Last Updated on February 22, 2023
by Olivia M.
My husband entered OCS in May of 2008 and graduated in August; technically, it was a 12-week course. He was at Fort Benning, GA, which is the Federally run OCS.
He had a lot more privileges than in BCT. He had his cell phone and laptop computer to use. And he had his vehicle too. He had most evenings off as well as most weekends.
He said that this all depends on which company the soldier is assigned to.
He was originally in Alpha Company, and then he graduated from Charlie Company (he was allowed leave for the birth of our daughter).
Sometimes these privileges were taken away because of someone not following orders or having something out of place.
I talked with him just about every evening and a lot during the weekends. There was a time when he had to go “in the field,” and we
didn’t talk for a whole week, from Monday to Friday.
Other than this time, we had a lot of communication. This training was much easier on me than BCT, because at least we got to talk frequently, and we would even use the webcam to see each other when possible.
I usually emailed him every morning. I mailed him a letter maybe once a week or every other week. But since we talked so much and he could leave post, I really didn’t need to send him anything in the mail.
He had to live in barracks, but some wives relocated to the area to spend the weekends and evenings with their soldiers.
Since he was in this training during the summer, my son and I visited him for a week. We picked him up every evening and spent a few hours with him, then dropped him back off at the barracks.
He was able to spend the whole weekend with us at the hotel. Also, there is a great campground with furnished cabins at Benning that we stayed at for a few days, which was much cheaper than a hotel and had a great pool. It does fill up quickly, so make reservations far in advance if you know you will be going there.
The training itself was much more demanding than BCT. The first 6 weeks are called the basic phase, with the remaining 6 weeks as the
More privileges are given in the senior phase. They had an hour and a half of PT every day, except when they were “in the field.”
The rest of the day was pretty much spent in the classroom with many tests and peer evaluations. The tests and evaluations are
very important as the top scorers get top priority in picking their branch. The branch is picked right before entering the senior phase.
Before his graduation, there is a formal. This was off-post at a really nice banquet center. The company provided childcare. Women wore formal dresses, anything from a pretty little party dress to a ball gown. There were appetizers and drinks, then a full-course meal.
Awards were given, and a speaker was present. His actual graduation was more like college graduation than BCT’s graduation. It was inside an auditorium and more formal than the BCT graduation that we experienced, which was also at Fort Benning, GA.
He could stay with us at the hotel a couple of days before his graduation and through meetings and ceremonies. There was a meeting one of the days that is valuable for a spouse to attend; it went over the benefits that are available to families. Then it is off to BOLC II and BOLC III.