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    New York OCS graduates newest Army National Guard leaders

    NYARNG Officer Candidate School Graduation Ceremony

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Pietrantoni | New York Army National Guard 2nd Lt. Azar Boehm receives his officer's rank from his...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Marla Ogden 

    New York National Guard

    CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. -- Ten New York Army National Guard Soldiers raised their right hands and affirmed their oath of office as part of their graduation of the Officer Candidate School Commissioning ceremony August 29, 2020 at Camp Smith.

    The commissioning ceremony marked the completion of the 16-month Officer Candidate School (OCS) course and recognized these ten future leaders of the New York Army National Guard.

    New York National Guard Maj. Gen. Michel A. Natali, the Assistant Adjutant General for New York, administered their oath and the ten new officers were pinned by family members and received their first salute as newly commissioned second lieutenants.

    Shane Cooney, who branched in the Engineer Corps as a new second lieutenant, described OCS as a humbling experience.

    “OCS was mentally and physically challenging, but overall it was an unforgettable experience nonetheless,” Cooney said.

    Cooney will now go on to serve in the 1156th Engineer Company.

    The course consisted of challenging tasks and curriculum, said OCS graduate Jose Meza-Barahona, who will defer his commission to later this year.

    Candidates are expected to successfully complete land navigation, be proficient in writing operation orders, conduct squad tactical exercises and have a comprehensive understanding of military history, Meza-Barahona said.

    “As a non-commissioned officer with prior experience, I thought that it would make OCS a lot easier, but it’s designed to challenge the candidates in every aspect,” he said. “OCS will challenge you, but it will also bring the best out of you.”

    The training is administered by the New York National Guard’s 106th Regional Training Institute, with tactical officers providing training and mentorship to prepare the next generation of Army National Guard leaders.

    The goal of OCS is to prepare newly commissioned second lieutenants to assume responsibility as officers and hold future leadership positions, Natali said.

    Newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Matthew Hofbauer said he is ready for the new opportunities that an officer’s career will provide.

    “I believe that OCS prepared us to be leaders that our Soldiers deserve,” Hofbaurer said. Receiving a branch assignment with the Signal Corps, Hofbaurer will now be assigned to the 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion.

    Both Cooney and Meza-Barahona said they are looking forward to setting a good example and caring for their Soldiers.

    “I'm looking forward to taking the skills that I've learned and applying them to lead and take care of Soldiers,” Cooney said.

    Meza-Barahona shared that he also hopes to learn from his Soldiers, just as he hopes they’ll learn from him.

    As a NCO, he wants that past experience to be a part of his leadership style going forward.

    “I'm looking forward to leading Soldiers, learning from them and teaching them what I've learned in my decade-long career in the New York Army National Guard,” he said.



    Date Taken: 08.29.2020
    Date Posted: 09.02.2020 10:06
    Story ID: 377300
    Location: CAMP SMITH, NY, US 

    Web Views: 409
    Downloads: 0