What is USMC OCS Graduation Program?

The OCS graduation ceremony is one of the biggest events that a candidate goes through. It is a day where their loved ones celebrate their hard work and accomplishment as a Marine Officer. It is a day that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

The course is either a 10-week course (PLC Combined/OCC) or two 6-week courses (PLC Seniors) during the summer between their junior and senior year of college. The main purpose of the OCS course is to screen and evaluate a candidate’s fitness to lead Marines in stressful situations, such as platoon leader, squad, and fire-team level tactical billets.

During the course, candidates undergo physical training, weapons training, and academics. They also complete obstacle and confidence courses, MCMAP, and conditioning hikes. Some of these obstacles include climbing and descending a rocky cliff, navigating the muddy waters of the Quigley, and commando crawling across a rope bridge.

After they successfully graduate from OCS, they receive their Eagle, Globe, and Anchor at the graduation parade. They then become commissioned Marine officers as Second Lieutenants.

Does OCS Have a Graduation?

There are various commissioning pathways for officers to become Marines. The Platoon Leaders Class (PLC) is the undergraduate commissioning programme that allows college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to participate in OCS training without military obligation. The program is ten weeks long.

Upon completion of OCS, candidates receive their Eagle Globe and Anchor and are commissioned at different times depending on their commissioning pathway. They are officially called Marines at the end of the EGA ceremony but still technically remain, candidates, until they are pinned with their bars during their commissioning ceremony.

The OCS graduation is held at the famous parade deck on Brown Field at Quantico. The event is free for family and friends to attend, but there are limited seats available per company. If you plan on attending, read the tips below to ensure your candidate gets a great seat. You will also need to follow your candidate’s company-specific brief schedule for Family Day and Graduation. This will be communicated to you via push notification.

What is the Graduation Rate of OCS

What is the Graduation Rate of OCS?

Generally, around one-quarter of all officer candidates fail Marine OCS. This is much higher than other services as the training is designed to weed out anyone who isn’t up to the challenge. It is also a very demanding course that requires physical, mental and emotional fortitude.

Once a candidate successfully completes OCS, they will be commissioned as second lieutenants. The ceremony takes place on the parade deck of Brown Field, and friends and family are encouraged to attend and cheer for their candidate.

During the ceremony, the candidate is pinned with their rank by a Marine captain. Then, they are sworn in by the battalion commander of their company. After the ceremony, candidates are granted Candidate Liberty to show their family and friends around the base. The ceremony usually lasts about an hour. Afterward, the newly commissioned officers will immediately report to The Basic School for administrative check-in and training. Those who choose to branch into the Infantry School will then be sent to Fort Benning, Georgia. The others will be assigned to their respective military branches.

Where Do Marines Go After OCS?

Marines who graduate OCS are commissioned as Second Lieutenants and must complete their college degree. Those that graduate PLC-Juniors (first two years of college) will return to OCS in the summer as PLC Seniors to complete their training and receive their commission.

Unlike boot camp, the training at OCS is designed to push candidates to their limits physically and mentally. Failing to perform to the minimum standards can result in a candidate being dropped from their training company or sent home. Running, rucking & endurance courses are some of OCS’s most challenging training activities. Prior to arriving at OCS, it’s best to prepare for the program by slowly increasing your running mileage & rucking speed & distance.

Like Recruit Training, each day at OCS begins with “lights out” and counting to ensure all are present before marching to chow hall to eat breakfast. From there, candidates will conduct PT and other classroom or field instruction. Those that pass all of their training will attend Family Day and Graduation on the last day of OCS, known as Brown Field.