Careers & Jobs
Officer Candidate School: A Leader in 12 Weeks

Requirements

In order to qualify for Officer Candidate School as an active duty, enlisted Soldier, you must be:

  • A college graduate with at least a four-year degree
  • Must not have more than six years of Active Federal Service (AFS) upon arrial at OCS
  • Between 19 and 32 years old (you must enter active duty or ship to training by your 33rd birthday and accept commission prior to age 34)
  • Eligible for a secret security clearance


In order to qualify for Officer Candidate School as a civilian, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • A college graduate with at least a four-year degree
  • Between 19 and 32 years old (you must enter active duty or ship to training by your 33rd birthday and accept commission prior to age 34)
  • Eligible for a secret security clearance


In order to qualify for Officer Candidate School as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, you must be:

  • A college graduate with at least a four-year degree
  • Must not have more than six years of Active Federal Service (AFS) upon arrial at OCS
  • Between 18 and 32 years old (you must enter active duty or ship to training by your 33rd birthday and accept commission prior to age 34)
  • Eligible for a secret security clearance

TRAINING

Officer Candidate School, located at Fort Benning Georgia, is 12-weeks of intense tactical and leadership training. All Officer candidates must complete Basic Combat Training before they enter OCS.

At the outset of the course, candidates are organized into squads, in which they will learn a variety of leadership skills and small-unit tactics. From there, the course is divided into two basic phases:

PHASE 1: You will learn the basic leadership skills required of a Commissioned Officer. Candidates face both physical and mental challenges that your trainers will use to evaluate your determination and desire to excel.

PHASE 2: All of the skills you have learned in your training will be put to the test in the field. As a senior-phase candidate, you're tested in your ability to lead a team during an intense 18-day training mission.

At graduation, you will be given a formal commission as a U.S. Army Officer and assigned to the rank of Second Lieutenant, the lowest of the commissioned ranks. You will be recognized as a leader in the nation's first and best line of defense. You embody what it means to be Army Strong.

See the paths to becoming an Army Officer.