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Officer candidate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Officer candidate or Officer aspirant (OA) is a rank in some militaries of the world that is an appointed position while a person is in training to become an officer. More often than not, an officer candidate was a civilian who applied to join the military directly as an officer. Officer candidates are, therefore, not considered of the same status as enlisted personnel.

In several NATO countries, the term Officer designate (OF-D) is used. In the NATO rank scale, it comes below the grade of OF-1 and above the grade of Student Officer.[1] Ranks designated as OF-D include dokimos efedros axiomatikos in the Hellenic Army, and chuẩn úy ("officer designate") in the Vietnam People's Army. In the German Armed Forces, officer designates are enlisted personnel and have a corresponding rank code.

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  • Officer Candidate School (OCS)
  • The officer candidate experience
  • Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS)
  • U.S. Army Officer Candidate School - Behind the Scenes
  • WOC's - Warrant Officer Candidate School the Journey


OCS Officer Candidate School for many is a life changer. It is a step into a larger world where the responsibility and rewards of leadership become part of the fabric of your character. My name is ENS Gary Smedley, the US Coast Guard since making that transition from being enlisted to an officer I've had so much more responsibility placed on me that I did not have before. OCS is open to both civilian and enlisted members of the Coast Guard. An E3 with a degree can apply for a reserve Commission. And an E5 with four or more years of active duty service and 30 college credits can apply for a temporary Commission. I'm ENS Tracy Lippincott and currently I am serving at maritime safety and security team, Boston. As a leader at my unit right now, it's important that I train with my team that they know that I'm capable of doing the same mission that they're doing. That I'm sacrificing exactly what they're sacrificing. OCS is 17 weeks of intensive training honing the skills necessary to lead Coast Guard personnel, to execute special projects, manage budgets, to perform the duties and responsibilities of an officer in an ever-changing environment. I'm ENS Thomas Bardenwerper and I'm stationed on the Coast Guard Cutter Reliance, out of Portsmouth, NH. One of the unique aspects of Coast Guard OCS is that you become operational very quickly. Within a year joining the Coast Guard the crew would help me get qualified to pile the cutter and carry out law enforcement boardings. For any given OCS class there are four assignment opportunities: operations ashore response This career track typically involves a rotation between law enforcement, search-and-rescue, pollution response and operations within the command center. Operations ashore prevention. In this career field Marine Safety Professionals conduct vessel inspections and investigations while enforcing international laws and regulations on the high seas. Operations afloat. Deck officers learn navigation and piloting. Engineering training focuses on propulsion and machinery. Life at sea also includes opportunity for weapons and communications officers and perhaps a path to the captain's chair. Operations aviation. Requires even more training as you head off to flight school and train to become a Coast Guard pilot. Candidates who successfully complete OCS are commissioned as 0-1 ENS in the United States Coast Guard. With both the ability and the expectation to lead enlisted members in the execution of Coast Guard missions. In being an officer you should embrace and accept challenges to take on more responsibility. This is why OCS is an opportunity for born proven leaders. Individuals who not only like to take charge but, who welcome the challenges and responsibilities that come with leadership. Having graduated from Officer Candidate School my future is wide open. If you've got the experience and the drive to become an officer in the United States Coast Guard. If you were born ready visit to learn more about the program requirements and to discover the extensive career opportunities available.



In the Finnish Defence Forces, officer candidate is an NCO rank, comparable to sergeant. Officer candidates are graduates of the Reserve Officer School, where they have been trained as officer students. At the end of their conscript service they are promoted to the rank of second lieutenant.


In the German Armed Forces, officer designates are enlisted personnel. Soldiers accepted for officer training are given the annotation (OA) for Offizieranwärter ("Officer Aspirant") to their rank. Then the designate progresses through the ranks of Fahnenjunker (OR-5), Fähnrich (OR-6) and Oberfähnrich (OR-7) in the German Army and German Air Force. Officer designates in the German Navy go through the corresponding ranks of Seekadett, Fähnrich zur See and Oberfähnrich zur See instead.

Officer designates in the army and air force wear the same uniform and insignia as the corresponding NCOs; added a silver metal tissue cord on their shoulder straps. A distinction to this is the insignia of the Oberfähnrich. His service and dress uniforms, including the shoulder straps, are sowed the silver piping, indicating the officer career instead of the NCO piping. However, his rank insignia on mounting loots for the field uniform are identically to the non-commissioned Hauptfeldwebel; plus the cord of the officer designate.

