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Monster Marine OCS thread: stupid questions answered here!

wanted an opinion from the community here. i am applying for OCS( well already have) and I'm going aviation and I'm taking the ASTB again for the second time around in 16 days. my PFT is a 292 and my first ASTB scores were 5/5/5 ( forget my OAR score). i graduated from a not so great state school with a GPA of 2.6. I'm 23 years old and i graduated with a community health science degree. my big question is how much my GPA will hurt me. it doesn't really matter cause i can't change it, just wanted to see if i could make up slack to make up for it.
It's not something you have any more influence over, so there's no point in worrying about it. Focus on what you can improve, i.e. your ASTB score, PFT, leadership, volunteering, etc.
 
Submitting this here as to avoid further cluttering up the forum. I've got a few questions about the current status of the OCC selection boards.

I am currently a graduate student and am attempting to pivot back to pursuing a military career. I had gotten sidetracked by some research I started in undergrad and was enjoying immensely, but began to feel a bit empty in it, as I had always wanted to be a Marine Officer and a Naval Aviator.

My very first question is in regards to the current Selection Board status. I've been watching the stats pages for the last few classes, and it seems that the selection right now is incredibly competitive, but I've also heard several rumors about AD contracts only being offered to PLC candidates, and reserve contracts offered to OCC. Is this just a standard rumor mill thing, case to case, or the new norm?

I am also curious about my situation in particular. I am quite busy in my program and have not had the chance to take part in many extracurricular activities or volunteer. I spend the vast majority of my time TAing, researching and working out to maximize my PFT. For someone who has not participated in team sports or had a lot of volunteer opportunities, what can I do to make my package more appealing? Outside of my program I also work evenings tending bar a few nights a week, as I incurred a large amount of debt from supporting my entire family from the time I was in High School.

What about LORs? I have one that I could definitely obtain from a retired USMC Counterintelligence O-5; however, I worry that because he is also my Uncle, that there is a conflict of interest and that the LOR may not be particularly valuable...what is the thought about this? I can also obtain LORs from professors I've worked for and am working with.

My current PFT is hanging right around 270. The pull-ups are killing me. I've been a recreational bodybuilder for many years through undergrad, so I am a bit heavy (when below 10% body fat, I hang around 185 lbs at 5'8"). I've stopped lifting for mass and am currently focusing on practicing exclusively for the PFT while lifting for strength two times a week to maintain. I am stuck at 16 pull-ups... what is the best way to improve, once you've hit a nasty plateau?

Thank you in advance for taking on any of these questions for me, I look forward to the responses.
John
 
My very first question is in regards to the current Selection Board status. I've been watching the stats pages for the last few classes, and it seems that the selection right now is incredibly competitive, but I've also heard several rumors about AD contracts only being offered to PLC candidates, and reserve contracts offered to OCC. Is this just a standard rumor mill thing, case to case, or the new norm?
False. I was pre-selected for Active Air (OCC 220) in March/April and I know several people who were selected for Active Ground (OCC 220) in July. Selection is still pretty competitive, but it was twice as bad about a year and a half ago. If you apply with a 285+ PFT and you have your shit together, you should be good to go.

I am also curious about my situation in particular. I am quite busy in my program and have not had the chance to take part in many extracurricular activities or volunteer. I spend the vast majority of my time TAing, researching and working out to maximize my PFT. For someone who has not participated in team sports or had a lot of volunteer opportunities, what can I do to make my package more appealing? Outside of my program I also work evenings tending bar a few nights a week, as I incurred a large amount of debt from supporting my entire family from the time I was in High School.
TA'ing is great for leadership experience. Volunteer work is beneficial, but I don't think it'll make or break you. I think I only had around 6-7hrs of community service in my package.

What about LORs? I have one that I could definitely obtain from a retired USMC Counterintelligence O-5; however, I worry that because he is also my Uncle, that there is a conflict of interest and that the LOR may not be particularly valuable...what is the thought about this? I can also obtain LORs from professors I've worked for and am working with.
The quality of your LORs matter a hell of a lot more than who they're by. Get your LORs done by people that know you and have seen you work your ass off. If you can't think of anyone I would maybe suggest asking your uncle if he could connect you with one of his friends. Go sit down with them or chat them up on the phone for 20-30 minutes so they can get to know you and write something positive. I had LOR's from three active duty military officers: the one was my Air Force ROTC commander (who I had told I was switching to the Marines), another a family friend that I grew up with, and the last was my friends brother who I just happened to talk with at bar for about 30 minutes and he offered to write me a letter.

My current PFT is hanging right around 270. The pull-ups are killing me. I've been a recreational bodybuilder for many years through undergrad, so I am a bit heavy (when below 10% body fat, I hang around 185 lbs at 5'8"). I've stopped lifting for mass and am currently focusing on practicing exclusively for the PFT while lifting for strength two times a week to maintain. I am stuck at 16 pull-ups... what is the best way to improve, once you've hit a nasty plateau?
Armstrong Pull-up Program and a Weight Vest. I was in the same situation as you. I was a bit of a body builder and was stuck at 17 pullups; I bought a weight vest and started doing the Armstrong program and was doing 24-25 within a month.
 
