News: Georgia National Guard OCS Class 52 Graduation
Story by 1st Lt. Michael Thompson
CLAY NATIONAL GUARD CENTER, Marietta, Ga. – The Georgia National Guard 122nd Regional Training Institute held an Officer Candidate School graduation to celebrate 19 candidates commissioning as second lieutenant officers.
The OCS course manager, Sgt. 1st Class Donald Grantham, Jr. said, “We take our jobs very serious here at the Georgia military institute. We are training the future leaders of the Georgia National Guard.”
The traditional state National Guard OCS class commits to 18 months of training during drill weekends and two summer annual training events to be evaluated and challenged throughout the course. Federal OCS courses complete within three months. Candidates may choose either course as a commissioning source based on evaluation and availability.
“This program is the future of the National Guard,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas Sala, the administrative noncommissioned officer who handles more than 200 pages of required documentation on each candidate. “It’s molding, mentoring, and training future officers to lead troops. There is no better feeling than having somebody that has what it takes and making them the product of what the National Guard is looking for.”
Once accepted to the OCS program, candidates are subjected to a series of academic challenges and arduous tasks to test them both physically and mentally.
“This is not an easy school by any stretch of the imagination,” said Grantham. “It is very physically demanding. There are only certain ways we can see how you react under stress.”
The 122nd RTI was also recently recognized in July as an institution of excellence, 1 of 26 schools to achieve the title out of 54 state and territory National Guard schools. The 122nd RTI facilitates a number of military curricula to guardsmen to include OCS, infantry leadership, military police, transportation, and instructor courses.
U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s, David White, chief of plans and operations in the reserve component accreditation division, commented in the RTI evaluation that the school’s climate, culture, and curriculum foster the development of leaders of character and presence. White continued, the Army’s professional military ethic, including Army values, empathy and the warrior ethos, is clearly reflected in the learning environment and is exhibited by leaders at the RTI.
The RTI school consists of two locations, one on Clay National Guard Center and another at Fort Stewart.