OCS Officer Candidate School

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 in Charlie Company
(he was allowed leave for the birth of our daughter). At times 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, actually just Monday to Friday. Other
than this time, we had a lot of communication. This training was much
easier on me than was 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 did relocate to the area to
be able to spend the weekends and evenings with their soldier. Since
he was in this training during the summer, my son and I went to visit
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 is called the basic phase with the remaining 6 weeks as the
senior phase. 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 senior phase.

Before his graduation, there is a formal. This was off post at a
really nice banquet center. There was childcare provided by the
company. Women wore formal dresses, anything from a pretty little
party dress to a ball gown. There was appetizers and drinks then a
full course meal. Awards were given and a speaker was present. His
actual graduation was more like a college gradation compared to the
graduation of BCT. It was inside an auditorium and more formal than
the BCT graduation that we experienced, which was also at Fort
Benning, GA. He was able to stay with us at the hotel the couple of
days before his graduation and through the couple of days of 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.

47 thoughts on “OCS Officer Candidate School”

    1. Yes, he just arrived at Fort Benning. There were some questions regarding Security Clearance holds because some of the Soliders’ paperwork was not processed. He is supposed to begin on Monday.

  1. Hello ladies,

    I was just wondering if any of you remember how long did it take for your husband to get his phone back for the first time during phase 3? I am in desperate need to speak with my husband and I have no where to call him. Tomorrow 8/10 will be his 13th day at OCS. Graduation is Saturday 8/13. Please help me.

    Thank you so much!

  2. Hello everyone!
    I’m not seeing any dates on here so I’m not sure if this page is still active but I thought I’d reach out! My boyfriend just started OCS D Co Aug 2016 and I’m looking for anyone with experience or perhaps even with a loved one there now just to share info & thoughts with!

  3. Hey was wondering if someone else has been in this situation, my husband a prior enlisted marine started OCS for the army and has been there for 2 weeks for “processing” today he was held back an extra month because his security clearance hasn’t gone through, but he’s had it before And he has a pretty squeaky clean record and good credit as well, so the 12 weeks we were told is 14 weeks because of first two week hold and now an extra 4 weeks before he can start the next round of classes. I know these things happen but if anyone has had this experience I would love to know what happened or what to expect from this.

  4. Thank you everyone for the helpful info on this blog! My boyfriend graduates basic training on February 23rd and then needs to report to OCS on March 5th. What happens in between – can he come home? Thank you so much for any information you can provide!!! 🙂

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