The BOC is a twenty-six week course that focuses on the training and development of a Marine officer. TBS focuses on five horizontal themes of leadership:

  1. a man/woman of exemplary character,
  2. devoted to leading Marines 24/7,
  3. able to decide, communicate, and act in the fog of war,
  4. a Warfighter who embraces the Corps’ warrior ethos, and
  5. mentally strong and physically tough.

The universal concept that effective leaders must be able to assess situations, weigh the pros and cons of various decisions, make a decision, develop a plan, communicate that plan effectively, and supervise its execution is stressed and exercised throughout the course. The course will teach the mechanics of officership and enhancing the individual’s decision-making cycle. Infantry-based training is used as the vehicle to teach and evaluate this process. Since all students are evaluated on leadership, physical, mental, and emotional stress are incorporated throughout the program of instruction (POI) in order to evaluate the ability to lead in chaotic and stressful environments. Some individuals will be pushed close to their failing point, but the BOC is designed to give students an opportunity to display positive leadership qualities in the face of adversity.

The BOC is not a “check in the box.” It is a course designed to provide students with the basic skills necessary to effectively lead as a Marine officer. Students who do not successfully complete the course may face a variety of administrative actions, including repetition of the course, recycle to a different Basic Officer Course, or revocation of commission and separation from service.

The BOC curriculum is an academically rigorous, infantry-based POI which consists of approximately 1500 hours of formal instruction. The POI includes classroom instruction, field exercises, sand table exercises, and discussion groups. The classroom instruction brings out the learning points introduced in the required readings and closely follows the established learning objectives for that period of instruction. Students are expected to be thoroughly prepared for all portions of the instruction.

A student’s ability to communicate is heavily emphasized throughout the POI, so you are highly encouraged to review the following courses on MarineNet (instructions for registering for MarineNet can be found at the end of this document):

  • Business Writing: Editing and Proofreading – COMM1903
  • Business Grammar: Sentence Construction – COMM2005
  • Business Grammar: Mechanics of Writing – COMM2003
  • Business Grammar: Punctuation – COMM2004

Combat orders and reports are heavily emphasized throughout the POI, so students are highly encouraged to refresh their knowledge of combat orders and seek instruction through MarineNet or any other available resource. MarineNet offers a course on Combat Reports, identifier M00CR_0799.

Successful completion of the BOC will depend on a student’s performance in three evaluated areas: academics (30%), military skills (30%), and leadership (40%). Academic and military skills evaluations are knowledge based, students will be evaluated either in the form or a multiple choice or written examination or an examination based on practical application of the material. Leadership is a subjective evaluation of the individual’s ability to lead examined through the lens of the five horizontal themes.

In addition, a student’s appearance in and out of uniform must set the example and is a mark of professionalism. Arrive at TBS with appropriate civilian attire. The TBS guidance on appropriate civilian attire can be found on the TBS website.

Check-In Procedures

Check-in procedures can be found on the TBS and E-Marine website. Check the website often, as information is periodically updated. Students must check-in no earlier than 0800 and no later than 1700 on their check in date. It is highly recommended that you check in by 1200. In-processing will include briefs by the company staff and supporting agencies, medical/dental screening, urinalysis, issue of supply gear, an initial PFT, height/weight screening, ID card issue, and vehicle registration.

POC for check-in questions is Capt C. Machi (, (703-432-6538). Students are further encouraged to check the website periodically for updates.

Physical Conditioning

Since the BOC uses the infantry model to train students, it contains an extensive amount of time in the training areas that surround TBS and Camp Barrett. For this and other reasons, students must report in top physical condition. Students who report for training in less than top physical condition and/or are unable to run a first class PFT typically struggle with the strenuous physical nature of the course. Further, physical conditioning is an important aspect of officer leadership. The pace of the BOC curriculum is intense, and students will not have time to “get in shape” upon arrival. The physical conditioning program will even challenge officers who already possess a high degree of physical fitness. The physical training program is oriented toward ensuring Marines are combat-conditioned and physically prepared for the rigors of combat operations. The physical training program is not progressive in nature as many of the most physically challenging events will occur early in the POI. A student’s physical condition is evaluated multiple times throughout the POI, to include two PFTs, two CFTs, multiple runnings of the standard USMC Obstacle Course, the Endurance Course, and numerous conditioning hikes that will coincide with major field events. It is highly recommended that students practice and can successfully negotiate all obstacles on the Standard USMC obstacle course prior to arriving at TBS. The obstacle course will be a timed, graded event that is a graduation requirement. Standards of military appearance, including body fat composition and height/weight standards, will be enforced at all times.

