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OCS Blog

Corps Offers Unparalleled Look Inside Officer Training

MARINE CORPS BASE, QUANTICO, Va. (July 23, 2009) – Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC) and Officer Candidate School (OCS) have joined forces to provide America with an inside look at the making of a Marine officer.


Marine Corps Recruiting Command Sgt. Vargas
3280 Russell Rd., 2nd Floor
Quantico, VA 22134

In an unprecedented initiative, the Corps has opened its doors to offer the public direct insight into the transformation men and women undergo to become Marine officers and learn what they go through to earn the right to lead Marines. This is the first time candidates, the term used for men and women attending OCS, have been engaged in an official effort to share their experiences with the public in a social networking forum.

Six candidates will provide blogs at http://our.marines.com/ocsblog to present the American people with a unique look at their journey. The candidates are attending OCS through the Platoon Leaders Class (PLC), a program that breaks up training into two, six-week sessions for college students to attend in the summer.

In addition, staff members at OCS will blog each week to provide insight from a command perspective on how training is going for the candidates.

The candidates providing the blogs come from areas all over the country.

Lawrence Miller describes himself as motivated, though others call it cocky or vain. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, “Zuko,” as his friends call him, is at Chattanooga State University (Tenn.) and is now following in his Marine father’s footsteps. His parents have mixed feelings about his decision to go to OCS, but he is determined.

Shannon Terrian is a New Hampshire girl who graduated from Saint Johns College in Maryland and began her journey at OCS last October. She is back for the second session to finish her training and see if she really has what it takes to lead Marines. Her parents didn’t like the idea of her trying to join the Marine Corps at first, but “Shannon the Cannon” was able to change their minds.

Andy Gomez’ real name is Andres, but he doesn’t tell anyone. He hails from the Dominican Republic, though his family moved all over the world following his father’s Navy career. The Liberty University (Va.) student wants to be an astronaut in the future, but for now, he is working to earn a commission as a pilot.

Friends call Joseph Michael Polakovic “Joe Po,” for which he considers himself lucky because it is only one letter away from “Joe Poo.” This former rugby player is a Colorado native attending the University of Colorado in Boulder. His family supports his decision to attend OCS, but he is nervous to see how he stacks up.

Jeff Neese is a farm boy from New Canton, Ill. – a very small town of about 300 people. Apparently, he was destined to try his hand at the Marine Corps, as he attends Western Illinois University, whose mascot is the Fighting Leathernecks (Marines are also called Leatherneck). He is also returning for the second session of his training and is excited about being back at OCS to finish the challenge.

Ulysses “OJ” Sosa is our final candidate. He is from San Diego and attends Cal State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif. He hails from a military family that is supportive of his decision to go to OCS; in fact, his father just retired from the Marine Corps last October. Although he has been preparing for several months, he is anxious, nervous and excited about what awaits him at OCS.

To follow these candidates and share their journey to see if they have what it takes to lead Marines, visit http://our.marines.com/ocsblog