10 Ways to Prepare for WOCS

      So we got through the formalities of what happens once selected, now let’s talk about what you should be doing between selection and class start. To get into the thick of it I sent out a survey to see what WOs in the field thought the top 10 pieces of advice for this time period are. So without further ado, here are the top 10 things you should focus on between selection for WOCS and your report date to school.


#10 Brush Up on Land Navigation

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      You’re going to continue to hear this one over and over, especially if it is not something you do on a regular basis. Land Navigation is a large obstacle in the way of graduation for many candidates. Things to remember include major and minor terrain features, how to use your pace count, to principals of terrain association, plotting points and measuring distance on your map. I highly encourage terrain association on this course and using known points instead of the basic training style of dead reckoning. Although dead reckoning is effective on many courses, it’s not the best method based on many many moons of experience on this specific course.


#9 Learn to Network

      I know, I know, you’re an introvert. Buttttt, you’re going to need to talk to people. You may need assistance or believe it or not someone might need the information you have. It’s ok not to toss yourself into the deep end of the networking pool but be open to conversation and discussion with your peers. 


#8 Learn the Warrant Officer Definition

      I can’t and I won't emphasize this anymore than this. Learn it and know it with the same confidence and enthusiasm as you know the Soldier’s Creed and the NCO Creed. Anything less is uncivilized and time consuming.


#7 Wean yourself off of caffeine

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      Yeah, no one wants to hear this but the sooner you do it, the better. Make sure you can function without forms of caffeine in your system. You don’t want to give yourself more issues than necessary during the course.


#6 Get in Shape and Stay there!

      You are about to put your body through the ringer. Better to get and stay prepared NOW. Work on your cardio and your endurance. Be as ACFT ready as you can. Get your push ups going, know your PRT and work in some fartlek style runs into your regime, run with weight, run for distance, and be ready for the ruck!


#5 Prepare to be a Team Player

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      The only way through this is together, for the most part. Remember that the team will win or lose together. This piece actually goes hand in hand with networking. People don’t always remember what you did for them but they will always remember how you made them feel. Be the team member you’d want to have. When in charge, be in charge, and when you're not follow accordingly.


#4 Read for Understanding

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      WORDS HAVE MEANING!!!!!!!!  (This is the part where I am stomping on the floor and staring at you knowingly) The better you read and understand exactly what you see on the paper the easier your time will be. Use this method carefully on your packing list, and once you get your WOCSOP and any other documents once you arrive. They don’t say reading is fundamental for no reason! 


#3 Talk to your local WO1

      I’m sure if you tried just a little bit you’d be able to find a WO1 that recently graduated WOCS. (And if you can’t stick around I will be interviewing a few of them coming up as well as sharing my own story) Talk to them! Ask them about their experience and remember regardless of what they say, everyone’s experience is different. Use what they have given you and put it into your toolbox but don’t put all your eggs in the basket of their experience alone.


#2 Ensure Family Affairs are in Order

      WOCS is a course that is fully immersive. You will not have consistent contact with the outside world so if you don’t get your affairs in order before you attend you will have a hard time getting and staying focused. Ensure that you are following the rules about contacting your family and share with your family how to pass an emergency message to you should they need to get in contact with you. Also have them join any prescribed pages on social media to follow your class's journey.


#1 Remain Flexible

      You are going to hear this a million times! Remain flexible, things will change without notice, plans will shift and you will have to adapt and continue to push forward. Don’t let the lack of foresight on certain things make you rigid in your ways. Ensure you think about second and third order effects of decisions and don’t stress over things you can’t control. I say again, do not stress yourself out over things you cannot control.

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     There we have it, 10 things you can and should do to prepare for WOCS. Although this isn’t the only bit of information you will reach out for, this won't be the first or the last time you see the notes on this list. Focus on being the best you that you can be, physically and mentally, prepare your loved ones and get ready to make magic happen! The journey of the thousand dollar dot starts here. Join me next time as we discuss your Soldier Records Brief and what areas to ensure are updated prior to WOCS for successful DD214 completion.

 

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