False. I was pre-selected for Active Air (OCC 220) in March/April and I know several people who were selected for Active Ground (OCC 220) in July. Selection is still pretty competitive, but it was twice as bad about a year and a half ago. If you apply with a 285+ PFT and you have your shit together, you should be good to go.


TA'ing is great for leadership experience. Volunteer work is beneficial, but I don't think it'll make or break you. I think I only had around 6-7hrs of community service in my package.


The quality of your LORs matter a hell of a lot more than who they're by. Get your LORs done by people that know you and have seen you work your ass off. If you can't think of anyone I would maybe suggest asking your uncle if he could connect you with one of his friends. Go sit down with them or chat them up on the phone for 20-30 minutes so they can get to know you and write something positive. I had LOR's from three active duty military officers: the one was my Air Force ROTC commander (who I had told I was switching to the Marines), another a family friend that I grew up with, and the last was my friends brother who I just happened to talk with at bar for about 30 minutes and he offered to write me a letter.


Armstrong Pull-up Program and a Weight Vest. I was in the same situation as you. I was a bit of a body builder and was stuck at 17 pullups; I bought a weight vest and started doing the Armstrong program and was doing 24-25 within a month.
Av8ion, Thank you very much for such a detailed answer. Exactly what I was looking for. Congratulations on your selection.
 
Hey everyone, probably a stupid question, but I was told by another candidate that because he has been pre-selected for OCC 221 (air contract), that our OSO isn't allowed to send up any other air contracts, even thought I have not heard anything of the likes from my OSO. He has told me (taken with a grain of salt), that with my paper's, scores, and all of the goods needed to be selected, that I would be an easy selection. (Like I said, everything with a grain of salt.) But what should I do with this information, any ideas?
 
Not to add fuel to the fire, however I had heard something similar from another candidate at a different office, though nothing of the like from my OSO or at pool functions.

I would be hesitant to take any action on information unless you are hear it directly from your OSO/OSA. Different offices could be in different situations with regards to contract availability ,etc.
 
Not to add fuel to the fire, however I had heard something similar from another candidate at a different office, though nothing of the like from my OSO or at pool functions.

I would be hesitant to take any action on information unless you are hear it directly from your OSO/OSA. Different offices could be in different situations with regards to contract availability ,etc.
That's true.. I did ask and he never answered it, kind of like saying "yeah.. that's stupid"
 
For those who have gone to OCS recently, would you agree with these physical standards, and are there ones you'd add?

Average standards: http://officercandidatesschool.com/blog/2014/02/03/ocs-challenge-benchmarks/

Ideal standards: http://officercandidatesschool.com/blog/2015/04/20/specific-ocs-physical-fitness-goals-for-the-overachiever/

The one aspect of PT I'm worried about are the incentive training games, e.g. holding a rifle above your head/in front of you, high knees while running in place, etc. We played some of these during Mini-OCS, and we were all very sore the next morning. Any standards you'd recommend on this front? For reference, 295 PFT and I can meet/exceed all of the average standards listed in the first link.
 

Rugby_Guy

Livin on a Prayer
For those who have gone to OCS recently, would you agree with these physical standards, and are there ones you'd add?

Average standards: http://officercandidatesschool.com/blog/2014/02/03/ocs-challenge-benchmarks/

Ideal standards: http://officercandidatesschool.com/blog/2015/04/20/specific-ocs-physical-fitness-goals-for-the-overachiever/

The one aspect of PT I'm worried about are the incentive training games, e.g. holding a rifle above your head/in front of you, high knees while running in place, etc. We played some of these during Mini-OCS, and we were all very sore the next morning. Any standards you'd recommend on this front? For reference, 295 PFT and I can meet/exceed all of the average standards listed in the first link.
I don't remember a lot of games like that. They played with your sleep some, assigning essays and telling you to remark all your gear will take a considerable portion of the night, add a fire watch and you won't sleep much that night. But I don't remember doing any kind of games like that at OCS (at Parris Island that's all we did...)
 
We did play those games... Those sorts of things seem to be staff dependent - for example, our SIs didn't really do the whole "dump your pack on the parade deck, hold this up right now, hold this up right now" sorts of games, and since it was winter it didn't matter if our skivvie shirts were ever marked because nobody ever saw them. But if our packs or camp stools or any other gear was messy (or God forbid you had one or three pairs of boots on display instead of two)?...

You can't really prepare to get kicked in the balls by kicking yourself in the balls. Just show up and put out. You won't get rolled because you didn't hold your rifle in the air for long enough. You might get blasted or get a chit, but you should figure out pretty quickly that those are just tools to induce stress, so you shouldn't let them stress you. Show up in shape, but 95% of OCS is mental. Try to enjoy the experience while you're there, remember why you applied in the first place, and don't fall victim to your own fear or violate your integrity. If you can do that and stay injury free, you'll make it through.
 
What is the age cutoff for USMC SNA ? I cannot find any instructions posted online with regards to SNA age limit other than commission by 27.5 for Civ. non-prior & I read about prior service age waivers but it didn't specify max age for USMC SNA. The USN age limit is up to 29 with age waiver; Does this mean its 29.5 in the USMC if the 24 month age waiver applies? or is commission by 29 the absolute SNA max age for both the Navy and Marines?

Another question is will the ASTB score taken with the Navy count for USMC OCS application?

Thanks.
 
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