Officer Candidate School (OCS)

Image OCS logoImage soldier carrying OCS flag Being an Officer in the U.S. Army means you're a leader, a counselor, a strategist and a motivator. As an Officer, you will lead other Soldiers in all situations and adjust to environments that are always changing. Officers are problem-solvers, key influencers and great planners. They are driven to achieve success on every mission. 

If you're looking for a great way to enhance your leadership and management skills, Officer Candidate School (OCS) is an excellent way to get there. OCS is open to recent college graduates and college seniors who are looking to earn commissions as Officers.

For more information about the Army Guard's OCS program, click here.

The National Guard Officer Candidate Guide (pdf) is available here.

Image of graduates of Officer Candidate SchoolThrough Officer Candidate School you will gain valuable career training, get money for college, and be able to give back to your community and country. Current Guard members, Prior service, and even individuals with no prior military service can take advantage of the Officer Candidate School. In order to attend Officer Candidate School you must be qualified in the following areas:

  • 60 Credit Hrs (Official College Transcript) with a following transcript indicating 90 more to be commissioned 
  • GT score of 110 or above 
  • Must be able to obtain Secret security clearance 
  • Soldier preferably between the ages of 21yrs - 41yrs & 364 days (must commission prior to 42nd birthday)
  • US Citizen


  1. The Officer Accession Bonus of $10K (If applicable):
    1. Lump Sum $10K officer accession bonus for newly commissioned officers who agree to serve for six years in a valid critical Unit. Officers must also serve in a valid critical AOC vacancy in their chosen Unit. The payment of the officer accession bonus is upon completion of BOLC.
    2. $10K officer accession bonus for newly commissioned officers, who agree to serve for six years in a valid critical AOC vacancy in a MT&OE unit. The payment of the officer accession bonus is 50/50. The first installment is paid upon completion of BOLC and the second and final installment on the third anniversary of commission.
    3. Soldiers receiving Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) will remain eligible while attending OCS and will remain eligible upon commissioning or appointment, if they choose to. These soldiers can stop SLRP upon commissioning and take the $10K officer accession bonus.
    4. Soldiers who contracted under Selective Reserve Incentive Program (SRIP) bonus who served more than one year of their enlistment incentive contract, to include OCS time, do NOT have to pay back SRIP bonus. However, upon commissioning or appointment they will be terminated from SRIP without recoupment. These soldiers WILL BE eligible for the $10K officer accession bonus.
  2. Up to 100% Tuition Assistance to cover tuition cost and fees, not to exceed $4,500 per fiscal year (1 October - 30 September) up to their 1st professional degree.
  3. The Montgomery G.I. Bill, which pays up to $11,124 for college (or other approved technical training).
  4. The Army National Guard G.I. Bill Kicker, which pays officers up to $12,600 for College (or other approved technical training). 
Related Stories

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – The officer candidate school class number 60 graduates July 27, 2018, at Mount Rushmore National Park, S.D. The OCS class completed weeks of continuous training in all types of weather.
Officer candidates graduate under the gaze of presidents
By 1st Class Aleah M. Castrejon | Aug. 14, 2018
​U.S. Army officer candidates and instructors from Officer Candidate School Class 60 salute during the presentation of colors at the OCS graduation ceremony July 27, 2018, at Mount Rushmore National Park, S.D. Soldiers from many states meet in S.D. to complete the final phase of the 18-month OCS program. Each state holds its own commissioning ceremony for the graduates.