Posted on May 17, 2016
2LT(P) Transportation Officer
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CPT Chris Loomis
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CW2 Erik Spike Thiesmeyer, Sr.
2LT N Elizalde
SPC Christian Juarez

GENTLEMEN:

1. I have to respectfully disagree with the CW2 and 2LT. I also wish to apologize in advance if my statements here ruffle any feathers, or I have misconstrued your advise.

2. I commissioned via the "extended" NG OCS.

3. I DO NOT understand why or how Officers would give an enthusiastic Enlisted Soldier the advice given. Providing advice is great, but the advise given sounds like an immature complaint.

Yes, the length of the NG OCS is long and drawn out. It creates greater stress upon employers and family that effect the Officer Candidate heavily. However, so does being a Reservist or National Guardsman that is mobilized or activated for an active duty deployment. Furthermore, very few wars or conflicts last 96 hours. They're long and protracted.

In regards to the physical training aspect of NG OCS, it is like PT anytime in the military. There are (in the Army's case) the APFT to gauge your progress and overall fitness for duty. As a warrior, Soldier, and member of the Profession Of Arms...a professional...PT should become a disciplined part of your overall lifestyle. It is absolutely imperative that YOU take the initiative to condition your body, mind and spirit. Regardless of line or staff position, you shouldn't be dependent upon your Platoon's training schedule, or the phase of OCS to train your body.

As for the knowledge being perishable, I completely agree. However, you owe it to the Soldiers that you are leading to maintain and retain the knowledge imparted in your training. There are no midterms or finals in the Profession Of Arms. Everyday in battle is your test. And the stakes for failure, because you treated the military's curriculum like a music appreciation class are the death of the very Soldiers that you have been entrusted to care for and lead.

Partying? Really, my answer for the perishable knowledge subject should kick in here, and you'll imagine what my opinion is on partying...college is over and the fraternity will be there when you complete OCS. Partying should be the furthest thing from your mind.

4. I treated OCS like my time in a civilian law enforcement academy. 110% professional dedication. I prepared for it, I lived it, and was successful.

Humbly, I am NO superman and I'm certainly not the best Army Officer on the face of the earth. I've had successes and made mistakes.

But, I knew I was going to OCS for 5 months prior to leaving for my first phase. In that time, I prepared my family and friends. I prepared myself physically and mentally. I acquired everything on the packing list with some items in duplicate. I talked to as many Officers as would give me their time. I started holding myself to a standard much higher than what I believed would be the standard at OCS. I read and studied, The Blue Book, 4 yrs if ROTC manuals that I sought out on the Internet in PDF format, Army Field Manuals, ARDP's, AR's, and SOP's. I watched documentaries and YouTube videos. I practiced skills that I found out would be taught at OCS. Then once in OCS I carried a backpack with me everywhere I went until the day I graduated. Inside the backpack was my battle book, several flash cards of required knowledge, a copy of my Candidate Guide, and whatever I was currently studying. Every free waking minute where I had the opportunity to study I did so.

5. Why? Because as Officers we are public servants. The Citizens of the United States are the public. And the public deserves the best Officers that this Country can provide them. And so do the Soldiers that will trust you to take them into battle. Because being a United States Military Officer is not a right. It is a privilege that is not to ever be taken lightly or for granted.

6. Again, I apologize in advance if I've ruffled any feathers. My sole intention here is to provide the best guidance I can to an Enlisted Soldier in order to set him/her on the right and correct path.

7. SPC Christian Juarez you can feel free to contact me directly via RP or [login to see] as needed. My hand is extended to you.

"The Army defines leadership as influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation, while operating to accomplish the mission and improve the organization."

V/R,
2LT Chris Loomis
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2LT(P) Transportation Officer
2LT(P) (Join to see)
5 y
Sir, thank you for the detailed response. This was a very insightful post. As have all the posts been thus far. I plan on sharing this information with a solider in my unit who has been asking me questions about this process I don't have the answers to. With regards to training, I look forward to having the same mindset in preparation and having study materials to review on downtime. I will be sure to contact you directly as needed.
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1LT Government Services Consultant
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5 y
One of the better posts I've read on this forum.
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LTC Readiness Officer
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Well LT, you certainly give good reasons for being happy with the State program. I have many fond memories of my State OCS program experience as well. However, my personal philosophy is that if you want to knock it out, get commissioned quicker, and start your career sooner, the best way (not the only way because I know about State excellerated as well) but the best way to do it is going through the Federal OCS program at Benning. Benning has better infrastructure, more resources, you can get your teeth fixed while you're there etc. I also believe that any opportunity to network and make lasting friendships with those in the Active Component is always a benefit. I think most Guardsmen/reservists who attend the basic course or military follow-on schools will agree. But I can only speak for myself.
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LTC Chief Of Public Affairs
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I think it's possible. Whether it will be approved for bureaucratic convenience, is a whole other story.
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2LT(P) Transportation Officer
2LT(P) (Join to see)
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That's a great point sir. I hadn't thought about that.
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2LT(P) Transportation Officer
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Thank you all for contributing to this discussion. Each response has helped in some way. My board results came in and my packet was accepted.
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