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    Marine Corps officer candidates tested in mini officer candidate school



    Story by Pfc. Vanessa Austin 

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island           

    PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. - More than 300 selected officer candidates participated in the 6th Marine Corps District Officer Selection Teams' Annual Field Training Exercise March 27-29, 2015, on Parris Island, South Carolina.

    The candidates were put to the test mentally and physically by overcoming challenges such as a Leadership Reaction Course, an obstacle course, land navigation, a combat training course and a physical fitness test.

    “The course is meant to give the candidates a chance to do some of the things that [Officer Candidate School] will throw at them, such as doing an officer obstacle course, a Leadership Reaction Course and hiking while under weight,” said Col. William J. Bowers, commanding officer of 6th Marine Corps District.

    The officer selection teams hold this exercise to better prepare candidates for the physical and mental challenges of OCS. One of the hardest parts for many candidates is thinking beyond themselves.

    “It’s about being part of a team, helping the officer candidate to the left and right of you because in the Marine Corps, it’s all about the team,” said Bowers, a Jacksonville, Florida native. “They are getting a taste of that here. The best candidate, the smartest or the [most] physically fit, can’t complete one reaction on the Leadership Reaction Course by themselves.”

    Parris Island drill instructors gave the candidates a demanding environment, which left even the most prepared candidate fatigued.

    “I didn’t really know what to expect,” said Hillary G. Leonard, 25, from Greenville, South Carolina, and an OCS candidate from Officer Selection Station Charlotte, South Carolina. “This course has taught me how to follow and listen in order to lead, how to expect the unexpected as well as persevere with discipline and enthusiasm.”

    The mission of OCS is to train, screen and evaluate candidates, who must demonstrate a high level of leadership potential and commitment to success in order to earn a commission.

    “Overall, the exercise was intended to prepare candidates for their first two weeks at OCS,” said Bowers, “while testing their dedication to becoming an officer in the Marine Corps.”



    Date Taken: 04.02.2015
    Date Posted: 04.02.2015 14:58
    Story ID: 158977
    Location: PARRIS ISLAND, SC, US 

    Web Views: 208
    Downloads: 3