The navy doesn't use a silver cord to indicate the officer designates; instead a golden nautical star is displayed. The rank insignia of Seekadett and Fähnrich zur See is the same as for the corresponding NCOs, but exchanges the anchor symbol with the nautical star. The rank insignia for Oberfähnrich zur See is lent to the Leutnant zur See, displaying the nautical star and a golden half-stripe — also on the field uniform.

Bundeswehr Logo Heer with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Luftwaffe with lettering.svg Bundeswehr Logo Marine with lettering.svg
Flag of Germany.svg
HD H 21a Fahnenjunker FJg.svg
HD H 31a Fähnrich Pi.svg
LD B 21a Fahnenjunker.svg
LD B 31a Fähnrich.svg
LD B 33a Oberfähnrich.svg
MDS 21a Seekadett Trp.svg
MDJA 21a Seekadett Trp Lo.svg
MDS 31a Fähnrich zur See Trp.svg
MDJA 31a Fähnrich zur See Trp Lu.svg
MDS 33a Oberfähnrich zur See Trp.svg
MDJA 33a Oberfähnrich zur See Trp Lu.svg
HA OS5 21a Fahnenjunker PzGren.svg
HA OS5 31a Fähnrich HLog.svg
HA OS5 33a Oberfähnrich PzGren.svg
LA OS5 21a Fahnenjunker.svg
LA OS5 31a Fähnrich.svg
LA OS5 33a Oberfähnrich.svg
MA OG5 21a Seekadett.svg
MA OG5 31a Fähnrich zur See.svg
MA OG5 33a Oberfähnrich zur See.svg
Distinction Fahnenjunker Fähnrich Oberfähnrich Fahnenjunker Fähnrich Oberfähnrich Seekadett Fähnrich zur See Oberfähnrich zur See
Rank code (OR-5) (OR-6) (OR-7) (OR-5) (OR-6) (OR-7) (OR-5) (OR-6) (OR-7)


In the Indonesian National Armed Forces, officer candidate (calon perwira) is those who wants to earn a commission as an officer in the armed forces.

Officers in the Indonesian National Armed Forces are commissioned through one of four major commissioning programs (Upon graduation the candidates are promoted to the rank of second lieutenant thus becoming commissioned officer):

  1. National Armed Forces Academy (Akademi TNI), four-year undergraduate program that emphasizes instruction in the arts, sciences, and professions, preparing men and women to take on the challenge of being officers in the armed forces (Army: Military Academy, Navy: Naval Academy, Air Force: Air Force Academy).
  2. Officer Candidate School. 28-weeks course that is attended by senior NCOs or warrant officers from all services branches, who is selected to attend Officer Candidate School of each respective branches (Army/Navy/Air Force)
  3. Career Officer Program for college graduates. 7-8 months course, designed to recruit professional (such as doctor, dentist, pharmacist, psychologist and etc) into the armed forces.
  4. Pilot Short Service School. 34-months course, to train pilot to serve in the armed forces.

The Philippines

In the Philippines, an officer candidate or OC is a civilian or enlisted personnel who holds a baccalaureate degree and who wants to earn a commission as an officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Upon admission to the Officer Candidate School, officer candidates are appointed as probationary second lieutenants and probationary ensigns.

United Kingdom

In the British Armed Forces, officer candidates or potential officer candidates are civilians or enlisted persons who apply to join the service as an officer. This does not infer rank or salutation.

United States

Officer candidate

U.S. Army

In the United States Army, officer candidates attend either the Federal Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia, or Army National Guard Regional Training Institutes (RTIs). RTIs follow the same curriculum and requirements as OCS and commission graduates who receive federal recognition into the Army National Guard. Soldiers who attend OCS are usually prior service enlisted personnel, though civilians with college degrees can enlist and go directly to OCS after basic training.[3] Additionally, Warrant Officer Candidates attend the Warrant Officer Candidate school and are also officer candidates.

With regard to rank, a U.S. Army officer candidate exists in a gray area. AR 600-20, Army Command Policy, places their rank as outranking all enlisted members of the service and rank directly below all officers. They are not yet officers. They are enlisted soldiers who lose all rank status when reporting to the course. Regardless of pay grade, traditionally, but technically incorrect, candidates are outranked by any course cadre or permanent party enlisted soldiers they may encounter. Although their status does not correspond to a position of authority within the standard U.S. Army ranks, candidates serve in leadership training roles at the platoon or company level. They are addressed as "candidate" by the OCS cadre. During the first few weeks of indoctrination, candidates are treated much the same as a new recruit. In the final weeks of training, OCS platoons may achieve "senior" status and senior officer candidates may be addressed as "Sir" or "Ma'am" by more junior candidates, but never by other enlisted ranks.

