Marine OCS Now at KWU

Kansas Wesleyan University is offering a new way to turn a Coyote into a Marine officer while attending college.

Students can now enroll in the Office Candidate School (OCS) program during their years at Kansas Wesleyan, then be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marines a few days after graduation.

Former U.S. Marine Bernard Botson, assistant professor of Emergency Management, spent a week in Quantico, Va. this summer, at an educators workshop to learn about the program on campus.

“College professors and coaches went to OCS school so we can speak better to the students and tell them what it’s about,” Botson said, who will be the Kansas Wesleyan liaison.

Students enrolled in the program would spend six weeks at school in Quantico between the freshman and junior years, then another six weeks there between the junior and senior years. The students will be paid for that time. If the student is under contract, the Marines will also help pay for tuition.

After graduation, the student is commissioned and proceeds to Officer Basic School for six months.

“It’s not for everybody — it’s the hard-core stuff,” Botson said.

Candidates have to pass the security clearance, background check and physical exam, and maintain good grades.

Once accepted, though, Botson said, “OCS is not a heavy lift for the students through the school year,” since the commitment is just those two six-week periods in between academic years, in two separate summers or one 10-week iteration.

Air Force ROTC is heavier, he said, because ROTC cadets have to attend classes at Kansas State University. Botson is also the KWU liaison for Air Force ROTC, which is based at K-State.

Those interested may learn more about OCS options by contacting Prof. Botson at 785-833-4360.