Officer Candidate School (OCS)

Officer Candidate School (OCS)

Officer Candidate School (OCS) is the U.S. Army’s main training academy for prospective Army Officers. Candidates who successfully complete the rigorous, 12-week school receive formal commissions as U.S. Army Officers and assume the ability to command Soldiers.

Officers do not have easy jobs.  The men and women you lead will count on you to make the right decisions when the going gets tough.  Officer Candidate School is designed to give you a framework for your role as a unit commander. You will learn tactics training, how to deal with mental and emotional stress, and how to give orders. By the end of the course, you will know how to lead.

The benefits of becoming an Officer rival those from the very best jobs in the civilian world. But your experience as an Officer will also signify to others that you have the fortitude to lead in any situation, no matter the environment, no matter the stakes.

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

  • A U.S. citizen
  • A college graduate (or a senior on track to 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


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 graduation, you will be given a formal commission as a U.S. Army Officer and assigned to the rank of Second Lieutenant. You will be recognized as a leader in the nation’s first and best line of defense.

Want to find out if you qualify?