COVID-19 Outbreak Hits USMC Officer Candidates School
Group is first to do pre-training quarantine at home instead of at school.
Marine Officer Candidates School has temporarily reduced training because of an “ongoing COVID-19 situation,” a spokesman said.
“Officer candidates and staff are being monitored by trained medical personnel, and have all been tested for COVID-19 and placed in either isolation or quarantine based on their individual test results,” 1st Lt. Phillip Parker said in an email. He did not provide details about how many people are affected, citing DOD guidelines about releasing the number of coronavirus-positive cases at the unit level.
The temporary reduction in training was “taken in order to preserve our ability to train, screen, and evaluate officer candidates in an environment that preserves the health and safety of everyone at OCS,” he said.
Officer Candidates School is the first stop for many would-be Marine officers. Candidates are commissioned upon graduation, then go on to join newly commissioned officers from other sources, such as military academies and ROTC programs, at The Basic School for further training.
Last year, the Marine Corps instituted a two-week quarantine period for Marine recruits and officer candidates before training. This is the first class of candidates to complete the quarantine at home, rather than on base in Quantico, Va., Parker said.
“All incoming trainees are required to take a COVID-19 test as part of the initial screening process,” Parker said. “OCS continues to conduct all practical preventive medical procedures such as masking, regular temperature checks, and targeted quarantine and isolation for infected individuals.”
As far as vaccines, officer candidates or recruits “who are not vaccinated when they arrive to recruit training or officer candidates school will receive their vaccination upon arrival,” said Marine spokesman Maj. Jim Stenger.
The safety of candidates and staff “is of the utmost importance,” Parker added. “OCS leadership is doing everything they can to detect and combat the threat of COVID-19 in order to allow affected candidates and staff to return to training without jeopardizing the OCS mission or relaxing standards.”