Small Unit Leadership Evaluation (SULE) – Part 2

SULE is the most important event at OCS and requires diligent preparation starting right now. Practice is going to be more valuable than anything else you can do, but not everyone has the resources to be able to simulate a true training environment. Those in NROTC are hopefully getting what they need from their units, but the PLC and OCC candidates are a bit out of luck. The information here will get you half way to where you need to be. The rest will come when you actually get into the field.

If you haven’t yet read Small Unit Leadership Evaluation (SULE) – Part 1 you should start there first.

SULE Requires Combat Fitness

Throughout the day you are going to do 50+ buddy rushes. This means you will be falling to the ground, firing a few rounds, getting up, sprinting through the harsh terrain, and repeating. Some SULEs come with extra gear, such as ammo cans, that will makes things more difficult. Being physically fit enough to do this throughout the day is critical to success. Luckily, SULE is towards the end of OCS so you will time to adapt your body to the training regiment.

Form Good Relationships Early On

It has been said before that leading your peer is difficult, and it’s easy to end up with bad relationships. SULE requires serious effort from everyone in the squad. If you become a candidate that is viewed as lazy, an idiot, a jackass, a screw up, or a bad leader then chances are your squad is going to make things more difficult for you. Starting on day one of OCS you must present yourself as a leader worth respect. Don’t screw around when instructors aren’t looking, and don’t be the candidate pretending to fix a rack while others are on their knees sweeping the deck.

Know The Operations Order

If you don’t know the OPORDER like the back of your hand then you’re pretty much screwed and nothing here will help you. The foundation of SULE is built upon the OPORDER. You will get an order, create an order, and deliver an order within about 5 minutes. The details of the orders done at OCS is nothing compared to TBS, but just focus on learning what you need to. For instance, the only “Signal” you will use is “HAVOC”, Hands and Arms Voice On Contact. It isn’t necessary to become an expert in pyrotechnics.

Here are the best resources for getting practice.

  1. The Operation Order lesson from the OCS book – This is the best place to start if you have no knowledge of the OPORDER
  2. The Combat Orders course from TBS – The pdf contains material at a slightly higher level than OCS, but still low enough to understand. The main thing you should focus on is the section about delivering an order.
  3. skeleton order – You should print, laminate, and bring a few copies with you to OCS. Use a map pen so that you can reuse it once laminated. The skeleton can be downloaded as a document file, so feel free to make changes to suit your needs. The skeleton is meant to help you think as little as possible so you can focus on the important things.
  4. An example set of abbreviations – Use whatever shorthand works for you. This list is a good place to start.
  5. An example platoon level order – You will be a squad leader so this is an order that you would receive. Read and transpose it to the skeleton. Use shorthands and then practice reading it aloud, preferably to someone else training for OCS.

Part 3 is going to contain hands on tips for SULE success.

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.

  • Drew


    As always, thank you so much for this site. I can already tell it is going to be a lifesaver. However, I do have question pertaining to the skeleton that you so generously provided. With so much talk about what is allowed, what is not, contraband, etc., are these laminated order skeletons going to be frowned upon by the instructors for having so much fixed knowledge ahead of time? For example, is it safe to appear presumptuous that HAVOC will be the only signal used? (I know this is indeed the case) Thanks so much again.

    1. USMC Officer

      There is no harm in bringing a few skeletons to OCS. If they say not to use it then just transcribe the same material in a Rite in the Rain. Recently, someone sent me an email saying the skeleton worked great for them at OCS 2014. It seems like nothing has changed, and they’re still good to go.

      1. Drew

        Awesome. Good to hear. Thanks so much again for the insight.

  • Jerid

    They hyperlink for “example set of abbreviations” is the same as the “skeleton order.” Anyway you’d be able to upload the abbreviation file?

    1. USMC Officer

      The link has been fixed. Thank you for the comment.

      1. Jerid

        Thank you sir.

        Candidate Schmidt

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