NROTC Marine Option OCS session and prep

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by kinnem, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Hi folks! I know we're a pretty small community here. Probably even smaller than I imagine. I know some of us have kids prepping for Bulldog this summer and probably all of us have been told which increment they will be attending at this point. Thought it might be fun to share a bit.

    I know his school runs what they call "Breakfast Club" where the MIDN prepping for OCS either PT or work on knowledge every weekday since the start of the semester. I'm not sure what's involved in this as I've only had 2 real phone conversations with DS since he headed back this semester. His current billet is keeping him extremely busy and for the first time it appears that at least one grade may be suffering. Ahhhh.... who cares about "The Crusades" anyway?!? :rolleyes:

    What prompted me to start this thread is that DW informed me the Marine Options in his unit were all headed to Parris Island Thurs (3/27) PM and will be training there through Sunday. The last time they went, 2 years ago, they ran through all the courses and also an "airman down" "helicopter" rescue operation. Pretty sure they did some rappelling and fast roping as well. I expect the folks going to OCS this summer are serving as the squad leaders through all their exercises. At least that's how I would run it. Hopefully they'll get some valuable feedback through this. I think they are pretty fortunate to be within a few hours of where they "Make Marines", or at least the eastern subspecies.

    DS is attending increment 1 of Bulldog. Hope to catch some of you there at graduation.

    Good luck to all these kids! :thumb:
     
  2. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    My DS is with his unit this weekend at a base here in Michigan. I guess MO from various states attend this Bulldog prep. 4C on up goes. We are having 40° rainy weather so I'm sure they're all miserable. The hard thing for me is not being able to at least text him because I pester him every day. LOL. from the things he was told by the upperclassman, it sounds pretty intense. I wish I could be a little fly on the wall buzzing around and watching all the activity. It will be a great experience for them all. I am sure. PFT, CFT, SULE, land nav etc.
     
  3. VMI82

    VMI82 Room 131

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    Climb ropes, Monkey Butt powder, RAT boots, write letters

    The NROTC units do a much better job of prepping Candidates today than they did in my era. (Or maybe its the Candidates actually do the prep better than I did?)

    BUT the one thing that many candidates struggle with is climbing ropes.

    If your DD or DS listens to you (and what teenager/young adult does?) tell them if I were in their boots I'd be climbing those damn ropes daily until I could go hand over hand sans feet like a Monkey.

    The other advice I'd share is foot care … boots are SO MUCH BETTER than in '81 yet I suspect candidates still MDQ because of gangrenous blisters.

    The foot care solution I recommend that helped my son in some of his brutal humps is as follows:

    - covert threads socks (socks designed & made by prior service Marines)
    - Monkey Butt foot powder
    - 2nd skin - when getting a hot spot I prefer this to moleskin. Moleskin, however is still excellent.

    I do not know if Candidates can take their own boots. (We did but snuck them in 1st weekend & replaced them).

    IF your candidates can take their own I recommend buying Danner RAT temperates if you can afford them (These are authorized USMC w/ EGA on heels). Danner has a factory 2nd store online called 'the break room' where these come up for sale occasionally for $79 w/free s&h. Otherwise they are $289 or so.

    Final word of advice I'd pass on to parents. OCS is 100% mental. Yes, the physical kills you. And that is because they want your physical condition to affect your mental state. Support your DD or DS with frequent actual letters (you remember stamps, writing paper … right?) Nothing boosts morale like getting mail several times a week - and in that letter hearing from everyone they KNOW you have what it takes.

    I do not believe there is a more brutal weeding out program for Officer selection on the planet. And that is exactly the way the Corps/we want it.

    Leading Marines is a privilege … and the era these young people are entering the service may well be some of the most challenging since 1938.

    God Love them and Semper Fi.
     
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Sampia: my DS is enjoying nature at Ft Custer in Michigan this weekend also. The 35 degree snow/rain will be a real treat.

    +1 to VMI82. I was a year ahead of you but I second your thoughts. We were nowhere near as prepared as this generation's understanding of knowledge, small unit tactics, physical fitness, etc. But in the end, the challenge is really a mental one. No matter how prepared you are, the program will find a way to stress you (sleep, hunger, physical, mental) and help you find a way to push past it. Each candidate has to find that internal toughness to persevere.

    Can't believe how nice the boots are these days. I wonder what the candidates do with all their spare time?? :smile: Boots aren't polished, uniforms aren't ironed. Somehow, I am confident the Sergeant Instructors find a way to fill the time!

    Proper foot care is a must. You make good suggestions. The only other would be to train now with boots to build those calluses beforehand.

    Great point on mail call. That makes a real difference. Assume that is still the way Candidates have a touch back to the "real world" during their training.

    I was lucky - ropes were never an issue for me. But I agree, most struggle with this skill. If the campus has ropes, these kids should be climbing them!

    kinnem: your DS and his peers are getting a real treat at Parris Island. Gives a sense of life at a real USMC training facility and exposure to the same courses they will see in Quantico. They are fortunate to be so close.

    For those that might be interested, I was poking around on the internet and found some OCS information on the University of Michigan NROTC website. Documents (some dated) on the course of instruction, reporting instructions, reporting instructions, seabag items, knowledge, etc. Reading it brought back some memories.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    And here I thought I was the only guy on the planet who had ever even heard of Monkey Butt Powder.

    Sampia, do you know which increment your DS is in for OCS?
     
  6. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    Since he is just finishing up his sophomore year now, and we don't know if he will be able to stay in the NROTC or not, he does not have any increment set. He may have to decide between PLC and OCS. and since he may not know the status of his app until later in the summer, that decision is being pushed back.
     
  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    OK. Thanks. Good luck to him and please keep us posted. PLC is a good backup plan if needed. I know a sophomore in DS's unit who is going that route. :thumb:
     

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