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  • SC National Guard OCS

    I recently spoke to a recruiter and have been cross referencing what he said compared to what is on this forum. Background, I am a prior service Marine with 8 yrs active as an infantry rifleman. I got out and acquired a Bachelors and work as a firefighter for the City of Charleston and have a lot of free time and have always wanted to get a commission and be an infantry plt cmdr. The recruiter stated it was as simple as filling out the paperwork, passing the APFT, passing stated APFT with 60's in all categories, and going to drill as a OCS candidate until OCS started then doing my two week phase, then one weekend a month for 18 months then two weeks again. And lastly, he stated that while drilling as a candidate waiting for OCS I would drill with a unit that was inline with what MOS branch I wanted after OCS. This would allow the unit to get to know me and I would likely be able to branch into what I wanted
    Most of this is inline with what I have seen on the forum, but this process as stated by the recruiter sounds to easy. First and foremost I can't believe that someone is allowed to attend OCS with a 180 total PFT. In the Corps you would be put on remedial PT for a score like that. Secondly, he stated I didn't need any recommendation letters. Third, I asked him if I would need to have my mom bring my footlocker with all my FITREP's down when she visited the kids next month and he stated he didn't need FITREP's, how does the Army know if I wasn't a complete turd while active (I wasn't but for curiosities sake)?
    The only thing that he stated that sounded legit was the fact he said that the OCS candidates get beat down pretty much 24/7 when they are drilling. Thanks for any feedback that you have and before the statement is said use the search button I have and the first discrepancy I found was a guy said he wasn't accepted after contracting 09s at a board, the recruiter said it was a simple as signing at MEPS which is it. Most other reports seem to go along with what the recruiter said minus the PFT nonsense....... It just seems to good to be true in a lot of ways.
    Last edited by gunn317; July 24th, 2013, 06:25 PM.

  • #2
    Re: SC National Guard OCS

    Originally posted by gunn317 View Post
    I recently spoke to a recruiter and have been cross referencing what he said compared to what is on this forum. Background, I am a prior service Marine with 8 yrs active as an infantry rifleman. I got out and acquired a Bachelors and work as a firefighter for the City of Charleston and have a lot of free time and have always wanted to get a commission and be an infantry plt cmdr. The recruiter stated it was as simple as filling out the paperwork, passing the APFT, passing stated APFT with 60's in all categories, and going to drill as a OCS candidate until OCS started then doing my two week phase, then one weekend a month for 18 months then two weeks again. And lastly, he stated that while drilling as a candidate waiting for OCS I would drill with a unit that was inline with what MOS branch I wanted after OCS. This would allow the unit to get to know me and I would likely be able to branch into what I wanted
    Most of this is inline with what I have seen on the forum, but this process as stated by the recruiter sounds to easy. First and foremost I can't believe that someone is allowed to attend OCS with a 180 total PFT. In the Corps you would be put on remedial PT for a score like that. Secondly, he stated I didn't need any recommendation letters. Third, I asked him if I would need to have my mom bring my footlocker with all my FITREP's down when she visited the kids next month and he stated he didn't need FITREP's, how does the Army know if I wasn't a complete turd while active (I wasn't but for curiosities sake)?
    The only thing that he stated that sounded legit was the fact he said that the OCS candidates get beat down pretty much 24/7 when they are drilling. Thanks for any feedback that you have and before the statement is said use the search button I have and the first discrepancy I found was a guy said he wasn't accepted after contracting 09s at a board, the recruiter said it was a simple as signing at MEPS which is it. Most other reports seem to go along with what the recruiter said minus the PFT nonsense....... It just seems to good to be true in a lot of ways.
    You're rambling. Frame your inquiries as discrete, intelligible questions and I'll make a good faith effort to answer them. 'Til then...use the "search" button.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: SC National Guard OCS

      OP, the LT is right since this information has been asked and answered but I will respond to a bit of your post.

