Applying to Officer Candidate School (Navy)

Discussion in 'OTS/OCS/PLC' started by parentofmen, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. parentofmen

    parentofmen Member

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    As a college graduate, how would you go about applying to Naval Officer Candidate School? Must you enlist and then apply? Are only a few selected each year, criteria, etc.? Thanks for any info. I looked on their website but couldn't find answers to these questions.
     
  2. SubSquid

    SubSquid Member

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    Hi parentofmen,

    I totally agree with you. the Navy OCS site and recruitment site are pretty blah.

    http://www.navy.com/careers/officer/

    I spoke with an former Navy Officer that had been assigned to recruiting command for a number of years and he indicated that the best way to get started is to find your local Navy recruiting station and ask to speak with the OIC for that area. Indicate that you're interested in the post-college OCS assention program.

    Another site that you should check out is the Navy OCS Forum. This is a site that gathers interested candidates together and can be a wealth of verifiable and anecdotal information.

    www.usnavyocs.com/portal/index.php

    Good luck with your search and best wishes for your future.
     
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Navy Officer Accession Programs

    Try this site... "find a recruiter" is at the top of the page. Officer recruiters are usually not found in your neighborhood Armed Forces recruiting office, but in a larger city that is the recruiting district hq for the area. The officer recruiters travel, though, to colleges, graduate schools and other forums. The Navy officer recruiters are usually Lieutenants, occasionally a Lieutenant Commander. The senior enlisted person in your neighborhood Navy recruiting office would know who that is for the OCS program in your area. You do NOT have to enlist to go to OCS. While there, you receive an enlisted rate of pay, are considered an Officer Candidate in a pre-commissioning program, and are on active duty, similar to SA status.

    http://www.navy.com/officer

    Officer candidates have to meet age, clearance, records check and medical commissioning criteria as well. The services use OCS/OTS programs as adjustable intake valves to meet specific needs for various military officer specialties, to meet gaps not being met by ROTC, SA or enlisted commissioning programs. I'm mentioning this because you could have a phenomenal college academic record and bring all kinds of great stuff to the table, but if the Navy has all the officers it needs with your particular background from other commissioning sources, the answer could be "thank you for your interest, but no." Candidates with engineering degrees and rare language skills are always of interest.
    Good luck to you on this journey.
     
  4. parentofmen

    parentofmen Member

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    Thank you for your information. This question came to me from a friend wondering why my son would be interested in the Naval Academy or NROTC. He asked why my son didn't just go to officer candidate school after college graduation--making the point that he can have a fun time at college, get a good education, and not have to worry about all the stress of the Academy life or NROTC commitment. I didn't know how to respond. I came home and mentioned it to my son, who then got to thinking about it himself. I thought there was some selection process in connection with officer candidate school, but couldn't find any information about it. So thank you again. :thumb:
     
  5. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    parentofmen, my pleasure.

    I can attest from personal experience that it is tremendously stressful to attend OCS and jump in the deep end of the pool, so to speak, when it's time to get the commission and go to the first active duty assignment. Competing with ensigns who had the immersion SA background and whole summers of Navy training, and to slightly lesser extent, ROTC ensigns who had 4 years of classroom and summer training -- well, it was painful for a long time. The SA and ROTC prepare the new ensign or 2LT in a superb manner over a period of years. I'm not sure what the current OCS length is, but the common term used to be "four month wonder." Since the college degree is already in hand, it's an intense cram session on seamanship and navigation and other professional knowledge topics, plus athletics, drill and other orientation knowledge. Plus lots and lots of shots, as I recall...:biggrin: Going back to the stress factor, I guess it could be a wash, with 4 years of continuous stress at SA but easier transition to the Fleet, 4 years of more staggered ROTC stress and easier transition to the Fleet - vs. - "oh, s---, what the heck have I done" after arriving at the first duty station with only 4 months of experience, such as it was. I did stay 26 years...

    OCS is similar to the last stop to catch a train going to a particular destination - there may not be room onboard. OCS is used as a tool to recruit degreed young people in geographic areas not traditionally a source of Navy officers, to be a post-college option at colleges where the nearest NROTC unit is far away, to actively search for potential officers with certain skills. OCS usually has far more applicants than slots. It's also used for top-achieving enlisted personnel who have gained their college degree and process through OCS prior to gaining their commission.

    That said, OCS folks are no dummies and eventually catch up with ROTC and SA junior officers, in terms of professional familiarity. They've got the college degree and a "starter kit" of professional knowledge, so they just have to hit the ground running.

