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Lt. Walter McDuffie: Right now, I'm a Nuclear Programs Officer at Navy Recruiting Command, and I assist recruiters assess nuclear applicants into the Navy. I'm Lieutenant Walter McDuffie, a Submarine Officer in the United States Navy, and a graduate of Officer Candidate School.

Officer Candidate School is one of the four ways by which an applicant can become an officer in the Navy. The type of candidate that would go to the Officer Candidate School would be one that did not go to the Naval Academy, did not go to ROTC, but still desires to be an officer. There are a few exceptions, lawyers, health care professionals, chaplains, who attend Officer Development School. Talk to your recruiter to find out which one works for you.

Candidates should expect to meet physical and mental challenges that are designed to build you up into becoming a Naval officer. And you need to understand that the drill instructors, and the class chiefs, are there to test you mentally. The curriculum is a 12-week course of engineering, damage control, Naval history, navigation, things designed to build a candidate into a Naval officer, mixed with physical training, and rifle drills designed to build military bearing.

There's a progression of responsibility for a candidate in Officer Candidate School. And once you reach your ninth week, you become what we call a candidate officer, where you take on responsibilities that you will see as a Naval officer, so you can be the battalion commander, the regimental commander, you can be the battalion adjutant, and you will train the classes behind you, so that they could be prepared to step into your roles in a couple of weeks.

While at OCS, you live in the barracks, which we call the battalion. It's a dormitory where you share a room with three other candidates. You can help prepare yourself for OCS by reading the OCS fitness guide, which is going to prepare you physically for OCS, and the late entry guide, which is going to tell you some of the things you can expect as a Naval officer.

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