Texas State Guard Officer Candidate School Graduates New Cohort of Junior Officers

Texas State Guard Officer Candidate School Graduates New Cohort of Junior Officers
MAJ Michael Quinn Sullivan, PAO, TXSG
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas State Guard (TXSG) has ten new junior officers who were recently commissioned following their graduation from Officer Candidate School (OCS) on May 6, 2012.

“I’m proud of these new officers who have proven their mettle in this very demanding course,” said Maj. Gen. Raymond Peters, commanding general of the Texas State Guard. “They have rightfully earned the insignia we pinned on their uniforms today. I have no doubt they will make Texas proud as well as they return to their units as new leaders.”

The TXSG OCS was launched in 2011 as a new program of instruction designed to train and develop junior officers for service in the TXSG. The instruction, exercises and experiences all focus on the TXSG and its unique mission to provide trained and ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies and to augment the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as required.

“The TXSG OCS program has been completely redone to provide our junior officers the leadership and mission skills they will need to lead TXSG troops in the missions and environment where we serve,” said Col. Thomas Hamilton, OCS commander. “It’s by design a challenging, stressful course that not everyone can complete.”

During the six-month course, the candidates each completed eighteen graded exams, seven or more graded leadership roles, six research projects, and passed three Army Physical Fitness Tests. They successfully completed both the Air Assault Confidence Course at Camp Swift and the Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Hood. And in preparation for their assignment as leaders in the TXSG, they completed all TXSG-required FEMA training as well as all requirements of the TXSG Officer Basic Course. It is estimated that the candidates completed at least 500 hours of off-duty study and preparation as part of the program.

A number of the graduates were recognized for their achievements in the course.

2d Lt. H. Lee Burton of the TXSG’s 2d Regiment headquartered in Austin was recognized as the honor graduate, earning the Maj. Gen. Raymond C. Peters Distinguished Honor Graduate Award.

2d Lt. Robert Williamson of the TXSG’s 8th Regiment headquartered in Houston was presented the National Guard Association of Texas Leadership Excellence Award.

2d Lt. Lance R. Herrington also of the 8th Regiment was presented the Bell Helicopter Academic Excellence Award.

The Physical Fitness Awards for the highest scoring male and female candidates on the physical fitness test were earned by 2d Lt. H. Lee Burton and 2d Lt. Joanna K. C. Kearns of the 2d Regiment.

The remaining graduates were 2d Lt. Leland Burns, 2d Lt. Brian Faure, 2d Lt. Peggy Gutierrez, 2d Lt. Lance Herrington, 2d Lt. James Lumpkin, 2d Lt. Michael Meadors, and Ens. Joe Tillman.

“In addition to the leadership and mission skills they developed in the course,” Col. Hamilton added, “they learned to appreciate the value of trust and comradery forged during the crucible of shared hardships, sacrifice, anxiety, stress and even some measure of fear. These lessons will serve them well when they are called to lead others in times of hardship.”

The next OCS Class is scheduled to begin on Sept. 28, 2012. Interested TXSG personnel should contact their unit personnel officer for application information. Applications are due to TXSG HQ no later than Aug. 3, 2012.