Final Report Card from The Basic School

There are more questions and comments related to MOS selection and The Basic School than any other topic. While going through old paperwork preparing to update my OMPF (VERY IMPORTANT!) I stumbled across my report card from The Basic School. Seeing as how everyone wants to do well at TBS and get a sweet MOS it seemed only right that I share this information with you all.

Disclaimers:

  • The weights may not be the same when you get to TBS.
  • Some of the events may have changed.
  • My rankings were relative to my class. Don’t think that matching my scores will equate to doing well. Do better than I did!
EVENTSCOREWEIGHTSCORE*WTSTANDING
REVIEW EXAM90.00001.000.90
PHASE I EXAM I91.66702.502.2317
PHASE I EXAM II97.77782.502.4444
PHASE II EXAM I95.55563.002.8667
PHASE II EXAM II91.11123.002.7333
PHASE III EXAM I91.11123.503.1889
PLT CDRS ADMIN TEST97.00003.002.9100
PHASE III EXAM II100.00003.503.5000
PHASE IV EXAM I88.88904.003.5556
PHASE IV EXAM II86.66684.003.4667
ACADEMIC TOTALS92.85753027.857216
2ND LEADERSHIP EVALUATION85.00008.006.8000
3RD LEADERSHIP EVALUATION85.000012.0010.2000
4TH LEADERSHIP EVALUATION85.000016.0013.6000
LEADERSHIP EXAM98.50004.003.9400
LEADERSHIP TOTALS86.254034.540089
RIFLE QUAL88.000012.0010.2000
PISTOL QUAL90.00001.501.3500
COMM PRAC APP95.00001.000.9500
COMBAT LIFE SAVING99.00001.000.9900
LAND NAV DAY80.00003.002.4000
LAND NAV NIGHT85.00002.001.7000
CREW SERVED WEAPONS94.00002.001.8800
COMBAT ORDERS 87.00003.002.6100
TACTICAL DECISION MAKING 183.00004.003.3200
DOUBLE OBSTACLE COURSE100.00002.002.0000
ENDURANCE COURSE98.75003.002.9625
TACTICAL DECISION MAKING 283.00004.003.3200
PFT96.00001.000.9600
CFT100.00001.001.0000
MIL SKILLS89.208330.0026.762522
OVERALL89.1597100.0089.159738

Overview

You can quickly see that academics and military skills carried me through TBS and helped get me into the top 20%. Leadership dragged me down significantly, but I’ll talk about that a little later.

If you look at my military skills scores, I didn’t do well on a lot of events, but I still came in 22 overall for that category. Take that as a hint you can make some real money there. My Tactical Decision Making scores are 83%, but the average was in the 60’s and those test CANNOT be retaken. You get what you get. The details related to those tests are a bit of a secret, so I don’t want to spoil the surprise by giving more details. Just don’t memory dump information after an academic test.

Physical fitness also helped carry me with solid double obstacle course and endurance course scores. The PFT/CFT are only 1%, so don’t worry about those. Your real focus should be on practicing the obstacle course and doing the endurance course on weekends as much as you can.

Land Navigation really hurt me and was disappointing. I did much better on the practice courses, and just dropped the ball when it came to the finals. Do the remedial courses on the weekends if you’re not getting perfect scores. It sucks to lose a Saturday, but it’ll be worth it. I regret not getting more practice in.

Leadership Evaluation

Leadership grading is very strange at TBS and constantly changing. It used to be that your SPC would rank the platoon from 1 to whatever. Your grade then correlated with your rank. The number 1 person got 100%, number 2 got 99%, etc. I may not be completely accurate with the old method, but it was something like that.

My company decided to do 5 tiers that would follow a bell curve methodology. For example, let’s say there were 30 people in my platoon. It might go something like this:

  • Top: 3 people at 95%
  • Top-middle: 5 people at 90%
  • Middle: 14 people at 85%
  • Bottom-middle: 5 people at 80%
  • Bottom: 3 people at 75%

Every SPC would follow this scheme to prevent any particular platoon from having a higher average. To receive above 95%, your SPC would have to submit a request to the company CO and prove your awesomeness.

I was placed in the middle tier for all 3 evaluations, thus my scores were 85%

This method has most likely changed, so don’t read into it too much.

Departing Tips

There’s not a whole lot that you can do to prepare for TBS.

PT events are 100% in your hands, so don’t let those points slip away.

Leadership is out of your hands and based on your SPC’s opinion of you. Be confident when you speak and try to get a high visibility responsibility. For the most part, the PT representatives get high leadership scores because they are constantly in the spotlight.

Help out your peers, but be authentic or they’ll see through the fake persona. TBS is incredibly challenging, but it may be the last time you get to fly on an MV-22, shoot the .50 cal, and hang out with those who will become your best friends. So have fun and make the best of it.


USMC Officer

As a Marine Corps Officer, my goal is to help and educate those who have obtained, or are aspiring to earn, the title of Marine Officer.

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