GUARNG Soldiers Complete OCS Requirements

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Guam – GUARNG Soldiers complete OCS Requirement After two months of intense training and evaluation at the Officer Candidate School (OCS) on Fort George Meade, South Dakota, two Soldiers are now qualified to become the Guam Guard’s newest 2nd Lieutenants.

Candidates Gregory May and Alisha Oilouch are close to a month away from becoming the Guam Army National Guard’s newest officers. After they are commissioned, the candidates will attend their Basic Course after their specific Army occupational branch is determined.

The South Dakota course 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. 

[Twenty-three members of the Guam Army National Guard recently returned home from Rapid City, South Dakota. The Soldiers provided operations and logistics support to the 1st Battalion (Officer Candidate School), 196th Regiment, South Dakota Army National Guard. Officer Candidate Gregory May and Officer Candidate Alisha Oilouch attended and completed the course. The graduation ceremony was held on July 25, 2014 at Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of Rapid City, South Dakota. (Photo provided courtesy of the Guam National Guard)]

Before going to South Dakota for OCS, the candidates completed an eight-month long preparation program conducted by the 203rd Regional Training Institute, Guam Army National Guard. Candidates learn leadership skills, tactical proficiency, and basic soldiering, among other things.   

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[Officer Candidate Gregory May and Officer Candidate Alisha Oilouch, both from the Guam Army National Guard, completed Officer Candidate School at Camp Rapid, South Dakota. This eight week course is designed to prepare candidates to commission as Second Lieutenants in the Army. Attending the OCS graduation ceremony are (From L-R) SSG Dino Cruz, Officer Candidate May, Officer Candidate Oilouch, Lt. Col. Ronnie Delfin, Commander, 203rd RTI, and Sergeant 1st Class Raynard Quiogue. (Photo provided courtesy of the Guam National Guard)]

At the end of the program they must pass a 10-day field exercise that tests their knowledge and abilities acquired throughout the program, according to Lt. Col. Ronnie Delfin, 203rd RTI commander. If they perform well, they proceed to South Dakota to fulfill their requirements, he added.

Twenty-three Guam Soldiers also provided operations and logistics support to the 1st Battalion (Officer Candidate School), 196th Regiment, South Dakota Army National Guard for Phase III of OCS Program.

Although all Guam Soldiers performed well and with great pride as members of the Opposing Force (OPFOR), one Soldier stood out and was recognized for his exceptional meritorious conduct.

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[OCS-1. Officer Candidate Gregory May, left, and Officer Candidate Alisha Oilouch, right, graduated from the Officer Candidate School on July 25, 2014.
Both Candidates will now receive their commission as Second Lieutenants in the Guam Army National Guard. The graduation ceremony was held at Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of Rapid City, South Dakota. Lt. Col. Ronnie Delfin, Commander, 203rd Regional Training Institute, center, attended the ceremony. (Photo provided courtesy of the Guam National Guard)]

Specialist Jesse D. Quinque was awarded the South Dakota Distinguished Service Medal. “He demonstrated outstanding professional, skill, knowledge and leadership in maintaining accountability over sensitive items which were vital to the sustained progress of the mission,” said Lieutenant Colonel Deborah Bartunek of the South Dakota National Guard. 

“I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments in South Dakota… They represented Guam very well out there. Everywhere we went, the cadre of the 196th RTI always said, ‘You’ve got great Soldiers!’ Each year we send around five troops out there for qualification and we’ve had a very high success rate. So, obviously what we’re doing here is working,” Lt. Col. Delfin said.  

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[Specialist Jesse D. Quinque, from the 1st-294th Infantry Regiment, is awarded the South Dakota Distinguished Service Medal for outstanding performance by Lieutenant Colonel Deborah Bartunek of the South Dakota National Guard.  (Photo provided courtesy of the Guam National Guard)]

Last year, the Guam Army National Guard commissioned three candidates from the program. “This is the end of their OCS phase, but their career as officers is just beginning,” said Delfin.