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  • OCS - Weekly/Monthly Workload

    I've seen a few posts that mention that being an officer and also OCS typically take up a lot more time than one weekend a month etc... Can anyone elaborate on the actual of extra time they are putting in each month? From what I can gather, it is not uncommon to report early on Fridays but what else should I expect? Book work, events to attend?? Other?

    Thanks to all who answer. I'm trying to get a feel for everything and make sure I can balance everything timewise. I'd rather have a better idea now than after the fact.

  • #2
    Re: OCS - Weekly/Monthly Workload

    Originally posted by Peter Griffin View Post
    I've seen a few posts that mention that being an officer and also OCS typically take up a lot more time than one weekend a month etc... Can anyone elaborate on the actual of extra time they are putting in each month? From what I can gather, it is not uncommon to report early on Fridays but what else should I expect? Book work, events to attend?? Other?

    Thanks to all who answer. I'm trying to get a feel for everything and make sure I can balance everything timewise. I'd rather have a better idea now than after the fact.
    Being an officer involves more than just simply showing up to drill. However, if you manage your time correctly, it's definitely do-able.

    Your workload really comes down to your role. If you are the company commander, you will need to dedicate more time than a platoon leader. These positions will change over your career.

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    • #3
      Re: OCS - Weekly/Monthly Workload

      As an officer, you'll be involved in planning training for drill weekends. As long as you don't wait until the week before drill to do everything, its really not that bad.

      During OCS, you'll mostly want to make sure you stay physically fit between drill weekends, along with reading ahead on classes/exams coming up in the next drill weekend. If you're in leadership for the drill weekend, you will have more work to do between drills, though. You might have training to plan, memo's to write, etc. It's still doable as long as you don't procrastinate.

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      • #4
        Re: OCS - Weekly/Monthly Workload

        From my own experience and what I have seen there is extra work involved, but every unit is different and OCS will be different than your commissioned unit.

        In OCS we had to spend personal time studying studying throughout the month with some difficult tests requiring more study time than others. There was a lot of prepping for the next drill and we were required to have a 10 day out meeting for leadership. Overall it wasn't too bad, but it helped prepare for being a commissioned officer.

        Once commissioning it does become more, sometimes much more. My unit has a 10 day out meeting held in the evenings and then we are expected to be to the drill hall at least an hour before drill starts, but I often try for earlier. Most officers usually stay for a while after drill ends to wrap up paperwork and talk with their chain of command on issues or questions that came up during the drill. I speak with my NCOIC several times a week on soldier issues, paperwork and drill prep items. My unit is pretty low maintenance though and I may be in the minority. Some of the others that I graduated OCS with have several meetings throughout the month and each lasts a few hours. Those seem to be on the other end of the extreme and they require a great deal of personal time.

        Overall, it is unit dependant on how much work there is between drills, but I haven't met an officer yet that doesn't have something to do between drills. There are reviews of your soldiers that have to be done, planning drill activities for your platoon (if your a PL) or for your section and this takes coordination with other platoons or units as well as with your NCOIC and others in your chain of command. All of this can be time consuming, but the rewards (personal and professional) can be huge if you commit to it and do your best. Its a great feeling when a drill weekend goes how you planned and everyone comes away feeling like they learned something and accomplished something during the weekend.

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        • #5
          Re: OCS - Weekly/Monthly Workload

          I think the poster was generally more focused on the workload during Traditional OCS. Answer is it depends.

          I'll reiterate what others have said. If you're just a joe that month, keep up physically and study your class materials. Show up, help out where you can, and don't be a dweeb.

          If you're in leadership that month, do the above but ALSO depending on position, you'll have to prioritize your time especially if you work or go to school full time as well. It can be challenging for some but many before you have done it and are doing it as we speak. This inlcudes writing orders, memos, coordination, conducting meetings, constant accountability, etc. Some months are better than others depending on how long you have between drills.

          I defer to those who've successfully made it all the way through, but I have gathered that time-wise it doesn't get any easier once you commission. The one upside is that at least you'll be out of the "firing line" of TACs. You have to experience that to understand!

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          • #6
            Re: OCS - Weekly/Monthly Workload

            Originally posted by Portree228 View Post
            From my own experience and what I have seen there is extra work involved, but every unit is different and OCS will be different than your commissioned unit.

            In OCS we had to spend personal time studying studying throughout the month with some difficult tests requiring more study time than others. There was a lot of prepping for the next drill and we were required to have a 10 day out meeting for leadership. Overall it wasn't too bad, but it helped prepare for being a commissioned officer.

            Once commissioning it does become more, sometimes much more. My unit has a 10 day out meeting held in the evenings and then we are expected to be to the drill hall at least an hour before drill starts, but I often try for earlier. Most officers usually stay for a while after drill ends to wrap up paperwork and talk with their chain of command on issues or questions that came up during the drill. I speak with my NCOIC several times a week on soldier issues, paperwork and drill prep items. My unit is pretty low maintenance though and I may be in the minority. Some of the others that I graduated OCS with have several meetings throughout the month and each lasts a few hours. Those seem to be on the other end of the extreme and they require a great deal of personal time.

            Overall, it is unit dependant on how much work there is between drills, but I haven't met an officer yet that doesn't have something to do between drills. There are reviews of your soldiers that have to be done, planning drill activities for your platoon (if your a PL) or for your section and this takes coordination with other platoons or units as well as with your NCOIC and others in your chain of command. All of this can be time consuming, but the rewards (personal and professional) can be huge if you commit to it and do your best. Its a great feeling when a drill weekend goes how you planned and everyone comes away feeling like they learned something and accomplished something during the weekend.
            That's probably excessive and unnecessary. If your Chain of Command doesn't have an overabundance of retards, you can probably take care of business inside 1 hour.

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            • #7
              Re: OCS - Weekly/Monthly Workload

              Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
              That's probably excessive and unnecessary. If your Chain of Command doesn't have an overabundance of retards, you can probably take care of business inside 1 hour.
              I totally agree. My unit is very on the ball, as are most that I have heard of. But there are a couple that have long meetings or a few extra meetings a month.

              Also, when I was talking about studying for OCS during the month, I meant between drills just to clarify. If your in leadership there is more to do to get ready for drill like make sure supplies are taken care of, meals ordered, vans reserved if your going somewhere and other personnel functions. Cadre may call a few times to see if your tracking tasks and help you think of things that you may not have considered. But depending on your class size you may only be in leadership a couple of times. The rest of the time your a "Joe" like eqmcclure stated.

              In the end, it realistically isn't just the one weekend a month. There are always tasks that need to be taken care of, paperwork that needs done, OPORDS and FRAGOS to be written and a hundred other little (or not so little) tasks. It is totally manageable, but it isn't like you can leave drill and leave it all completely behind until the start of the next drill. There is a lot of responsibility.

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              • #8
                Re: OCS - Weekly/Monthly Workload

                Thanks everyone! Based on what everyone is saying, it seems manageable and reasonable so I think I'll be ok in getting it all taken care of. I was just concerned because we have a baby at home, wife is back at school etc....so time is hard to come by these days. It will all work itself out though and I'm looking forward to joining soon.

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