My state's OCS has officially begun! Our first 0 phase drill was two weekends ago, and it was something of an eye-opener for me. It's one thing to participate in a PT formation, get marched around, etc., it's another thing entirely to be the PSG running the show (I'll bet you can guess which FMs I've been reading recently). Fortunately, our class has a substantial advantage in that we're drilling with a couple of OC medical recycles. These guys are on top of the game and watching them perform in leadership has been invaluable.
The drill kicked off with a PT test, followed by paperwork, stern admonishments and dire warnings. At this point, 20% of the class dropped--followed by my jaw. I couldn't believe it. Getting to OCS has been such a huge pain in the b*tt for me that I had difficulty comprehending people dropping out after being read the graduation requirements.
The rest of the drill was spent receiving various briefings, familiarization with unit SOP, and a land nav refresher. The land nav course we ran on day 2 was nothing like BCT land nav. The site was much larger, was densely overgrown, featured a large water/marsh area in the middle, and was generally challenging to navigate. If the phase 1 nav sites are like this, I can see that effective use of perimeter roads is likely to be key to success.
I've heard other 09S indicate that their commands regard 0 phase as optional. I'm not sure if it's optional or not, but in my view treating it as such is a mistake. I can already tell that showing up to phase 1 without the benefit of OCS prep will put just about anyone behind the curve.
Overall, it was good experience and I'm looking forward to the next drill.