Physical Fitness Test

Students will take two PFTs during the BOC. One PFT will be taken during the second week of the POI. The final PFT will be a graded event that counts toward the student’s overall Military Skills grade. A first class score on the final PFT is a graduation requirement.

Endurance Course

This is one of the most physically and mentally demanding courses in the Marine Corps and is actually three separate courses in one. Students will run the endurance course in the full utility uniform with over 40 pounds of combat equipment, including a service rifle. Thus, students should bring well broken-in boots. The endurance course begins with a successful single running of the standard USMC obstacle course. After donning a load-bearing vest, service rifle, helmet, and pack, students run nearly five miles of rugged terrain that is littered with natural and man-made obstacles. On average, the course takes over seventy minutes to complete. Successful completion of this course is a requirement for graduation.

  • Male time to max event: 60 min
  • Male minimum time to pass event: 80 min
  • Female time to max event: 70 min
  • Female minimum time to pass event: 90 min

Land Navigation

The land navigation program is one of the most challenging in the U.S. Armed Forces. Instruction includes mapping skills, terrain analysis, and numerous day and night practical application exercises. The land navigation exercises and the final examination are physically demanding and cover great distances across rugged terrain. Land navigation exercises and evaluations will be conducted as an individual effort. A student must pass a lengthy day land navigation final exam and a challenging night land navigation final exam in order to graduate. No GPS (TO INCLUDE GPS WATCHES) are allowed in the training area.

Field Training

Field exercises at the BOC consist of training in squad and platoon offensive and defensive tactics, patrolling, military operations in urban environments, and basic weaponry.

Military Autobiography

Each student will write and submit his/her military autobiography detailing family and educational backgrounds, reason(s) for becoming an officer, and complete military background. Students should be prepared to write an autobiography during the first week at TBS. The bio format is available on the TBS website and E-Marine.

Review Exam

Each BOC will complete a review exam during Zero Week. Review material will be provided during zero week. Some of the topics include: Marine Corps Mission, Organization, Customs and Courtesies, Core Values, Code of Conduct, Preparing for combat, Fire Team Formations, Squad Formations, Hand and Arm Signals. Students are encourages to review these topics prior to reporting to TBS.

Professional Military Education (PME)

In addition to the MarineNet classes mentioned earlier students should read MCDP 1 (Warfighting), MCDP 1-3 (Tactics) and MCDP 3 (Expeditionary Operations) before arriving. Students are also well served to thoroughly review MCWP 6-11 (Leading Marines). As mentioned previously, this is an infantry-based course with a heavy emphasis on maneuver warfare and basic tactics. Digital copies of these publications can be found on the TBS website and E-Marine.


While attending the BOC, single students will be required to maintain a room in the SOQ at TBS. The rooms are not large and contain a bathroom, racks, dressers, desks, and a small refrigerator. It is recommended that students are conservative with the personal belongings they bring with them. Students may bring a laptop computer, a small TV, iron, and ironing board. In the SOQ, many living expenses are optional for students. Phones, cable television, and internet service are available and must be ordered and paid for by the individual.


In addition to the room amenity items discussed above and the expense of officer uniforms, expect to contribute about $50 per month for the company-operating fund. This fund pays for the company mess night, cruise books, photos, mixers, and other functions the company will hold. Be prepared to pay for all housekeeping items (mops, brooms, toilet paper, etc.). Room cleanliness is the individual student’s responsibility. Field rations and MREs will be provided during field exercises. Pay will be checked accordingly. Be sure to bring personal checks to TBS as cash and credit cards will not be accepted by certain agencies.

The Navy Mutual Aid Association and the Marine Corps Federal Credit Union offer low interest “career starter” loans to students upon arrival. Also, the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) and the Marine Shop each have a uniform payment plan for students. MCX, for example, will provide an interest-free loan on uniforms for up to 18 months.

Recommended/Required Items

Recommended Required
Laundrybags Map protractor
Towels Military style red lens flashlight
3×5 cards Military glasses (if needed)
Sewing kit Dog tags/chain
Tupperware containers Cammie paint (tube & compact)
Insect repellent Alarm clock w/battery
Can opener, utensils Field watch
Black gloves Field/PT cammies – 2x desert
Dictionary Field/PT cammies – 3x woodland
Scrub brush Map pens
Tick repellent (DEET) School Supplies
Appropriate sunglasses Field note-taking gear


Most, if not all, of the above listed items are available at area MCXs and department stores. Students are encouraged to resist the urge to buy excessive amounts of “high-speed” gear, as some of it will not be authorized for use while at TBS.


