Midshipmen / Students / Future OCS Candidates
As a future candidate, read this users guide and the learning objectives. You need to understand that your ability to demonstrate the objectives is what you should be striving for, regardless of how you learn the material. Here are several methods to accomplish your mission.
Take note of all the mastery level objectives for your grade level, for example Freshmen have approximately 88 objectives. Take a specific subject and write a deadline to complete it. Using the references listed, study the material pertaining to that specific subject. Some subjects can be studied together such as map reading and land navigation. Use whatever method of learning that works best for you. After you've spent some time studying, ask someone who's knowledgeable on the subject to test you, such as your MOI, AMOI, OSO or even your buddy who's a Marine reservist. Testing can be a written, oral, or practical application type as long as when you answer the questions or perform the test, the person giving the test can see that you can meet the objective(s) for that subject according to the standard. Repeat this process until you can meet the objectives. Once met, move onto another subject but remember, you will need to review and are encouraged to practice the newly learned subject every month or two. This follows the Ebbinghaus Learning Curve theory to ensure you best retain the new information.
Form small study groups with other future candidates. It doesn’t require a lot of formality. The group decides which subject(s) will be the focus for a specific time period (set a deadline). Everyone in the group can research a certain area or objective and present it to the others during subsequent meetings. This can be a formal period of instruction or an informal gathering at the local restaurant. Remember, the focus of the meeting should be to present the information to the others so they can learn. I have found that I learn a subject exponentially better and faster when I teach it to others. You won't be the subject matter expert but the sum of everyone working together will be much greater than all the individual studying done.
Seniors and those having completed OCS can utilize their knowledge of OCS and actually write lesson plans for the underclassmen to study and by giving classes following the guidelines listed herein.
You are cautioned... Do Not attempt to give the answers to any written or performance test you have taken. Remember, the underclassmen you are training will be your lieutenants and you want them as smart and capable as possible. Giving them the answers short changes them, but more importantly, it short changes the men and women they may someday be leading into harms way.
AMOI's/OSO's/Trainers of OCS Candidates
The future candidates performing the objectives is the objective. It doesn't matter how they do this, as long as it is not immoral, illegal, or unethical. Each unit leader is encouraged to utilize the references listed and develop a progressive training program that takes into consideration each future candidates grade level, existing military knowledge, and time to report to OCS. The objectives were based on the ability as an AMOI to have three years to prepare a candidate for OCS. But it can still work well for those with only one or two years before attending OCS.
Using the references, lesson plans can be developed using whatever material and assets you have available. Some units only have white paper flip charts while others have complete computerized classrooms at their disposal. The assets are only as good as the effort put into their proper use and this is where you can work your magic with getting the future candidates involved with their training. Many people have reviewed this program and thought the students should learn the material at a faster rate or learn the material in greater depth. We must remember that the goal is to prepare a candidate for the OCS environment, not to make a fully knowledgeable candidate. Additionally, while each subject only has a splattering of information for each grade level, when you combine all the subjects for a specific grade, either the Freshmen or Sophomore, you will see that they have quite a bit of information to learn in a year's time. Over 70% of the total objectives for the course are learned in the candidates first two years. The third year is meant as a time to practice, over and over, the information they have learned as well as to maximize their physical fitness level prior to OCS.
Any questions or recommendations for this program can be sent to myself at the e-mail address below:
GySgt White (Ret.)
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