The Almost Officer: What Marine OCS is like and how I got dropped two weeks from graduation. Part 3 of 4

After writing the first two articles in this series, I realized that my memories from OCS (and the USMC in general) are still pretty vivid. I’m going to hold off my actual experience (what led me to get dropped) until I can disassociate my personal feelings from the article. What I would like to present now are snapshots of different scenarios and people that I encountered in 8 weeks at Quantico. Names have been changed to protect people’s anonymity.

There are multiple “open forums” where leadership scenarios are given to the entire company to discuss how they would act. Since everyone is being evaluated at all times, there is someone in the back taking notes to see who says what. Because of this, candidates are basically expected to spew out moto-bullshit that involves mass punishments. One example went something like this:
LCpl Schmuckatelli is on barracks duty and you, as OOD encounter him while making your rounds. LCpl Schmuckatelli reports his post and you notice him reading an unauthorized book (aka not on the commandant’s reading list). If I remember correctly, I think the book was Jurassic Park. What do you do?

Apparently the correct answer is to NJP the junior Marine. The wrong answer was to ask an entire company of candidates (most of whom had never stood a 24 hour post) if they had ever read a book on the commandant’s reading list. They didn’t seem to understand that reading ‘First to Fight’ would make you ‘First to Sleep’ on duty.

Which brings me to one guy I will never forget, Candidate Ian Reid (fake name). He was constantly on the prowl to correct his fellow candidates (yelling at them for not locking out their legs during flutter kicks or snapping his fingers during formations). He was one of those busy body types who spent most of his time trying to find other people fucking up, rather than minding his own business (this is the type of person that OCS absolutely adores). One thing he used to do, which really infuriated me, was every time a candidate got dropped and their name was called for mail deliveries, he would yell at the top of his lungs, “KIA, GySgt, KIA.” For some weird reason, people liked this shit. I thought it disrespected those Marines who actually died in combat, a role that he as a reservist would probably not see too much of.

The last scenario that I remembered was a platoon “mentorship” session with our commander, Captain Bragan (fake name). I forget the context and the discussion even, but somehow the subject of working parties came up. He said something like: “Use your junior Marines, that’s what they are there for.”

So, if you’re curious about some of the stuff they are teaching junior officers at OCS nowadays, now you know. NJP people for reading the wrong book on duty and junior Marines exist only to be slaves who clean.

Submitted by: Motoboner