Officer Candidate School – Army

Officer Candidate School - ArmyThe U.S. Army Officer Candidate School (OCS) is located at Fort Benning in Georgia. The 12-week program prepares potential commissioned officers of the Army to assume the responsibilities of an officer upon graduation. Attendance of an OCS is limited to civilians and enlisted service members who have a four-year college degree.

Army OCS – The Basics

Army OCS is a 12-week course that develops future Army officers for a management path in one of sixteen career fields ranging from communication to finance and logistics. Before attending OCS, candidates must first attend Basic Training, a nine-week training regimen that prepares civilians to become Soldiers. Upon completion of Basic Training, candidates will then attend Army OCS. Overall, instruction includes leadership development, military skills, physical training, and adventure training – both in the classroom and in the field – with the goal of focusing on education and training as it pertains to unit leadership and tactics.

Upon completion of Army OCS, graduates are commissioned at pay grade O-1 (Second Lieutenant). The Army graduates and commissions approximately 800 Second Lieutenants annually through OCS.

Army OCS Phases

The 12-week program is divided into two distinct phases. Phase One teaches candidates the basics of being a commissioned officer. Training includes developing leadership and accountability skills, and candidates will face physical and mental challenges while being frequently evaluated. Phase Two will put the skills learned in Phase One to test via an intense 18-day training mission designed to evaluate candidates’ ability to work as a team.

Army OCS Schedule Overview

Following is a brief overview of the training during each week of Army OCS:

Week 1-3

  • Initial Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)
  • Individual Skills
  • Obstacle/Confidence Course
  • Leadership and Ethics
  • 6-mile Foot March
  • Leader’s Reaction Course
  • Map Reading and Navigation

Week 4-6

  • 6- and 9-mile Foot March
  • Military History
  • Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills and Call for Fire
  • Military Intelligence
  • Tactics and Operations
  • Terrain Walk
  • Squad Field Leadership Exercise

Week 7-9

  • 12-mile Foot March
  • Field Leadership Exercise
  • Recovery Operations
  • Branch Selection
  • Training Management and Command Supply Discipline Program
  • Leadership Training

Week 10-12

  • Branch Mentorship
  • Final APFT
  • Maneuver/Mentorship/Graduation Runs
  • Senior Leader Seminars
  • Graduation

How to Apply

 Civilians applying to attend Army OCS must have a four-year college degree and be a U.S. citizen, between 19-32 years old, and eligible for a secret security clearance. To apply, contact your nearest Army recruiter. Candidates must first enlist in the Army and attend Basic Training with the goal of attending Army OCS upon graduation.

Active duty, enlisted Soldiers applying to attend Army OCS must have a four-year college degree, must not have more than six years of Active Federal Service, and be between 19-32 years old and eligible for a secret security clearance. Enlisted personnel interested in attending Army OCS must first check with their chain-of-command.

Visit Go Army For more information on Army Officer Candidate School.

Kristen Baker-Geczy is a communications specialist, active duty military spouse, and former MWR marketing coordinator. She was also deployed to Southwest Asia as an Air Force contractor.