      First, fitness reports (same as Army NCOERS) are not essential to gain access to OCS. Your last discharge from your DD 214 is what is important.

      Yes, passing with a 180 will get you into the program and is meeting the Army standards but from an officer producing perspective, you need to have the maximum score possible.

      Also, remove the Marine mindset when dealing with the Army. That is the advice I can give you as a former Marine myself.

      Good luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: SC National Guard OCS

        See below for some knowledge Devil Dog....

        Originally posted by gunn317 View Post
        The recruiter stated it was as simple as filling out the paperwork, passing the APFT, passing stated APFT with 60's in all categories, and going to drill as a OCS candidate until OCS started then doing my two week phase, then one weekend a month for 18 months then two weeks again. And lastly, he stated that while drilling as a candidate waiting for OCS I would drill with a unit that was inline with what MOS branch I wanted after OCS. This would allow the unit to get to know me and I would likely be able to branch into what I wanted.

        This is mostly true. As previously stated, you need to be considerably above the minimum, especially if you have aspirations for becoming an Infantry Platoon Leader (not commander... ) In the NG, IN PLs get more opportunities to attend Ranger school, AB, AAS, etc than the average officer. You want to be on top of your A-game as an IN PL.

        That being said though, you have ZERO say in what you branch as a OCS graduate. You will have the opportunity to submit a "wish-list" during OCS, however, you are at the mercy of "Need of the Army". If you cohort has nothing but Signal and Quartermaster at the time of your commissioning, guess what you'll be?


        First and foremost I can't believe that someone is allowed to attend OCS with a 180 total PFT. Army minimum standard.
        Secondly, he stated I didn't need any recommendation letters. Nope. Once you enlist as a 09S, you are guaranteed a slot for an OCS class.
        Third, I asked him if I would need to have my mom bring my footlocker with all my FITREP's down when she visited the kids next month and he stated he didn't need FITREP's, how does the Army know if I wasn't a complete turd while active (I wasn't but for curiosities sake)? All you need is your DD214 Copy 4. The RE Codes, narratives, etc tell the Army what they need to know.

        The only thing that he stated that sounded legit was the fact he said that the OCS candidates get beat down pretty much 24/7 when they are drilling. Yep. There is a great debate on how effective OCS beat downs versus officership schooling are, but that is for another post...
        Overall OP, to be successful, keep your marine discipline, bearing and drive but lose the marine mentality. The Army and Marines do things considerably different and if you keep getting stuck in the marine mentality (ie - way of thinking), you're just going to create problems for yourself. Many former Marines have made the switch and have done well, as they'll attest to.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: SC National Guard OCS

          You guys are way, way too nice.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: SC National Guard OCS

            Originally posted by Jersey Dirtbag View Post
            You guys are way, way too nice.
            Well... I did refrain from throwing in any marine infantry jokes.

            I figure if the OP can hunt-n-peck on a "fancy typewriter" then is pretty far ahead of his peers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: SC National Guard OCS

              Originally posted by Jersey Dirtbag View Post
              You're rambling. Frame your inquiries as discrete, intelligible questions and I'll make a good faith effort to answer them. 'Til then...use the "search" button.
              Sorry for the rambling this issue has so many moving parts and I just couldn't believe that it is that easy to secure an officer candidate school seat, I just figured the recruiter was full of s#*t for a lack of better terms. This is possibly what Kemosabe was talking about in regards to the Marine mindset. So ultimately the only question I had was is it truly that easy to do? Which has been answered.

              Kemosabe and TXIntel, "Also, remove the Marine mindset when dealing with the Army. That is the advice I can give you as a former Marine myself." how do you mean? In regards to aggressiveness, personnel matters, expectations of subordinates, expectations of the organization? I have been out for about five years so I might be a hippy Marine these days . This question's answer may just be answered as I will have to see for myself. I have never worked with the Army a lot, I have only been around a helo squadron and we did one FX with 25th Infantry in 2001. They seemed really squared away, but I was a young Marine and my Squad leader stated the reason that they were so squared away was because most of the guys had ranger tabs i.e. PLT LDR, PLT Sgt, and Squad Ldrs.

