Officer Candidate School (OCS)

The National Guard depends on strong leaders: its commissioned officers. Rising through the ranks, commissioned officers become managers and problem-solvers. They maintain a commitment to excellence, make critical decisions, lead every mission and guide Army Soldiers by the thousands. They take responsibility for the safety and freedom of Americans all over the world. And the place where they're made is Officer Candidate School.

Officer Candidate School (OCS) is an intense leadership training ground. It's physically and mentally challenging, and not everyone's cut out for it. But those who are accepted, and make it through, agree it's one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Whether you're a first-time Soldier or have prior military experience, OCS will transform you into an effective leader.

There are three options for attending OCS, as outlined below. After speaking with a recruiter, you'll choose the best one for you based on your specific circumstances, such as your work and family commitments.

State OCS (Traditional)

  • Where: Your state's Regional Training Institute, or RTI
  • When: Weekends only—16-18 months of one weekend a month, plus two two-week periods

National Guard Bureau Accelerated OCS

  • Where: School locations vary by season and state
  • When: Eight weeks straight, seven days a week, winter or summer session

Federal OCS

  • Where: Fort Benning, GA
  • When: 14 weeks, courses offered year-round

For more details about each of these OCS options and to discuss your eligibility, contact your local recruiter.

Effective November 30, 2010, applicants interested in attending federal OCS must have a baccalaureate degree or higher. Waivers for individuals without a four-year degree, but with at least 90 nonduplicate credit hours toward a degree, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.