The “Moment Of Truth” is a part of OCS in which you are given the opportunity to disclose various types of information about yourself that may have been overlooked by your AMOI, MOI, or OSO. Essentially, the Marine Corps needs to know about any laws you may have violated. I do not remember all of the details surrounding this activity, but I will try my best to point out some of the major things you need to be aware of. I cannot stress how important it is to make sure these things are documented properly. It is a real possibility that you could be sent home if you overlook even the smallest thing. Purposely hiding crimes is a sure way to get thrown out for falsifying your application.
Parking Tickets or Other Small Fines
You should keep track of all parking tickets that were received under your name. If you have a car registered in your name and someone else gets a ticket with your car then you should keep a receipt of the payment. These are not going to be a big deal once you get to OCS, but it is good to have them documented in your record. The AMOI at my NROTC unit had all of the Marine Options get copies of the receipts showing parking tickets had been paid. Again this is not a huge deal, but you might as well start making sure they are noted.
Fines over $350
This is the important one! The $350 number may be a little off, but there is a key dollar amount that requires you get additional paperwork. For instance, if you got a speeding ticket for $200 all you need to do is disclose it. However, if the ticket was for $375 you need to disclose it, provide a receipt showing payment, and get a police background check in the county in which the violation occurred. You CAN AND WILL get sent home if the Master Sergeant at OCS is unable to track down the documents you need.
How my time at OCS was almost cut short because of a speeding ticket I received when I was 17
To demonstrate the seriousness of the “Moment Of Truth,” I am going to tell a quick story. When I was 17 years old I received a speeding ticket in the state of Texas. I am from the state of California. During OCS, I disclosed that I had received a ticket, but I wasn’t sure how much the fine was. I guessed that it was around $400. Well…that of course meant that I need more documentation. The problem was that because I was from California and the ticket was in Texas there are no easy way for them to do a background check. I, of course, was ill prepared and didn’t even know where in Texas I got the ticket. This complicated matters and made my first few weeks at OCS quite uneasy because I wasn’t sure if a ticket from my teenage year was going to crush my dreams. I was told point blank, “you may be going home.” Luckily, the staff at OCS in conjunction with my AMOI and parents (yes, mom and dad saved me) were able to track down the information they needed. In the end, the ticket was only around $200 so you can imagine how frustrating that was.
Public Intoxication or Other Offenses
Any incident that may have been documented should be disclosed. I cannot stress how important it is to reveal everything about yourself. If you were on campus and got cited for being intoxicated you need to make a note of that. If you got into a fight in high school and the incident was put in your record you should disclose that as well.Obviously, I can’t think of every scenario that may be important. Some of these things may turn out to be insignificant, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
I have a good friend who also nearly got sent home from OCS because there was a bridge toll violation for his vehicle that he didn’t even know about because someone else had borrowed the vehicle during that time. I caution you to be aware of the “Moment Of Truth” and prepare in advance everything you need to disclose. The best time to get these things added to your record is prior to OCS. Make sure that the AMOI, MOI, or OSO taking care of you has copies of all your receipts and has noted in writing all offenses.