Test Program Aimed at Helpng Soldiers Heading for Officer Candidate School With Little Military Experience
Story by: Eric Durr - Division of Military and Naval Affairs Dated: Mon, Jun 28, 2010
Spec. Christiopher Minarch looks for a land navigation point at the course behind the Glenmore Road Armory.
Newly enlisted New York Army National Guard Soldiers heading for Officer Candidate School would get a heads up on essential training under a new program being tested by the New York Recruiting and Retention Command’s Officer Assess ions Office.
Dubbed Pre-OCS, the program will provide Soldiers who enlisted to attend OCS with training in basic military skills and leadership techniques, said Chief Warrant Officer Douglas Sherman.
Traditionally, Soldiers heading for OCS ranged for Specialists to Staff Sergeant and had some military experience under their belt, he explained.
Now, in the post 9-11 environment, the Army National Guard is enlisting officer candidates directly off the street. These Soldiers have the educational level to be an officer, but they don’t have three or four years of enlisted service behind them by the time they get to OCS, he said.
The New York Army National Guard normally has between 20 and 40 officers in this category, Sherman said.
The goal of New York’s Pre-OCS program is to give these future officer cadets instruction in land navigation, physical fitness, weapons, communications, and leadership so they know something about these subjects before they start their course.
The first test bed for New York’s Pre-OCS program was run on the June 26-27 weekend at the Glenmore Road Armory in Troy.
2nd Lt. Alexander Saxby, a member of Headquarters Company, 42nd Infantry Division conducted basic land navigation training for three OCS-bound Soldiers. The Soldiers worked on map knowledge and then ran the land navigation course set up outside the armory.
National Guard officers can enroll in a traditional Reserve Component OCS program which they attend in drill and annual training status for year. Or they can attend a nine-week long full-time OCS course.