how they do things.

    The best thing you can do is start running more, working out and eating healthy till you go. You have plenty of time to work up to it and if you keep a positive attitude and work at it instead of stressing you should be fine.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Nervous about OCS

      Originally posted by McB97 View Post
      I'm a female........and I've played professional football for the past 4 years as a linebacker.
      I want to talk about that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Nervous about OCS

        Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
        I want to talk about that.
        I play for a women's professional football team in Minnesota.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Nervous about OCS

          There are several types of OCS to attend:
          - 12 week Federal (which may not even be an option) which they run about a class every 6 weeks or so
          - 8 week National Guard accelerated OCS, ran either in the summer or a winter class in Alabama starting ~ Feb
          - Traditional OCS ran by the guard. Two week annual training followed by a year of drill weekends, then another two week AT.

          It would almost be impossible (IMO) as a Guard Person to get all your courses (Basic - OCS - Bolc) to run back to back to back,
          unless you really have someone helping you or you are going to a Unit to deploy. Even then it takes a lot of luck. Expect to go
          to Basic, then come back to your home state and start a Phase 0 program to get you familiar with the OCS game. Then you will
          attend one of the flavors mentioned above. If you have any doubts about PT and your OCS cadre see this in phase 0, you will
          more than likely (and probably should) attend the 3rd option.
          After OCS you will go to your Unit in the branch you have picked/been assigned and try and get set for a BOLC date. Check out
          this site for some OCS scoop and download the OC Guide: http://alguard.state.al.us/Careers/OCS/default.aspx


          If you have any further questions feel free to ask.

          2LT scj

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Nervous about OCS

            I've been told that if you're planning on doing federal OCS, then you need to go to MEPS with that plan because when you get your ship date for BCT then they'll set up your OCS date at the same time too. Is that true?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Nervous about OCS

              This is a question only your state OSM can answer. Some (most?) states will not even
              offer Federal OCS as an option. At best it is rare (assuming you are thinking about Army
              National Guard).

              I am curious, what is up with you and Federal OCS?

              2LT scj

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Nervous about OCS

                Originally posted by scjohnny View Post
                I am curious, what is up with you and Federal OCS?
                What do you mean?


                I went and talked to my recruiter again today to get all my paperwork squared away for MEPS and the local officer recruiter just happened to be in the office too. My recruiter recommended that I go through State OCS so that I can go back to school to get my masters at the same time. The officer recruiter didn't say there were any huge benefits either way I do it, but if I do want to do Federal then I need to get that set up at MEPS next week because it fills up so fast. She also said that I would only have a week or so between BCT and OCS if I go the federal route. She said it's very rare that they ever give you an extended break between them. State OCS doesn't start until next June and I'm planning on going to BCT in January, so it would work out perfectly.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Nervous about OCS

                  I didn't know if it was you pushing for Federal or your recruiter. It is just odd for me to see that as a commission source
                  for NG members.
                  (I caveat this by saying I am in Alabama and we run the only winter OCS in the NG - I don't think AL would send someone
                  to Federal OCS.)

                  Be advised that state OCS (Traditional) can be time consuming. I liken it to taking a 3 hour undergrad course timewise on
                  your 'easy' months. Any month that you have a book report, leadership or prep for a staff ride, it is like taking 6 hours of
                  college courses. Just keeping yourself tight on PT can take time.
                  I just finished up Traditional OCS and my wife is finishing her masters this December. We both have full time jobs. I could
                  not imagine doing both things at once.

                  This is just my opinion. YMMV

                  2LT scj

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Nervous about OCS

                    Originally posted by McB97 View Post
                    What do you mean?


