Here’s the ranking of the three HPSP boot camps in order of “most difficult” to “pretty much a joke.”
1. Navy ODS (Officer Development School)
2. Air Force COT (Commissioned Officer Training)
3. Army BOLC (Basic Officer Leadership Course)
The Navy and Air Force were both five weeks long, students stayed in dorms, and students were restricted to campus for all but the last weekend. They had PT (physical training) every morning and classroom lectures every afternoon, among other training. Navy was more difficult* because they had to stand watch overnight and didn’t have access to the internet.
The Army just restructured their training course. The new version was four weeks, had every weekend off (with the warning, “don’t get arrested”), and stayed in a hotel. There was no PT (none!) and they went to Sea World. Two of their weeks were the field exercises, aka the fun ropes courses. And they got to shoot guns.
Totally ridiculous. Even the Army people said so.
“These are my awards, Mother. From Army. The seal is for marksmanship, and the gorilla is for sand racing. Now if you’ll excuse me, they’re putting me in something called Hero Squad.”
–Buster Bluth, more accurate than he knew
* Navy also missed the first week of M2 classes which made it more difficult, but that is not inherent to the ODS course.