Guam – The Guam Army National Guard gained three new officers during a commissioning ceremony at the Guam Guard Barrigada Readiness Center Thursday.
Candidates Mark Scott, Blaine Martinez, and Christopher Duenas became second lieutenants after they recited their oath of office administered by Maj. Gen. Benny M. Paulino, The Adjutant General, in front of friends and family gathered for the event.
After they are commissioned, the candidates will attend their Basic Course that will qualify them for their specific Army occupational branch.
2LT Duenas will attend Infantry school, 2Lt Martinez will be going to his Quartermaster training, while 2Lt Scott is headed to Signal Officer school.
[Maj. Gen. Benny M. Paulino, The Adjutant General for the Guam, left National Guard administers the oath of office for the three new officers of the Guam Army National Guard. From left, Maj. Gen. Paulino, 2LT Christopher Duenas, 2LT Blaine Martinez and 2LT Mark Scott. (U.S. National Guard photos by CPT Ken Ola/Released)]
The three new officers went through the National Guard Officer Candidate School (OCS) program that included pre-OCS training and the final OCS course in South Dakota.
2LT Christopher Duenas said the biggest challenge for him going through OCS training was in learning how to become a better leader, “To lead troops on and off duty,” he said.
[2LT Christopher Duenas gets his ranked pinned on by Gov. Eddie B. Calvo and his wife Athena, during a commissioning ceremony for three new officers in the Guam Army National Guard. (U.S. National Guard photos by CPT Ken Ola/Released)]
For 2LT Mark Scott, changing previous assumptions he held was what he needed to overcome while going through the training.
“I came into OCS with a little bit of experience hoping to use that to my advantage. Little did I know that having that kind of attitude was going to work against me… Until I learned that I needed to wipe out what I think I know, and relearn from the very beginning, humble myself, then it started becoming a little bit easier… So I would say, my mindset, the humility that comes with being a new lieutenant, really was the most challenging for me to get over,” Scott added.
The eight-week long OCS course in South Dakota is designed to train officer candidates by developing and assessing their leadership performance throughout three phases. Each phase tests candidates’ mental and physical abilities in high stress scenarios, similar to what they would be facing in combat.
[2LT Blaine Martinez gets his ranked pinned on by Gov. Eddie B. Calvo and his mother Bella Martinez, during a commissioning ceremony for three new officers in the Guam Army National Guard. (U.S. National Guard photos by CPT Ken Ola/Released)]
Before going to South Dakota for OCS, the candidates completed an eight-month long pre-OCS program conducted by the 203rd Regional Training Institute, Guam Army National Guard. Candidates at this phase learned leadership skills, tactical proficiency, and basic soldiering, among other things.
Last year, the Guam Army National Guard commissioned five candidates from the OCS program.
[Maj. Gen. Benny M. Paulino, The Adjutant General for the Guam, hands newly commissioned 2LT Mark Scott his congratulatory note during a commissioning ceremony for three new officers in the Guam Army National Guard. (U.S. National Guard photos by CPT Ken Ola/Released)