At the time that I was selected to OCS, I was married to another Marine. Further complicating matters was that I was selected for ECP, not MECEP. MECEP marines check out of the unit on TAD, while ECP marines PCS out. Because I got PCS orders, I had to terminate my lease with military housing (within a very short amount of time). My ex-wife’s command wanted to move her into their barracks. Thankfully, after a lot of discussion, they allowed us to get her an apartment off base. It was stressful enough being forced to move your family in under a month. It would have been even more stressful to have my young, good looking LCpl wife in a barracks full of horny male Marines from her command. I am not a jealous person, but they had brazenly sexually harassed her at work and even right in front of me. The last thing I wanted was to check out of my unit knowing that a whole command of thirsty fucks was waiting to pounce the minute I left the gate.
As I was checking out/moving, I was also making sure to stay in good shape. I checked into my unit in early 2009 averaging a 297 PFT. By the time I left for OCS, I was running somewhere in the mid-270s. I was stationed at MCAS Yuma, AZ (air wing MOS). It was black flag on most days, and my command was really lazy with PT. In 4 years at my unit, we only did scheduled PT literally a handful of times (like 4-5). Everything PT related was on your “own time.” As a result, most Marines just lifted, if they PT’d at all. I was a dedicated lifter, but ran on my own once or twice a week. While my PFT run time was declining, I was still running circles around 98% of the Marines around me because no one ever PTd. Most people were either fat, extremely out of shape, or both. So, our extremely unsat SNCOs (2nd -3rd class PFT/4-5 ribbons in 13 years) used to routinely counsel people for being out of shape, but would never give anyone time to actually PT. We had to be “at work” for 50-60 hours a week, even if we were not actually doing anything. The only ones who could leave work to PT were those Marines that were on BCP. They got to PT twice a day, three times a week, during working hours. It was a perverse incentive.
The final piece to keep in mind, before I get to OCS itself, is that because I was in avionics, there were no fresh lieutenants out of OCS in our unit. All of our commissioned officers were prior warrant officers who converted to captains as limited duty officers. None of them had any frame of reference for OCS. WOBC (warrant officer training) is a very, very different beast. The few commissioned officers that were actually around who went through OCS went through between 1995-2000. By 2011, when I went, the standards had increased dramatically due to both the draw-down and the recession. So, more people were applying to Marine OCS than ever before due to the bad economy, and the USMC just didn’t need as many bodies. At the time, I did not know this, as I dutifully collected signatures for my checkout sheet with a smile on my face. I was on my way out of a toxic command, and finally on my way to actually being able to lead marines through something more than just a Chinese field day.