FORT IRWIN, Calif. — For those interested in becoming a United States Army officer, there are opportunities coming up to help soldiers meet their goal.
For soldiers who have a bachelor’s degree, one option is to apply for Officer Candidate School. Local interview panels are held every month during BRD 5. Fort Irwin’s last interview panel for the fiscal year will be held on 22 April, in conjunction with HRC’s final OCS Selection Panel for the year.
The second pathway for enlisted soldiers to become an officer, is through the Commanders Hip Pocket Scholarship. This is an opportunity for eligible Soldiers to receive an ROTC scholarship for 2, 3 or 4 years. This scholarship can be used to earn a first bachelor’s degree or a first master’s degree. The National Training Center and Fort Irwin has two allocations for the 2020/2021 school year. Applications for this opportunity are due to the G1 office by Feb. 17. Soldiers must see their S1 for more details and eligibility requirements are available for both OCS and the Commanders Hip Pocket Scholarship on www.goarmy.com.
OCS is a 12-week course, where the end goal is a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. Fort Irwin is at the frontline in promoting leadership and one’s aspiration in becoming an officer. Enlisted soldiers who are uniformed are given that opportunity. There are monthly boards as to where soldiers have to appear before a local selection panel for an intense questioning or “grilling” about military traditions and why they want to be an officer.
In order to qualify for OCS as an active duty, enlisted soldier, you must be:
• A college graduate with at least a four-year degree
• Must not have more than six years of Active Federal Service (AFS) upon arrival at OCS
• Between 19 and 32 years old (you must enter active duty or ship to training by your 33rd birthday and accept commission prior to age 34)
• Eligible for a secret security clearance
OCS, located at Fort Benning Georgia, is a 12 weeks of intense tactical and leadership training. All officer candidates must complete Basic Combat Training before they enter OCS.
At the outset of the course, candidates are organized into squads, in which they will learn a variety of leadership skills and small-unit tactics. From there, the course is divided into two basic phases:
PHASE 1: Soldiers learn the basic leadership skills required of a Commissioned Officer. Candidates face both physical and mental challenges that trainers will use to evaluate determination and desire to excel.
PHASE 2: All of the skills learned in training will be put to the test in the field. As a senior-phase candidate, soldiers are tested in their ability to lead a team during an intense 18-day training mission.
At graduation, soldiers are given a formal commission as a U.S. Army Officer and assigned to the rank of Second Lieutenant, the lowest of the commissioned ranks. Soldiers will be recognized as a leader in the nation’s first and best line of defense. Soldiers embody what it means to be Army Strong.
Fort Irwin Soldiers Selected
For the month of December 2019, a Fort Irwin selection panel has selected a few soldiers to attend OCS. It’s no doubt that this transition from Green to Gold is a life changing event that is welcomed. The FICA soldiers selected for OCS from HQDA:
• Sgt. Lamar A. Leseur (DENCOM)
• Sgt. Ross C. T Watson (11th ACR)
The FICA soldiers recently selected by the local Selection Panel who’s applications will be forwarded to HQDA for possible selection to OCS:
• Sgt. Victor J. Marrero Salcedo (11th ACR)
• Spc./P Tega S. Overo (11th ACR)
• Spc/P Huguens St. Jean (11th ACR)
Fort Irwin and the National Training Center wishes them all a successful 12 weeks and even more successful transition to an officer.