If a Soldier is interested in applying for OCS, they should contact their State’s Officer Strength Manager, who will help them start the process and list them as a potential candidate for OCS.
Potential OCS candidates, with prior military service, must have earned a minimum of 90 college credits towards a degree, be less than 42 years old at the time of commissioning and have a minimum score of 110 in the GT section of the ASVAB. If these requirements are met, a Soldier may have the opportunity to go before an OCS board to discuss their candidacy.
According to CPT Johnny Kula, Officer Strength Manager for the Massachusetts Army National Guard, going before the board is similar to a job interview.
“Soldiers sit down with the board members, who ask questions and the Soldiers tell about themselves,” CPT Kula explained.
After the interview the OCS board will make a decision. If the Soldier qualifies, they will start Phase 0 – the first of four OCS phases.
“It’s the pre-OCS phase,” said CPT Kula. “It’s been a great success across States because it prepares Soldiers by putting them in the [OCS] environment in advance of beginning the school.”
Soldiers then move through the next three phases of OCS. In Phase I, candidates receive military subject, land navigation, and leadership training under high stress conditions. Phase II has a focus on building tactical and small unit leadership skills and confidence. Finally Phase III, evaluates candidates on their application of tactics through leadership.
CPT Jesse Goodpasture, Basic Branch Recruiter for the Illinois Army National Guard, noted that the process can take six months to two years, depending on which OSC program a Soldier chooses. National Guard Soldiers may choose between three program options for OCS: Traditional, Accelerated and Federal.
The Traditional program is run on the Sate level and held during drills and AT over 18 months. The Accelerated program is run by National Guard Bureau over eight weeks of continuous training, and the Federal program places Soldiers on active duty for 14 straight weeks of training.
If a Soldier is looking to learn more about OCS and the process of applying, their State Officer Strength Manager can provide detailed information, documents, checklists and forms to assist with the process.
Information can also be found at: NationalGuard.com/Careers/Become-an-Officer/Officer-Candidate-School.
Byline: Joe Writer