    One more thing. The SA and ROTC programs give a midshipman a good look at what life might be like in uniform, and a window of time to step back and say "that's not for me." While I recall there was a drop window at OCS, it was brief, and there was not much chance to observe the reality of naval life. For someone not interested in going the SA route, ROTC offers regular college life and a measured approach to pre-commissioning education. Clearly, I'm not talking about the public/private military colleges with ROTC options here, just "regular" college or university with an ROTC program or the opportunity to participate at a nearby ROTC program at another school.

    Oh yeah...JMO!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  6. parentofmen

    parentofmen Member

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    Thanks for all the input. My son is still waiting to hear from the Academy, and met with the head of the NROTC at UCLA earlier this week. Will meet with the one over at UC Berkeley. No NROTC scholarship, however, as he chose Tier 3 (really wants to do middle east studies/language), and we understand those are more difficult to get. The unit was really surprised that he'd gotten into UCLA/Cal (very difficult), but no scholarship. They said if he excels during the school year he can reapply next year. Scholarship or not, he'd go into the NROTC program if not the Academy (which he'll reapply to next year as well). The question about OCS I put into a thread because a number of folks have asked us about it, why my son wanted to do NROTC/why not just enjoy college/go to OCS after, etc. I didn't know how to answer them, and neither did my son. He most definitely wants NROTC or the Academy.
     
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My son's experience was fairly simple. He contacted the Navy recruiter's office located in the federal building in our nearby big city. Much of the paperwork was handled over the computer, but he met with them several times over the months.

    As with a Service Academy, I can't stress enough: be within weight limits, be academically prepared, and be physically fit.

    Newport's base is in a beautiful location but son did complain that it was cold, a lot. At night, he was especially cold, even in the late summer.
     
  8. andrew_worldwide

    andrew_worldwide New Member

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    Advice for getting to OCS and getting through it

    Greetings forum members,

    I'm a 30 year old college graduate (BA Outdoor Experiential Education, Prescott College, 2006) with one-year of Masters study (Sustainable Development, degree pending), and nearly 3 years experience living and working in Beijing, PRC. I have gained a new value for the American way of life, and a much greater respect for our system, values, rule of law, and governing principles (Constitution, separation of powers, etc) and have a strong interest in serving our country as a USN CO. Both omy grandfathers served in the USN as COs. My father was a Marine Capt. Two cousins currently serve in the Air Nat'l Guard, and my brother was in the US Army for 4 years.

    Having lived in the "New China," for nearly three years, I am ready to leave and come home soon. I have a lot of questions and hope members of this forum could help answer some of them. I have not been able to reach an Officer Recruiter yet, because I am still living and working in Beijing. I will be here until Sept 15 when my visa expires and I will return stateside.

    My questions are of three types, and I appreciate all thoughtful and relevant advice regarding these and other related topics.

    (1) What are the basic spoken, and unspoken, "assumed" qualifications for OCS entry? How qualified would I be, or not? What can I do to most decisively qualify myself in the next few months? What would be a standard, acceptable application now (in the reality of summer/fall 2013 USA)?

    (2) What is the reality of OCS, and what does it really take to make it through successfully?

    (3) What MOS are most available, and what can I do to get into Intel, or Language or Oceanography programs (so I can use the Chinese and Spanish I have acquired)?
     
  9. andrew_worldwide

    andrew_worldwide New Member

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    Getting into OCS and Getting through it

    Greetings forum members,

    I'm a 30 year old college graduate (BA Outdoor Experiential Education, Prescott College, 2006) with one-year of Masters study (Sustainable Development, degree pending), and nearly 3 years experience living and working in Beijing, PRC. I have gained a new value for the American way of life, and a much greater respect for our system, values, rule of law, and governing principles (Constitution, separation of powers, etc) and have a strong interest in serving our country as a USN CO. Both omy grandfathers served in the USN as COs. My father was a Marine Capt. Two cousins currently serve in the Air Nat'l Guard, and my brother was in the US Army for 4 years.

    Having lived in the "New China," for nearly three years, I am ready to leave and come home soon. I have a lot of questions and hope members of this forum could help answer some of them. I have not been able to reach an Officer Recruiter yet, because I am still living and working in Beijing. I will be here until Sept 15 when my visa expires and I will return stateside.

    My questions are of three types, and I appreciate all thoughtful and relevant advice regarding these and other related topics.

