Your Military Career: Requirements for Officer Candidate School

If you're considering a career as an officer in any of the military services, then Officer Candidate School (OCS) or Officer Training School (OTS) is for you. You must meet several basic requirements for OCS/OTS. The specific requirements, however, may differ somewhat for each branch of military service.

Here are the basic qualifications for OCS/OTS:

  • Be at least 19 years old and not older than 29 for OCS/OTS
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have at least a 4-year college degree from an accredited institution (or SAT, ACT Assessment, ASVAB, AFOQT, or ASTB)
  • Meet the height standard: Males or females must be 4'10" to 6'8". There's no minimum or maximum weight requirement for most branches of the service, although you'll have to pass the physical, and your weight should be in proportion to your height on most height/weight standards.
  • Pass a complete physical. There are certain diseases or existing conditions that might disqualify you from being accepted, including alcoholism, drug dependency, epilepsy, and so on.
  • Be able to obtain a security clearance.
  • Have no more than 10 years of active Federal Service at time of commission.
  • Be single or married, but not a single parent.

Remember that each branch of the service has its own qualification requirements, and certain waivers may be granted, depending upon the situation. Therefore, don't be discouraged if you don't satisfy all of the preceding requirements. It's worth pursuing a waiver with the branch of the service in which you're interested.