MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
“Platoon...Attention…Fall out!” These were the last two, well-received orders given to more than 130 candidates before their family members rushed to them with hugs, kisses or a firm congratulatory hand shake during Family Day for Charlie Co., at the Officer Candidates School on Dec. 13.
Family Day gave the candidates' loved ones the opportunity to hear about OCS from Col. Kris Stillings, commanding officer, and allowed time for them to meet the candidates' training staff and ask questions.
“We are showing the families what their candidate has gone through, giving them a clear understanding of it and letting them see how far their candidate has come and where they’re headed next,” Stillings said. “This day gives us a chance to convey that the Marines are a family, but, without family support, the Marine Corps could not succeed. Life in the Corps is tough, and the candidates need that stable family behind them to succeed.”
OCS’ mission is to train, evaluate and screen officer candidates to ensure they possess the moral, intellectual and physical qualities for commissioning; and the leadership potential to successfully serve as company grade officers in the operating forces.
After the brief by Stillings, families gathered in the bleachers on the parade deck with their candidates before them in formation.
More than 200 family members were on hand to support their candidates. This was the first time that the candidates had seen them since Oct. 9. It was easy to see the anticipation to greet their families was high.
“In our family, there is a strong military heritage,” said Beverly Snowden, mother of 24-year-old candidate Trevor Macpherson. “As a mother, to see my son succeed at OCS, continue that legacy and have the fire and desire to service our country, is absolutely overwhelming. Words cannot describe how extremely proud I am.”
The candidates were granted liberty for the afternoon and were free to show their families around Brown Field. On Friday, the candidates attended their commissioning ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.