- Customer Care
OCS Charlie Company Family Day
Andrei Petrov’s uniform is neatly pressed and freshly tailored as he steps out of The MARINE Shop dressing room looking like a Marine officer for the first time.
It’s a uniform he has finally deserved after a grueling ten weeks at the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate School at MCB Quantico. As Petrov had his final fitting on Aug. 9, he said “it’s hard to believe” graduation is only a day away.
The impact made by Petrov in his officer uniform was not lost on his family. His mother, Yelena Betts, said she would try to hold her tears back until her son was pinned with his gold, 2nd Lieutenant bars the following day.
“His dreams are coming true,” Betts said. “We’re just really proud of him. He deserved it and has worked really hard.”
More than 100 other families celebrated the long-awaited reunion with their candidates during the Family Day event, always held the day before OCS graduation.
Family Day provides an opportunity for the candidate’s loved ones to learn more about OCS from the Commanding Officer and to meet the staff members who trained and evaluated the candidates. Guests first attend an hour-long presentation of the candidates’ training and are then able to spend the rest of the day with their candidate.
Petrov’s sister, Anna Petrova, said Family Day was helpful for families to understand both the challenges of OCS training and the culture of Marines.
“This is super exciting and the overall atmosphere is refreshing,” Petrova said. “There’s so much respect to civilians and I’ve never been exposed to that environment.”
The MARINE Shop in Quantico Town, owned and operated by the Marine Corps Association & Foundation always hosts a celebration for the OCS graduating candidates and their families, said Pat Van Zummeren, general manager at The MARINE Shop. There is punch, cookies and a cake that says “Congratulations OCS Candidates.”
“We want to make the family feel welcome,” Van Zummeren said. “A lot of parents aren’t familiar with the military and it’s fun for the candidates to bring their family in the shop and see what they’re getting into.”
The number of visitors to the shop doubles during OCS graduation, she said, because the commissioning candidates all have their final fittings. She said the families enjoy seeing the uniforms and purchasing Marine Corps merchandise including clothes, coffee mugs and bumper stickers to show their Semper Fi pride.
“We’re like (the candidates’) second family because they’ve been coming in the shop and getting fitted for their uniform over the last seven weeks and we know them all by name,” Van Zummeren said. “We’re proud of them making it through OCS.”
David Grey is one of those graduating candidates to get fitted for his uniform at The MARINE Shop. After OCS graduation on the parade deck, Grey and the other eligible candidates from Charlie Company will commission at the National Museum of the Marine Corps just outside of Quantico base.
Grey has served in the Marine Corps Reserve for eight years and earned his undergraduate degree from Virginia Military Institute. He also attended law school at Temple University and will commission as a lawyer, or JAG, for the Marine Corps.
“I heard it’s better quality tailoring here and I figure because I’m JAG I’ll be wearing (the dress uniform) more than usual so I should take care of it right,” Grey said.
Grey became a member of MCA&F, the Professional Association for All Marines, this week before buying his uniforms to save on the hefty cost of purchasing his uniforms. By joining the Marine’s professional organization, he saved $80 on uniforms and only paid $35 for a one year membership.
Col Kris Stillings, Commanding Officer of OCS, briefs families about OCS training during Family Day Orientation
Families leave orientation to greet their candidates
Candidates await release before reuniting with their families the day before OCS graduation
Thank you so much for taking the extra time and making the extra effort
to ship another hat to me for my husband last week. The second hat
arrived last Thursday... and he was tickled with it. Although it may be
"only a hat" it is a very special hat in many ways. He will always be a
proud Marine dad, and your kindness is very much appreciated.
Thanks for the email; I purchased the two Marine Corps. Cups for my brother who served with the First Marine Div. in Vietnam . He was very pleased with the cups and I was very impressed with the purchase. The online catalog did not do the product the justice it deserved. Thanks again and I am sure you will hear from me in the future.
I'm so pleased to see all the great merchandise you are stocking and the awesome promotions. Your store was dissappointing a few years ago and I shopped only at Sgt Grit.
Now, I can find what I am looking for with you guys.
I just wanted to say thanks so much for making sure the uniform got back
to me in time for my commissioning class's photo. It fits me well and I am so excited for commissioning which takes
place in 17 hours! Thank you again!
MIDN Judith U Kastner
Congratulations. You are more responsive and informative than any other website contact I can recall. I appreciate that very much. It’s really nice to have someone like you at the MCA “front door.”
W. A. Reed King George, VA
Just wanted to let you know that I got the sword yesterday with time to spare. It showed up unscathed due to the excellent packing job despite the rough postal process. And most importantly it looks great and the Bahraini’s couldn’t be happier! Thanks again for all of your assistance.
Major Wayne Phelps
3d LAAD Bn XO
Security Force, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan
Major Wayne Phelps
I received my Dress Blues I ordered from The Marine
Shop in the mail today. And I just wanted to write and tell everyone there
that you all did a great job! Everyone from the tailors, to the customer
service reps. I am highly impressed with the quality and tailoring of your
uniforms. I will definitely keep coming back to The Marine Shop in the
future for uniforms!
It is ALWAYS a pleasure to work with a consummate professional such as SgtMaj (Ret.) Frank Pulley. As the company 1stSgt for Hotel Company, MCT, SOI (West), I’ve attended a number of his briefs and one can visually see a positive change in the student’s attention levels as the SgtMaj delivers his presentation. The SgtMaj truly cares about the Marines and the Marine Corps and represents the MCA in an extremely admirable manner. It has been my experience that all Marines (including myself) benefit from the experience of attending a MCA presentation. And regardless of rank or years of experience, Marines should always seek to increase their level of proficiency and knowledge and MCA briefs provide us with that opportunity.
1stSgt Scott Burton
Colonel Ford, I have to pass this on because I'm in shock that I was able to Connect (on the first Ring), Chat and concluded my business with "Sharon" in less than 30 seconds, at the MCA-Office. I was taken by surprise. Why, I'm Not used to anyone answering the phone especially on the first ring. AND...a human being...a lovely lady with a disarming voice, which at first I thought was a recording. WOW! I commend THE MCA for doing such an outstanding service for its members...make me proud. Just think...I was not asked "if I knew my parties Extension."?
Wish I had a Blog...I would spread around how delighted I am. What transpired to me today is Rare, just doesn't happen anymore. See, I'm so impressed I'm blitzing you here.
I received my blouse last Friday and want to thank you for your efforts
in getting things done. Also, please thank the tailors involved in
making everything right and please give my sincere thanks to those who
made the decision to make the necessary corrections at no charge to me.
That in itself says a lot about your organization. The blouse fits
like a glove and actually looks and feels like new.
Thank you and all the staff who had a hand in correcting a problem and making an old man happy. Semper Fi
Charles W. (Chuck) Harpe
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