The pay grade for a U.S. Army officer candidate is E-5 (Federal OCS), or E-6 (state OCS) on the enlisted pay scale, unless the candidate previously achieved a higher enlisted rank.[4] For example, an E-7 who becomes a candidate would continue to receive E-7 pay. The OCS uniform is stripped of the rank patch which is replaced by the letters "OCS." Upon commissioning, a candidate becomes a second lieutenant.

U.S. Marine Corps

In the United States Marine Corps, officer candidates are trained by Marine officers and staff non-commissioned officer Marines at the Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia.

U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy officer candidate insignia.
U.S. Navy officer candidate insignia.

In the United States Navy, officer candidates are trained at either the Officer Candidate School or Officer Development School in Newport, Rhode Island. A parallel program known as Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) at NAS Pensacola, Florida, previously produced officers slated to become naval aviators, naval flight officers, air intelligence officers and aircraft maintenance duty officers not otherwise procured via the U.S. Naval Academy or NROTC. A major distinction between the two programs was the use of enlisted Marine Corps drill instructors in the AOCS program, a vestige from the World War II and early 1950s period when AOCS graduates were given the option of being commissioned in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps before proceeding to flight training. AOCS was disestablished in 1994 due to BRAC action and merged into the current OCS program in 1994.

Officer candidate is also the rank to which participants in the active duty commissioning program "Seaman to Admiral 21" are appointed. STA 21 officer candidates are appointed to the rank at the Naval Science Institute and go on to hold the rank while training with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at NROTC-affiliated universities. While attached to their colleges or universities, officer candidates are looked to as mentors to the midshipmen throughout the school year. They must maintain 2.0 GPAs, and are urged to assist midshipmen in developing their own leadership abilities.

STA 21 OCs maintain their enlisted pay grade and eligibility for enlisted advancement. The number of sailors selected each year to participate in the "Seaman to Admiral 21 program" varies from year to year. Fiscal year 2010 admitted about 200 candidates, FY11- 115, and FY12- about 75. Currently, the program has been downsized to only admit 50 candidates.

The rank of officer candidate is denoted by an officer's uniform with no insignia except for a line officer's star device on white and dress blue uniforms. On khaki and working blue uniforms, fouled anchors are worn on the collar points until candidate officer status is achieved, at which time OCs wear the bar insignia similar to their senior/midshipmen 1st class counterparts at the U.S. Naval Academy and in NROTC.

U.S. Coast Guard

In the United States Coast Guard, Officer Candidates (OC) are trained at the Officer Candidate School (OCS) located at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.

Officer trainee

U.S. Air Force

In the United States Air Force, officer candidates are known as Officer Trainees (OT) and are trained at the Officer Training School (OTS) at Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

Similar to the Army officer candidates, Air Force officer trainees exist in a gray zone with regard to rank, and their status does not directly correspond to a position of seniority or authority within the standard Air Force ranks. Typically, they are referred to or addressed as "OT," and during the first few weeks of indoctrination, are treated much the same as a new recruit. The pay for an officer trainee, however, is equal to an E-5 on the enlisted pay scale, unless the candidate previously achieved a higher enlisted rank than E-5, e.g., an E-7 who becomes a candidate would continue to receive E-7 pay, and so on. Once commissioned, the new officer advances to the pay rate of O-1, unless they have at least four years of active duty service, in which case they are paid the higher O-1E rate in recognition of the prior enlisted service. Such pay continues at promotion to the next two grades ("O-2E" and "O-3E"), but is discontinued at the grade of O-4.

OT rank insignia loosely parallels that of Air Force ROTC and United States Air Force Academy Cadet Insignia, except in the case of the directly commissioned chaplains, lawyers, and medical personnel.


  1. ^ "NATO official document" (PDF). Retrieved 7 September 2010.
  2. ^ Langenscheidt´s Encyclopaedic Dictionary of the English and German language: "Der Große Muret-Sander", Part II German-English, Second Volume L–Z, 8th edition 1999, ISBN 3-468-01126-1; p. 1.381
  3. ^ " - Officer Candidate School". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04.
  4. ^ Army Regulation 350-51 United States Army Officer Candidate School. June 11, 2001. Chapter 5-2. Retrieved February 9, 2011.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 November 2018, at 19:46
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