                    I went and talked to my recruiter again today to get all my paperwork squared away for MEPS and the local officer recruiter just happened to be in the office too. My recruiter recommended that I go through State OCS so that I can go back to school to get my masters at the same time. The officer recruiter didn't say there were any huge benefits either way I do it, but if I do want to do Federal then I need to get that set up at MEPS next week because it fills up so fast. She also said that I would only have a week or so between BCT and OCS if I go the federal route. She said it's very rare that they ever give you an extended break between them. State OCS doesn't start until next June and I'm planning on going to BCT in January, so it would work out perfectly.
                    If I had to do everything all over again, I would have gone ROTC and SMP after going to BCT and AIT.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Nervous about OCS

                      Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
                      If I had to do everything all over again, I would have gone ROTC and SMP after going to BCT and AIT.
                      What's SMP? I'm not very familiar with all these terms yet.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Nervous about OCS

                        Originally posted by scjohnny View Post
                        Be advised that state OCS (Traditional) can be time consuming. I liken it to taking a 3 hour undergrad course timewise on
                        your 'easy' months. Any month that you have a book report, leadership or prep for a staff ride, it is like taking 6 hours of
                        college courses. Just keeping yourself tight on PT can take time.
                        Do you get a lot of homework with State OCS? And what can I expect as far as PT goes?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Nervous about OCS

                          Im still about 3 months out from BCT, then back in time for 1-2 months of drills before starting State Traditional OCS. So far to get ready I have been spending time talking to OCS grads here in state to get info, have been going to a crossfit gym/box 4 times a week and walking on "ruck" marches on 1 of the off days, and recently started studying field manuals.

                          I am pretty nervous too, but getting myself squared away mentally for the "mind games" is the only thing I really feel I have left I can controll. Otherwise I cant see what else I could be doing to get ready.

                          Any suggestions?

                          PaleoRanger

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Nervous about OCS

                            The homework questions and PT vary state to state. In NJ we did not get homework often, unless we screwed up. We had assigned reading (the killer angels) and reports that went a long with it...three or four i think. If you messed up you got a homework assignment. Written reports on leadership or similar. Also, there will be lots of extra cirricular activities you will be involved in outside. Planning this and that. We had to organize a charity run and our dining in. Also, with all activities you will have those who do nothing or the bare minimum or those who step up and contribute. We also had to pay class dues and fund raise.

                            PT was mandatory five days a week during the off time. We had to setup a google docs spreadsheet that the TACs would monitor. We had a class PT person who assigned three work outs and two were up to us. We had to record them within 24 hours of completion and our time of completion or how many reps, etc. We had a friday night crossfit workout, the same every friday, and it was for time. If you were fudging your weekday work outs it was aparent then, when they recorded your time. Progress and times were noted by TACs and logged then posted on a board for all to see. PT was friday at 1900, saturday around 0500, sunday around 0500 during drill weekends

                            During the off times those in leadership positions will be busy with accountability, OPORDS, assignments, etc. Writing the PT plan and OPORD, writing an OPORD for the upcoming training like ruck marches, etc.

                            Bottom line, you will be busy. I was really burned out at one point and in between leadership positions I shut off my phone for a week and read my email only during certain hours in the evening. It was a much needed break

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Nervous about OCS

                              Originally posted by paleoranger View Post
                              Im still about 3 months out from BCT, then back in time for 1-2 months of drills before starting State Traditional OCS. So far to get ready I have been spending time talking to OCS grads here in state to get info, have been going to a crossfit gym/box 4 times a week and walking on "ruck" marches on 1 of the off days, and recently started studying field manuals.

                              I am pretty nervous too, but getting myself squared away mentally for the "mind games" is the only thing I really feel I have left I can controll. Otherwise I cant see what else I could be doing to get ready.

                              Any suggestions?

                              PaleoRanger
                              If you've been in the army for any time at all and passed basic you have the academic fundamentals. They will be expanded on, but unless you have a land nav course nearby and all the tools/maps needed to do it, then there wont be much you can do. Memorize the 8 TLP's and the five paragraph OPORD and you have the bare minimum to pass. The academics arent all that difficult. Academically most fail on the Land Nav practical or the map reading test. Nobody in my class failed afterwards for academic reasons

                              On top of that, PT PT PT. Youre gonna have the living **** smoked out of you a few times no matter how in shape you are, but the more the better. Be able to make a descision (wrong or right), execute a plan with the TLPs and OPORD, keep your mouth shut and follow other times, and be in shape

                              Comment

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