              Questions
              1. Upon enlisting 09S is there a prior service forming platoon or something of that nature that will teach the Army basics like tradition, operations, customs and courtesies, and all the other knowledge that a private is expected to know out of boot camp. Or is this a jump into the deep end of the pool and learn to swim atmosphere?

              2. The search feature really isn't helping on the off duty expectations of a PL. All I can find is the standard "you will have more responsibility throughout the month". Is this meaning all the basics of administrative duties, planning training schedules, or are we talking about working from home upon directions of the Company CMDR via phone and email? What I know from searching is I won't be paid for this work and these off duty expectations rise as an Officer rises in rank.

              Thanks for your help everyone and might see you all in two years.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: SC National Guard OCS

                Originally posted by TxIntel 1978 View Post
                Well... I did refrain from throwing in any marine infantry jokes.

                I figure if the OP can hunt-n-peck on a "fancy typewriter" then is pretty far ahead of his peers.
                That is funny right there! I don't care who you are, I literally spit coffee out my nose on that. I have several buddies that are Army, my best friend in High School is still with the 75th and I wish everyday I would have went with him instead of going Marine side, he loves it, and by it I mean big boy rules. That was my biggest issue and why I got out. When I got out, I fully intended on transitioning to the guaranteed RASP program but when I got out they ended the program for prior service. Essentially I would still love to sign that contract active but the only thing available for active duty prior service is SF for E1-E4 so I don't qualify and I don't know if I would make it through the pipeline, those guys are studs. Another buddy is a Captain going through a special pipeline, actually haven't heard from him in a year now so I can guess what is up. The only one that I know from Marine side to Army that hasn't fully succeeded is stuck as a Sgt because there are no promotions right now and he refuses to get an associates to help him promote, but he still loves it compared to the Corps.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: SC National Guard OCS

                  Well my post got lost somewhere waiting for approval but another did not need approved. First off sorry for rambling, I just couldn't believe that an OCS seat was that easy to get. I had some questions that I couldn't find with search so I will just wait for the moderator to approve the post

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: SC National Guard OCS

                    1. Upon enlisting 09S is there a prior service forming platoon or something of that nature that will teach the Army basics like tradition, operations, customs and courtesies, and all the other knowledge that a private is expected to know out of boot camp. Or is this a jump into the deep end of the pool and learn to swim atmosphere? You are sort of at a disadvantage in this aspect. Roughly 90% of OCS candidates are either current soldiers going for the gold bar or 09S who went through BCT. The other 10% or so are former USMC, AF or USN who didn;t go to Army BCT. So, yes. It is sink or swim. I suggest you Google the info on - rank, general orders, CoC and do some homework. The TACS are not going to teach you Army basics at OCS.

                    2. The search feature really isn't helping on the off duty expectations of a PL. All I can find is the standard "you will have more responsibility throughout the month". Is this meaning all the basics of administrative duties, planning training schedules, or are we talking about working from home upon directions of the Company CMDR via phone and email? What I know from searching is I won't be paid for this work and these off duty expectations rise as an Officer rises in rank. Welcome to the officer side of the house. As a PL, I have admin duties, soldier duties, training planning/setup, conference calls and a whole slew of other stuff that I do throughout the month that is not paid. My CO is gracious enough to throw an RMA my way every other month to make up for it, but DO NOT expect pay for it. Part of the responsibility and privilege of being an "O".

