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


To attend Officer Candidate School, you must be a U.S. citizen and a college graduate, at least 18 years of age at the time of regular Army enlistment and have entered Active Duty before your 30th birthday. For Army Reserve, you must be at least 18 years of age at the time of enlistment and have entered Active Duty or begun training before your 33rd birthday. (Age waivers will be granted for meritorious cases only.) High school seniors may also apply.


There are two options for attending Officer Candidate School:


Applicants must enter Active Duty or begin training prior to their 30th birthday. Army Reserve officer candidates must enter Active Duty or begin training before their 33rd birthday.


Talk to a Recruiter for information on this option and application process. When you are ready to apply to OCS, simply contact your local recruiter to start the application process.


OCS consists of 12 weeks of intense classroom and field training and teaches you leadership development, military skills and other training.

You’ll receive a leadership development training that develops your potential in the most important of ways — mentally, physically and emotionally. Officer candidates start by attending basic training: a nine-week training course where candidates go through the process of becoming Soldiers. Upon graduation, officer candidates will attend Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga.

The Officer Candidate program is divided into two phases:

PHASE 1: You will learn the basic leadership skills required of a Commissioned Officer. Candidates face both physical and mental challenges, designed to develop and 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 on both leadership abilities and your ability to work as part of a team. It’s an intense 18-day training mission that hones the skills learned during your previous training.

The course you take depends on whether you are currently in the Army or a new recruit.

See the other paths to become an Army officer.