    (1) What are the basic spoken, and unspoken, "assumed" qualifications for OCS entry? How qualified would I be, or not? What can I do to most decisively qualify myself in the next few months? What would be a standard, acceptable application now (in the reality of summer/fall 2013 USA)?

    (2) What is the reality of OCS, and what does it really take to make it through successfully?

    (3) What MOS are most available, and what can I do to get into Intel, or Language or Oceanography programs (so I can use the Chinese and Spanish I have acquired)?
     
  10. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    You might have trouble getting a security clearance (required for a lot of jobs) because of your time in China.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    While this is true it may also make you more desirable as well. However, I believe there is a restriction that you must be less than 29 years olds when you commission. Not sure if age waivers are granted for non-enlisted personnel. Bears further investigation on your part.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with kinnem.

    I don't think the China issue is going to be an issue, it actually maybe an asset. They are probably just going to investigate you deeper for a security clearance.

    One of the areas that they always look for is foreign language. In the 80's it was Russian, than Arabaic, now it is Chinese. Hence, it can be an asset

    I also agree with Kinnem, your problem is more likely age. If you need a waiver for age that is going to be the uphill battle. They have more applicants than slots.

    However, again not many applicants will be fluent in Chinese, and if the Navy is undermanned they may give you a waiver.

    Waivers are case by case. I would def. go for it because you never know unless you try. I think because you have that background and your MOS's that you have chosen work well with your asset of being fluent in Chinese. Oceanography probably not, but I could see Intel and Language, especially from a cyber world perspective.

    Go for it. You don't want to be in your 40's and living with the what ifs. If they say no, than, oh well, they said no, and you will not have a what if I applied at 30 and maybe they would have given me an age waiver.

    It is only a few hrs out of your life to apply.

    Finally, you have said you are returning stateside in the next 60 days. I would contact NOW the closest recruiting office to where you will be returning. You can at least get a feel from them if this path is an option.

    If it is not, and you still want to serve the country in some form or manner. I bet the govt, be it State Dept., DOD, or defense contractors would gobble you up with your educational background and language experience. You would just have to be prepared that most of those jobs will be in DC.

    My cousin works for the Army as a GS, he was hired because of his foreign language. The Army DQ'd him and was not given a waiver. He was assigned to Peru for 3 yrs., and came back to DC this past spring. He will do 3 yrs here, and than go to another Spanish speaking country. Since he came in because of his language experience, while he is in DC, he is going to Georgetown and getting a Masters in another language with the hopes that he can expand his options; be it staying stateside or not being sent only to Spanish speaking countries. I think he is doing German. Remember he is with the Army, so the more languages he can speak fluently, the more career options are available.

    You may want to look at www.usajobs.gov
    Here are two:
    https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/346906600
    This Supervisory Language Training Specialist position...for the GS/GG-14 position. LANGUAGE PREFERRED : Please note that...Speaking-3/Reading-3) in a language of the EAP Division, but it...Burmese, Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer...

    Department: Department Of State
    Agency: Department of State - Agency Wide
    Open Period: 7/8/2013 to 7/29/2013
    Who May Apply: Open to all U.S. citizens "You are encouraged to read the entire announcement be...
    Location(s):
    Multiple Locations (2)
    Salary: $105,211.00 - $136,771.00 / Per Year
    Series & Grade: GG-1701-14/14
    Position Info: Full-Time - Excepted Service Temporary Appointment NTE 2 years. Renewable at the...
    Control Number: 346906600
    JOA Number: FSI-2013-0061


    The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) offers foreign language instruction in more than two dozen languages on a schedule that extends throughout...

    Department: Department of the Army
    Agency: U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command
    Open Period: 10/22/2012 to 9/27/2013
    Who May Apply: US Citizens and Non Citizens
    Location(s): Monterey, California
    Salary: $38,153.00 - $85,483.00 / Per Year
    Series & Grade: AD-1701-02/04
    Position Info: Multiple Schedules - Temporary NTE Various
    Control Number: 329455200
    JOA Number: WTEY12FPS771814CHIN

    Sometimes if you want to serve you have to think outside the box.

    Good luck, and thank you for wanting to serve this great nation.
     
  13. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    I think it will depend on if there is an Ensign position that requires Chinese language skills/regional expertise in the Navy. Suppose you can be a good fit as an intel officer in a unit that focuses on China. I am not sure if the officer recruitment process is that specific.
     

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