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Field that forges Marine officers turns 75

By Sgt. Eric Keenan, Defense Media Activity

Brig. Gen. Terry V. Williams, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Eastern Recruiting Region, speaks during the 75th anniversary of Officer Candidate School on Brown Field ceremony and candidate graduation at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Nov. 24, 2015. The mission of OCS is to educate and train officer candidates in Marine Corps knowledge and skills within a controlled, challenging and chaotic environment. (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III)
75th Anniversary of Officer Candidate School
Brig. Gen. Terry V. Williams, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Eastern Recruiting Region, speaks during the 75th anniversary of Officer Candidate School on Brown Field ceremony and candidate graduation at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Nov. 24, 2015. The mission of OCS is to educate and train officer candidates in Marine Corps knowledge and skills within a controlled, challenging and chaotic environment. (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III)
A plaque dedicated to 2nd Lt. Walter V. Brown sits in front of candidates of Officer Candidate School learning about Marine officer history at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2015. Brown, a former squadron commander, was killed in a crash during an exercise at Quantico,  on June 9, 1921. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Eric Keenan)
Field that forges Marine officers turns 75
A plaque dedicated to 2nd Lt. Walter V. Brown sits in front of candidates of Officer Candidate School learning about Marine officer history at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2015. Brown, a former squadron commander, was killed in a crash during an exercise at Quantico, on June 9, 1921. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Eric Keenan)
Candidates of Class OCC-220 in Officer Candidate School take their oaths of enlistment during their graduation ceremony at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Nov. 24, 2015. OCS celebrated  the 75 years of Marine officer training on Marine Corps Base Quantico. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III )
75th Anniversary of Officer Candidate School
Candidates of Class OCC-220 in Officer Candidate School take their oaths of enlistment during their graduation ceremony at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Nov. 24, 2015. OCS celebrated the 75 years of Marine officer training on Marine Corps Base Quantico. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III )
Candidates in Officer Candidate School jump into a muddy pit right before receiving their Eagle, Globe and Anchor at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2015. The candidates of Class 0CC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants during the 75th anniversary of OCS on Brown Field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Eric Keenan)
Field that forges Marine officers turns 75
Candidates in Officer Candidate School jump into a muddy pit right before receiving their Eagle, Globe and Anchor at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2015. The candidates of Class 0CC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants during the 75th anniversary of OCS on Brown Field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Eric Keenan)
Candidates in Officer Candidate School execute pull-ups during an exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2015. The candidates of Class 0CC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants during the 75th anniversary of OCS. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Eric Keenan)
Field that forges Marine officers turns 75
Candidates in Officer Candidate School execute pull-ups during an exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2015. The candidates of Class 0CC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants during the 75th anniversary of OCS. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Eric Keenan)
Candidates in Officer Candidate School receive their Eagle, Globe and Anchor during an exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Nov. 20, 2015. Class OCC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants after 10 weeks of physically and mentally demanding training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III)
75th Anniversary of Officer Candidate School
Candidates in Officer Candidate School receive their Eagle, Globe and Anchor during an exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Nov. 20, 2015. Class OCC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants after 10 weeks of physically and mentally demanding training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III)
Candidates in Officer Candidate School lift a log through an obstacle during an exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia,. Nov. 20, 2015. Class OCC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants after 10 weeks of physically and mentally demanding training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III)
75th Anniversary of Officer Candidate School
Candidates in Officer Candidate School lift a log through an obstacle during an exercise at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia,. Nov. 20, 2015. Class OCC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants after 10 weeks of physically and mentally demanding training. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III)
Candidates in Officer Candidate School salute during the 75th aAnniversary of OCS ceremony at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia,. Nov. 24, 2015. OCS has shifted throughout history from one place to the next; finally finding it’s permanent home on Brown Field at Marine Corps Base Quantico. (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III)
75th Anniversary of Officer Candidate School
Candidates in Officer Candidate School salute during the 75th aAnniversary of OCS ceremony at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia,. Nov. 24, 2015. OCS has shifted throughout history from one place to the next; finally finding it’s permanent home on Brown Field at Marine Corps Base Quantico. (U. S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erasmo Cortez III)
Col. Julie L. Nethercot, commanding officer of Officer Candidate School, teaches candidates about Marine officer history at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2015. The candidates of Class 0CC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants during the 75th anniversary of OCS on Brown Field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Eric Keenan)
Field that forges Marine officers turns 75
Col. Julie L. Nethercot, commanding officer of Officer Candidate School, teaches candidates about Marine officer history at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2015. The candidates of Class 0CC-220 graduated and were commissioned as second lieutenants during the 75th anniversary of OCS on Brown Field. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Eric Keenan)
Marines celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Officer Candidate School on Brown Field during a graduation ceremony at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. Nov. 24, 2015.

OCS has a long and illustrious history of forging Marine officers to command and lead. The mission of OCS is to educate and train officer candidates in Marine Corps knowledge and skills within a controlled, challenging and chaotic environment.

“We as Marines are very proud of our rich legacy from Tun Tavern through the sands of Iwo Jima all the way to Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Capt. Nate Edkins, a platoon commander with OCS. “That’s one thing we pride ourselves on, the legacy and tradition from handing the Eagle, Globe and Anchors at San Diego, Parris Island all the way over here at Quantico.”

Before World War I, Marine officers either came from the Naval Academy or from the enlisted ranks. In 1891, Marine Corps General Order Number 1 established the predecessor to OCS, which was the School of Application at Marine Barracks Washington.

OCS has shifted throughout history from one place to the next, finally finding its permanent home on Brown Field at Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Brown Field was once an airfield developed to accommodate aircraft after World War I. It was later named after 2nd Lt. Walter V. Brown, the first pilot fatality from Marine Corps Air Facility Quantico.

“I think its important to celebrate the 75th anniversary here at Brown’s Field because for 75 years they have been responsible to ensure that the young men and women that we commission are the best,” said Brig. Gen. Terry V. Williams, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Eastern Recruiting Region.

Class OCC-220 is the 220th and most recent to overcome the straining physical and mental obstacles of the 10-weeklong school and earn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor along with the title of United States Marine.

“The one thing I took away from OCS was the discipline,”said 2nd Lt. Seth Comer, a graduate of Class OCC-220. “It was really interesting to see the transformation that we all received in the past 10 weeks to become Marine Corps officers.”

Following the graduation ceremony, the class was commissioned as second lieutenants at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

“Those second lieutenants are responsible for leading and taking care of, training and mentoring those young Marines that we make at Parris Island,” said Williams. “The success of that young leader will ultimately come from OCS.”

The first ever graduating class, OCC-1, of 230 candidates collectively earned seven Navy Crosses, one Navy Distinguished Service Medal, 18 Silver Stars, 11 Legion of Merits, four Distinguished Flying Crosses and six Bronze Stars over their respective careers.

“When you think of Marines you think of honor, courage and commitment and here at OCS it’s instilled in us, it becomes part of your lifestyle and as we leave OCS we embody what the Marine Corps is and we are the beginning of the next generation of leaders,” said Comer.

The staff of OCS’s overall goal is to provide the Fleet Marine Force with the highest quality Marines that more than meet the standards.

“They will soon take on a lot of responsibility, having Marines under them that they are responsible for, so being a leader is one thing but understanding and caring for their Marines is probably the most important thing they’re about to undertake,” said Edkins.

Marine officers are the embodiment of the Corps and the school’s motto, Ductus Exemplo, which means ‘lead by example,’ said Edkins.

“There have been 75 years of second lieutenants that have come before us and we’re just continuing a tradition and legacy that’s going to stand long beyond us,” said Comer.


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