After successfully clearing the low-crawl obstacle on his stomach, Officer Candidate Michael Ross goes for round 2 on his back. Photo Credit Captain Shaw James
After successfully clearing the low-crawl obstacle on his stomach, Officer Candidate Michael Ross goes for round 2 on his back. Photo Credit Captain Shaw James

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas State Guard (TXSG) Officer Candidate School (OCS) will graduate Class 14 on January 17, 2015.

Class 14, which began in October 2014, is the first to complete the newly revised 5 month accelerated OCS program which includes 1 month of preparatory online classes and 4 monthly drill events at Camp Swift. Previously, candidates completed OCS over 8 months; completing the condensed course has been no easy feat for the 8 candidates remaining from the 15 who started.

"Condensing the OCS drill cycle to five months instead of the previous eight months has proven to be beneficial for the candidates and cadre. The reduced number of drill periods resulted in less time away from families and employment while decreasing the potential for safety concerns during travel. The pace of the course is significantly faster, but overall quality of instruction has not been adversely affected. We believe we will see an increase in applications due to the shortened time frame and we are very pleased with the progress and enthusiasm of the current class of candidates" said COL Thomas Hamilton, TXSG J-7.

The TXSG began the OCS program in 2011 to meet the need for junior officers who are trained and prepared to fulfill the missions unique to the TXSG. The first month of the new OCS program utilizes the online Moodle platform for completion of pre-commissioning courses. The monthly four-day training exercises are designed to test the mental and physical endurance of candidates, while simultaneously requiring the devotion of countless off-duty hours to OCS academic and fitness demands. Class 14 has one more drill weekend before graduation, which will include completion of the Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Hood.

Officer Candidate Scott Runnels gives a hop as he scales down the rappelling tower. Photo Credit Captain Shawn James
Officer Candidate Scott Runnels gives a hop as he scales down the rappelling tower. Photo Credit Captain Shawn James

Class 14 is comprised of 3 candidates from the Army Component, 2 candidates from the Air Component, and 3 candidates from the Texas Maritime Regiment. Candidates are blended from their respective components and come together as one team working towards their graduation and commissioning. Officer Candidate Samuel Sexton stated, “OCS is more challenging than I could have imagined. There is no way to make it as an individual and the key is working as a team and accomplishing the tasks together.”

Graduation will be held at the Camp Mabry Auditorium in Building 8 at 1300 HRS on January 17, 2015.

Class 15 is scheduled to begin in January 2015.