The Tarzan Course is considered a physical fitness event at OCS. I will tell you right now that it doesn’t require any significant amount of physical fitness. The course is more geared towards coordination and mental fortified … I guess some candidates are afraid of heights or something? I want to say that this is an event that occurs during week 5 or 6 for the seniors course. I’m not sure if PLC Juniors does this course and OCC candidates probably do it around week 8 or 9.
So, why am I writing about the Tarzan Course. Is it graded? No, it doesn’t affect your score at OCS. Is it difficult? You have got to be kidding me. Is it the “funnest” thing you are going to do at OCS? Maybe, I actually quite enjoyed doing the course. There is even a decent zip-line at the end where you go over the infamous Quigley. The truth is I more or less just wanted to tell a story. In fact, this has got to be one of my favorite stories from my time in the depths of Quantico.
A little background is necessary to fully understand what occurred. I attended OCS during the summer of 2012. For the past year, the Tarzan Course was closed due to renovations (see that nice mesh of rope in the picture that is there to catch you). The candidates at OCS during the summer of 2012 were the first ones to break in the new ropes. How exciting, right? Well … if you happen to be the FIRST CANDIDATE to fall off the new course it might not be too exciting anymore. A candidate in my platoon, not me of course, lost his balance and fell into the safety net after getting past just the first obstacle. Our drill instructors had a field day with this one. It wasn’t anger that overcame them it was shear embarrassment that one of their candidates was the first to fall off the ropes.
Instructor: “Candidate, (I won’t embarrass the poor guy)”
Platoon: “Fell off the Tarzan Course”
Repeat: 1000 times
In all seriousness, our instructor made it his goal to make sure that everyone at OCS knew which candidate fell off the Tarzan Course. We literally marched around to different buildings at OCS shouting the new cadence. It was quite hilarious and very few in our platoon were able to hold their bearing. The candidate who fell off I’m sure was embarrassed, but in the end the event brought about a slight bit of joy that is ever so hard to find in a place that so closely resembles hell. So, my lesson to you is to save yourself some embarrassment and watch your footing. If someone else happens to fall off then maybe you too can expect a small bit of debauchery that will make the day more memorable.