marine corps tbs

Marine Corps TBS: 6 Things To Know About The Basic School

Marine Corps TBS, also known as “The Basic School,” is a place of training for officer candidates.

The Basic School is comparable to Advanced Individual Training for enlisted Marines, however, it provides more than technical training. 

Marine Corps TBS focuses on training and developing new officers, which is why there is also an emphasis on building character and leadership skills.

Learn more about Marine Corps TBS including the purpose, expectations, and training courses.

Related ArticleMarine Infantry MOS Guide

Marine Corps TBS: 6 Things to Know

marine corps basic school

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has various ways of training recruits and officer candidates.

As such, The Basic School (TBS) was established as the training ground for all newly commissioned officers of the service branch.

Marine Corps TBS introduces officer candidates to the basics and fundamentals of becoming an officer in the Marines.

Each year, approximately 2,000 new officer candidates arrive at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

There are several important things to know about Marine Corps TBS, including:

  • Purpose
  • History
  • Physical Fitness
  • Marine TBS Training Courses
  • Marine TBS Training Schedule
  • Training Goals & Tips for Success

Marine Corps TBS is comparable to AIT for enlisted Marines, with several notable exceptions.

In general, the physical fitness requirements and training courses are far more demanding.

Furthermore, Marine Corps TBS pushes candidates to become better leaders and specialize in certain career fields.

Be that as it may, The Basic School is a marathon and not a sprint.

Therefore, having the proper tools and knowledge goes a long way toward succeeding at Marine Corps TBS.

Discover 6 important things to know about The Basic School:

#1. Purpose Of TBS

tbs marine corps

The purpose of The Basic School (TBS) is to train and develop new officer candidates.

As a result, Marine Corps TBS is the destination for all candidates (new or previous Marines) after becoming commissioned officers.

The Basic School is located at Camp Barrett, at the Marine Corps Base Quantico complex in Virginia.

The Marine Corps trains thousands of new officers each year through The Basic School along with other avenues.

In fact, Marine officers can earn their commission through any of the following programs:

  • Marine Corps TBS
  • U.S. Naval Academy
  • Navy ROTC (Marine Option)
  • Officer Candidate Schools (OCS)
  • Marine Corps Limited Duty Officer (LDO)
  • Marine Corps Warrant Officer Program

Marine Corps TBS provides students with the basic skills necessary to lead as an officer.

For this reason, officer candidates are introduced to a wide range of training courses, including some that are very physically demanding.

Additionally, candidates must perform well in many classroom exercises in order to develop management and leadership skills.

Lastly, students receive training specific to the military occupational specialty (MOS) they plan to serve in as an officer.

The advanced training is extremely helpful toward becoming an expert or specialist in a career field.

Therefore, the training material that candidates receive at Marine TBS leaves a lasting impression.

Related ArticleHow To Get Into The US Naval Academy: 5 Steps To Getting In

#2. History Of The Basic School

usmc tbs history

Marine Corps TBS has a long history within the service branch.

In fact, the history of the training program has origins in the late 19th century.

First, the U.S. Marine Corps established the School of Application.

The purpose of the School of Application was to provide a training course for aspiring Marine officers.

Then, in 1922, the School of Application was renamed to “The Basic School.”

Later, The Basic School would go through several different periods where the curriculum was altered to reflect the current needs of the military branch.

Since then, the Marine Corps has created other training programs designed for officers.

Nonetheless, The Basic School remains the most legendary thanks to its prestige and extensive history.

Today, many consider Marine Corps TBS among the most intense and challenging training courses in the service branch.

#3. Marine Corps TBS Physical Fitness

tbs marine corps training

Marine Corps TBS is considered very physically challenging and demanding.

For starters, the Marines grades performance on the following physical fitness training (PFT) courses:

  • Marine Corps PFT
  • Marine Corps CFT
  • Double-O E-Course

Additionally, Marines must complete several other physical challenges and obstacle courses, including a 15-mile trek with a weighted pack.

In general, past Marines that have attempted the course state a typical load ranges between 90 – 110lbs.

Marines are expected to succeed in these physical challenges while maintaining a pace of approximately 3.5mph.

Therefore, those who are interested in becoming Marine officers can prepare in advance for the training.

The goal is to progress toward the desired weight and mileage necessary to succeed at Marine Corps TBS.

Those who struggle during Marine PFT exercises are more likely to lose the respect and admiration of fellow candidates and training officers.

Related ArticleMarine Corps PFT Standards

#4. Marine Corps TBS Training Courses

The Basic School is actually a combination of several different training courses.

For this reason, Marine officer candidates usually attend and complete several different courses, including:

  • Basic Officer Course (BOC)
  • Warrant Officer Basic Course (WOBC)
  • Infantry Officer Course (IOC)

The training courses usually depend on the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) along with other factors.