It is highly recommended that students bring a personal computer and printer to TBS as student hand outs will be provided in digital format only. Internet access in the student barracks is available at the student’s own expense. All combat orders at the BOC are hand-written, but students will be expected to generate MS Word and Excel documents throughout the POI.


Students are required to possess all officer uniforms prior to the BOC graduation. The minimum uniform requirements are identified in the current edition of MCBUL 10120. If uniform items have been purchased already, be sure to bring all uniforms, as staff platoon commanders will inspect them.

The uniform of the day is the utility uniform, although the service “B” and “C” uniforms are worn periodically. Females will have the option to wear either skirts or slacks with the service uniform.

Before purchasing any officer uniforms, seek the advice of a recent TBS graduate concerning their experience with the services provided by the two authorized vendors in the Quantico area.

Students are strongly encouraged to purchase uniforms prior to reporting aboard. Uniforms purchased at other Marine Corps Exchanges can be tailored free of charge at the TBS Uniform Shop, provided the student has a letter attesting to this agreement. Be wary of used uniforms; they must pass inspection at TBS. This will not be a problem if the item is 100% serviceable and fits correctly.

If students desire to convert an enlisted uniform to officer specifications, they are advised to first have the uniform inspected at TBS to establish its serviceability. In the past, officers have brought a converted uniform to TBS only to have noticeable defects pointed out during an initial inspection. Many defects and blemishes render the uniform unserviceable and will result in unforeseen expenses. If students want to convert their Service Alpha blouse, it must be inspected for fading around chevrons/hash marks and must not have been damaged by sewing these items onto the uniform. Long and short sleeve khaki shirts must be inspected as well. Students are required to wear the Dress Blue “B” uniform to the mess night and graduation.

Students are required to possess a standard PT uniform. At TBS, this will consist of green shorts (silkies are not authorized for PT), a green T-shirt, Marine Running Suit (top and bottom), a pair of running shoes, and a reflective running belt. These items are available at the Camp Barrett Exchange and exchanges throughout the base. Students will also need a pair of well-broken in combat boots for PT events. Male officers will need a conservative civilian business suit, coat and tie. Female officers will need a professional dress or pant suit.

Uniform Vendor Points of Contact

TBS Uniform Shop

The Marine Shop
300 Potomac Ave
Quantico, VA 22134


All officers will be required to register for E-Marine. You will not be able to register until your personal information has been sent to TBS by your OSO or MOI. Once we have your information (approximately 60 days prior to your check-in date) you will be able to follow the instructions below to register for an account. Once you are registered follow the link for inbound students to find additional resources to help you prepare for TBS.

Click “Find a Unit Site” in the top right portion of the screen

Step 1. On the map click Virginia, a list of units will appear

Step 2. Under MCB Quantico click on “Training & Education Command > The Basic School (Virginia, UIC: M30300)”

Step 3. Under “I am subscribing as a” use the drop down menu to select “sponsor.” Fill in your first name, last name, birth date, and e-mail address. These must be in the correct format and exactly match the information submitted to your MOI or OSO.

Step 4. Create a username and password.

You can now login and access information needed to prepare you for TBS by following links on the TBS E-Marine site.


You will have to register for an account by clicking on the link below the username and password boxes. Registration will require your full SSN, full name, and birth date. If your information is not recognized you can register for an account by calling MarineNet at (888) 435-8762. Below are some recommended MarineNet courses that can be taken before arrival:

DI5101E000 – Driving for Life (Required before you can get your vehicle registered)

B130836000 – Operational Terms and Graphics (Required during zero week)

JATLV10000 – Joint Anti Terrorism Level 1 (Required during zero week)

SFINJURY00 – Semper Fit: Injury Prevention

SFNUTRIT00 – Semper Fit: Nutrition

M00CO_0799 – Combat Orders

M00CR_0799 – Combat Reports

Additional TBS Welcome Aboard Information

Physical Fitness Test (PFT) Requirements

Combat Fitness Test (CFT) Requirements

Marine Officer MOS List

Complete list of suggested MarineNet courses to take prior to TBS