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    The California National Guard's newest officers pin on their gold bars

    The California National Guard's newest officers pin on their gold bars

    Photo By Maj. Jason Sweeney | Friends, family and fellow military members watch as members of California National...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Jason Sweeney 

    69th Public Affairs Detachment

    For seven California Army National Guardsmen and 12 California State Military Reservists, their training came to an end Aug. 20 when they took the Oath of Office at Perlee Theatre on Camp San Luis Obispo and became the state’s newest commissioned officers.

    “It is through this crucible we have grown,” Class 58 graduate 2nd Lt. Enrique Sandoval said. “We’ve been waiting for this moment for a while. I feel great. I feel privileged.”

    The California National Guard’s Officer Candidate School is run by 2nd Battalion, 223rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute, at Camp San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast.

    “Officer Candidate School is a physically demanding course and Army officers are expected to lead from the front with high levels of fitness,” said 2nd Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Daniel T. Markert.

    Markert said if you can score 270 or above on the Army Physical Fitness Test, max out the day and night land navigation course and can develop and verbally issue a five paragraph operations order, you should be able to make it through OCS with little problem.

    Officer Candidate School is conducted in phases, beginning with four months of pre-OCS training held during drill weekends at Camp San Luis Obispo where a cadre of eight captains, two sergeants first class and a major provide the training and screening of potential officer candidates.

    When pre-OCS training was completed, the officer candidates of Class 58 who met educational, medical, and security clearance requirements, as well as overall OCS standards, were shipped out for two weeks of Phase 1 active duty training at Fort Meade, South Dakota.

    Those who graduated Phase 1 returned to Camp San Luis Obispo for Phase 2 training, which was conducted by 2nd Battalion instructors over 11 months during monthly drill weekends.

    At the end of Phase 2, the candidates returned to South Dakota for two weeks of active duty Phase 3 training.

    After completing Phase 3, the candidates returned to Camp San Luis Obispo for a weeklong state directed Platoon Leader's Course.

    “The final cut is land navigation and field leadership,” Markert said.

    Markert said the course’s instructors are certified by Fort Benning OCS through U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and complete about five weeks of specialized instructor training.

    “It is a great assignment and very rewarding to have the responsibility of training and validating our next generation of Army officers for the California Army National Guard,” Markert said.

    “It was challenging,” Sandoval said of the training. “We did a lot of growing, learning to lead, learning to be part of a team, all of us leading each other.”

    Two members of Class 58 attended an accelerated OCS training course at Fort Meade, South Dakota.

    California State Military Reserve (CSMR) officer candidates conducted their own training separately in a volunteer status. The CSMR is a volunteer operational force that supports the Cal Guard.

    The final phase of OCS culminated Aug. 20 at Perlee Theatre when California Army National Guard Commander Maj. Gen. Lawrence A. Haskins and members of the official party welcomed the newest Cal Guard and CSMR officers into their roles as leaders during a ceremony that was attended by friends, family and fellow military members.

    “This has been a real team effort,” said newly commissioned 2nd Lt. (CA) Janet Chin. “We come to OCS as individuals and we leave as a team.”

    Los Angeles residents Dewey and Jacqueline Johnson were at the ceremony to see their son, Dajhar Johnson, receive his commission through the CSMR.

    “He said the training challenged him,” Dewey Johnson said of his son.

    “I’m really proud of him and will continue to support his dreams and goals in life,” Jacqueline Johnson said.

    For those interested in joining the officer corps, Officer Candidate School and Warrant Officer Candidate School symposiums will be held Sept. 17 at the Okinawa Armory in Sacramento and Sept. 24 at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos in Los Alamitos. For more information, visit



    Date Taken: 08.20.2016
    Date Posted: 08.31.2016 13:01
    Story ID: 208536
    Location: SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA, US 

    Web Views: 2,643
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