Nevertheless, every candidate can anticipate attending the Marine Corps Basic Officer Course (BOC).

The Basic Officer Course is designed for recently commissioned officers of the Marine Corps.

As such, the training program is usually completed just prior to training for a job specialization.

In general, most Marine officers attend BOC after being commissioned at Officer Candidates School or NROTC program.

The Marine Officer Basic Course lasts 28 weeks (7 months) and combines classroom training with field and weapons training.

The training course is divided into 3 graded categories:

  • Leadership
  • Academics
  • Military Skills

Currently, Marine officers must complete a 15-mile hike, Endurance Course, Final Land Navigation, and Rifle and Pistol Qualification course as part of the requirements.

Students also participate in field events like realistic blank-fire training and live fire ranges.

Then, after finishing Marine BOC, it’s not uncommon for officers to attend one or more additional training courses.

Generally, these training courses depend on the military occupational specialty and unit assignment.

The training regimen is slightly different for new Marine Warrant Officers (WO) and Limited Duty Officers (LDO).

Finally, graduates of BOC who are selected for an infantry MOS remain at Marine Corps TBS for a 15-week Infantry Officer Course.

The Marine Infantry Officer Course (IOC) consists of classroom instruction and field training, including patrolling and reconnaissance.

Related ArticleMarine Corps Requirements

#5. Marine TBS Training Schedule

marine corps the basic school tbs graduation

The Basic School is quite extensive despite its simplistic name.

In fact, the entire TBS course consists of 26 weeks of training.

Marine Corps TBS is separated into 4 different phases:

  • Phase I: Individual Skills (7 weeks)
  • Phase II: Rifle Squad Leadership (6 weeks)
  • Phase III: Rifle Commander Skills (6 weeks)
  • Phase IV: Basic MAGTF Officer Skills (7 weeks)

The first phase of Marine Corps TBS introduces students to communications and leadership skills.

Furthermore, Marine officers begin rifle and pistol qualification along with developing land navigation skills.

Next, Phase II and Phase III focus on decision-making along with combined arms and convoy operations.

Students also learn scouting and patrolling techniques in addition to rifle platoon tactics.

Lastly, Marine officers develop basic MAGTF skills during the final 7 weeks of training.

The advanced or specialized training includes Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) and Expeditionary Operations (AMFEX).

The purpose of the 4 phases is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each recruit, and proper MOS placement.

#6. Marine Corps TBS Training Goals

The Basic School introduces candidates to “5 horizontal themes” that are present throughout the training course.

All in all, Marine Corps TBS has the following expectations for each student:

  • A leader of exemplary character.
  • Mentally strong and physically tough.
  • Devoted to leading Marines and sailors 24/7.
  • Able to decide, communicate, and act in the fog of war.
  • A warfighter who embraces the Naval character and Marine Corps warrior ethos.

Marines who succeed as officers are devoted to the core values of the service branch including honor, courage, and commitment.

Officers possess a moral compass guiding them to make the right call even during times of adversity or chaos.

Furthermore, Marine officers are outstanding leaders who must not only make difficult decisions but inspire and instill confidence in others.

Therefore, the best officers treat fellow Marines with dignity and respect while maintaining a warrior mindset.

These competent leaders are grounded in the basics of infantry along with the fundamentals and tactics of warfare.

Related Article – How To Join The US Marine Corps

Marine Corps TBS: Tips for Success

infantry officer course

The Basic School is not for everybody.

Marine officers are highly trained and represent some of the nation’s finest leaders.

Therefore, those who wish to become Marine officers should begin preparing for the role as soon as possible.

Marines are not only in outstanding physical shape but also mentally tough.

As a result, there are several different ways candidates can prepare themselves for the physical and mental challenges that await at Marine TBS.

It’s imperative that officer candidates control their pace and do their best to avoid conflict with others in the training program.

In general, successful candidates are confident and avoid dwelling on past mistakes and failures.

Everyone will slip up at Marine TBS, which is why landing back on your feet and looking ahead is crucial to survival.

Marine Corps TBS can lead to the career you always desired and build lasting connections with fellow candidates.

Nonetheless, the Marine Staff Platoon Commander (SPC) will have a tremendous impact on the experience, as well as your final grade.


The Basic School, also known as Marine Corps TBS, is designed to train new officers.

Therefore, the military training is not only intense but extremely demanding.

Marine Corps TBS grades performance in both classroom and field exercises.

As a result, officer candidates must demonstrate a wealth of knowledge and expertise, including strong communication and leadership skills.

The Basic School lasts several months and rewards graduates with advanced training and commissioning.

Rob V.
The Basic School

The Basic School

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Marine Corps TBS, or The Basic School as it's often referred to as, is where the US Marines train officer candidates.
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