Ok, this is by NO means Gospel, but after AMPLE research and correspondence I can offer some advice on how to put together your perfect OCS application.
1.) Leadership, leadership, leadership… that’s what the Navy wants to see. Include this in EVERY aspect of your application. Talk about it in you motivational statement, demonstrate it in your extracurriculars, list it in your job experience. Make it CLEAR that you have had ample experience as a leader and that you are darn good at it, almost to the point where it’s overkill.
2.) Beef up your application. If you don’t have a stellar GPA, ASTB, or job experience, then this is where your need to stand out:
-Go volunteer somewhere meaningful (even better, volunteer somewhere military related)
-Do something athletic (join an intramural league, and take on a LEADERSHIP role)
-Participate in something that you’re passionate about (raise $ for a good cause)
3.) Pay attention to detail. Reread your application/motivational statement 20 times… then read it again… then have your friend read it… then have your friend’s mom read it (okay, I’m done). Take their advice; after they’ve read it, the first word out of their mouth should be “wow.” If not, you need to write a better essay and impressive application. Make sure that the formatting, spelling, grammar, and content are immaculate and free of error.
4.) The only thing that you can’t change is your GPA… everything else is fair game. So actually study and be prepared for the ASTB, get more involved in order to beef up your application, and talk to your LORs about what to include/stress in their letters so that you sound great! Your application is NOT a place to be modest; communicate that you are confident, passionate, and accomplished. Does your application CLEARLY reflect the idea that you would make the perfect naval officer?
5.) Make use of the forums and internet, but don’t become obsessed. Airwarriors.com and usnavyocs.com are your friends. Use them to get info on available ASTB study material. They will also show you what impressive material people include in their applications. Yet DON’T become obsessed and spend too much time reading those websites’ advice, that is time that could have been spent on enhancing your application.
In summation, don’t just list the things you’ve done… make them sound impressive. no. matter. what. Here is my example:
The past two summers, I have worked at the VA Medical Center. I’ll be honest, it was a pushing paper internship. Do you think I ever mentioned that I filed and did tedious clerical work? Hell no! I took the little initiative and leadership that I was given and I described/focused on that in my application. Here is how I described it:
-Worked closely with the hospital’s CFO throughout budget analysis, introduced to financial planning
-Performed 23 timekeeping audits and processed insurance to ensure efficiency in the payroll department
-Dealt with the logistics of a hospital that employed over 2,000 workers, augmented my understanding of the financial side of a large business
NEVER lie or overly embellish (integrity is paramount to becoming naval officer). Simply focus on your accomplishments and effectively communicate them in your application. I hope that this post doesn’t simply state the obvious… best of luck to anyone applying!