                    Thanks for your help everyone and might see you all in two years.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: SC National Guard OCS

                      Originally posted by gunn317 View Post
                      That is funny right there! I don't care who you are, I literally spit coffee out my nose on that. I have several buddies that are Army, my best friend in High School is still with the 75th and I wish everyday I would have went with him instead of going Marine side, he loves it, and by it I mean big boy rules. That was my biggest issue and why I got out. When I got out, I fully intended on transitioning to the guaranteed RASP program but when I got out they ended the program for prior service. Essentially I would still love to sign that contract active but the only thing available for active duty prior service is SF for E1-E4 so I don't qualify and I don't know if I would make it through the pipeline, those guys are studs. Another buddy is a Captain going through a special pipeline, actually haven't heard from him in a year now so I can guess what is up. The only one that I know from Marine side to Army that hasn't fully succeeded is stuck as a Sgt because there are no promotions right now and he refuses to get an associates to help him promote, but he still loves it compared to the Corps.
                      You could also consider NG Special Forces if you're willing to travel. There are SF units in North Carolina and Alabama.

                      SFAS is tough but doable with the proper training.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: SC National Guard OCS

                        You are sort of at a disadvantage in this aspect. Roughly 90% of OCS candidates are either current soldiers going for the gold bar or 09S who went through BCT. The other 10% or so are former USMC, AF or USN who didn;t go to Army BCT. So, yes. It is sink or swim. I suggest you Google the info on - rank, general orders, CoC and do some homework. The TACS are not going to teach you Army basics at OCS.

                        Overall in your opinion is this achievable to learn on my own or should I explore the possibility of enlisting first and doing a year or two as an NCO to learn the ropes. In the long run my aspirations of leadership are less important than the lives of the men or women I may lead. I don't want to fail myself or my subordinates by not knowing the way around the Army

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: SC National Guard OCS

                          Originally posted by gunn317 View Post
                          Overall in your opinion is this achievable to learn on my own or should I explore the possibility of enlisting first and doing a year or two as an NCO to learn the ropes. In the long run my aspirations of leadership are less important than the lives of the men or women I may lead. I don't want to fail myself or my subordinates by not knowing the way around the Army
                          You'll be fine. OCS is not hard, it's just annoying and a mini-suckfest at times. Plenty of service members from other branches go directly in as 09S and have no problem. Here's what you need:

                          1) "Latrine," not "head"
                          2) "Floor," not "deck"
                          3) It's "Sergeant," not "Staff Sergeant," "Gunny," or "Master Sergeant"
                          3a) What the hell is a "Gunnery Sergeant" anyway?
                          4) It's still "First Sergeant" and "Sergeant Major"
                          5) Most of us are incapable of imagining E4s with actual leadership responsibilities, so if you were a CPL in the USMC we will equate that with being a Specialist and treat you accordingly
                          6) Never say "Aye-aye!"

                          Consider yourself prepared.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: SC National Guard OCS

                            Originally posted by Jersey Dirtbag View Post
                            You'll be fine. OCS is not hard, it's just annoying and a mini-suckfest at times. Plenty of service members from other branches go directly in as 09S and have no problem. Here's what you need:

                            1) "Latrine," not "head"
                            2) "Floor," not "deck"
                            3) It's "Sergeant," not "Staff Sergeant," "Gunny," or "Master Sergeant"
                            3a) What the hell is a "Gunnery Sergeant" anyway?
                            4) It's still "First Sergeant" and "Sergeant Major"
                            5) Most of us are incapable of imagining E4s with actual leadership responsibilities, so if you were a CPL in the USMC we will equate that with being a Specialist and treat you accordingly
                            6) Never say "Aye-aye!"

                            Consider yourself prepared.
                            AND....

                            7) We only have 3 General Orders, not 11.
                            8) Chesty Puller is not a GOD to us.
                            9) "Hooah" not "Ooo-rah"
                            10) We also love GSgt Ermy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: SC National Guard OCS

                              As a former enlisted Marine that came back in as an 09S, you will be fine. Just learn the new terms that have already been discussed, and learn some Army cadence.

                              Comment

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