A "candio box" is a care package that friends and family send to their loved ones in OCS to celebrate them becoming an officer candidate, the last phase of their 12 weeks in Officer Candidate School. Traditionally candio boxes are opened on the Wednesday of Week 9 and are highly anticipated by the candidates.
These boxes are decorated on the inside, typically in a U.S. Navy theme and offer words of encouragement for the candidate.
*Alcohol, tobacco, pornography, gambling paraphernalia, medication, weapons, and live animals are CONTRABAND and having them can get your candidate seawalled.*
from the OCS site:
What cannot be included in care packages for my candidate?
Candidates are authorized to receive mail as soon as they arrive at OCS. Packages may include anything except those items listed as contraband. Contraband is defined as any item that is prejudicial to the good order and discipline, health, welfare, or safety of any candidate at OCS.
- Weapons and blades, to include letter openers.
- Chemicals, cleaning or other.
- Food and Beverages to include chewing gum.
- Tobacco, to include e-cigarettes.
- Medicine, to include gummy vitamins, mineral/herbal supplements, energy drinks.
- Electronic Equipment not previously listed as allowed.
- Gambling equipment to include playing cards.
- Any light requiring more than two "AA" batteries.
- Sealable Containers.
MAILING THE BOXES
It is recommend that you mail your boxes at the middle of Week 8, or a little later depending on where you are geographically. You want your box to arrive on Tuesday of that week, or the day before. If they arrive Wednesday, they will probably not be opened on “candio box day.”
Address boxes with the normal mailing address and largely - and very clearly - write "CANDIO BOX" on all sides of the box. This will help prevent your package being delivered too early, or too late, to your candidate. Some classes will not receive boxes until Thursday or Friday, depending on their class team.
Any size box is acceptable, but typically Large Flat Rate boxes from USPS are used because it is often the least expensive option given how heavy these packages can get. Large Flat Rate boxes are free to pick up from any local USPS branch and are $18.90 (Price in October, 2018. Subject to change) to send. If you purchase and print the postage at home USPS gives a small discount. Do not require a signature on delivery on your box.
There is typically no limit on the number of boxes a candidate can receive, but keep in mind that they have very limited space to store things. There are always candidates who will not receive a box because their family and friends did not know about this tradition. Do not send extra boxes addressed to “a Candidate In Need” - they will not be delivered. Any extra boxes should be sent directly to your candidate with instructions to share.
Candio Boxes may NOT contain perishable food items, candy, or items that are disposable. The less they have to pack in their sea bag, the better.
You can pick up supplies at any arts and crafts store: Michael’s, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, etc. Happy Decorating!