RALEIGH, N.C. – Seven new commissioned officers were welcomed into the ranks of the North Carolina National Guard and one of their units also celebrated a milestone achievement at Fort Bragg, March 16.
The new lieutenants completed the 139th Regiment – Regional Training Institute’s 23rd Accelerated Officer Candidate School, a grueling 8-week course taught in three phases.
“It’s truly a tough course — land, navigation [and] troop leading procedures. Anything you could imagine [that] the Army could throw at us in eight weeks, they did,” said newly promoted 2nd Lt. Christopher Devlin.
Devlin, a Raleigh resident, was branched as an Engineer Officer and will be returning to his N.C. Guard unit, the 130th Maneuver Enhanced Brigade, headquartered in Charlotte.
In order to qualify to be a commissioned officer, these Soldiers had to receive recommendations from senior leaders and be within standards for the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), height/weight and various other administrative requirements.
Once approved for the accelerated course, the candidates participated in four Individual Drill Training (IDT) periods as part of pre-phase requirements. During this time, candidates began administrative processing and took part in an APFT and conducted basic Soldier tasks such as drill and ceremony and land navigation training. During this time, Soldiers were also being exposed to their Training, Advising and Counseling (TAC) Officers, who were their instructors during this process. These instructors no doubt, made a lasting impression on the candidates.
The Soldiers then attended phases one thru three at Fort McClellan, Ala., where they focused on a variety of disciplines such as field leadership, advanced map reading, doctrinal studies, history and various types of tactical training.
By the end, the candidates were tested on their ability to lead and make responsible decisions in stressful situations. In short, they more than earned the privilege of leading Soldiers in the U.S. Army.
The other candidates to receive a commission as 2nd lieutenants were: Edwin Baldwin, branched as a Signal Officer; Allen Hill an Beatriz Munoz-Lamos, both branched as Adjutant General (Human Resources) Officers and Benjamin King, Manuel Ramirez and Timothy Schuman, Jr., all branched as Engineer Officers.
Army Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general of North Carolina, congratulated the new officers for assuming the huge amount of responsibility that comes with leading Soldiers and he also thanked their families for their support as well. He then gave the seven commissioned officers their oath of office that requires them to swear allegiance to the President of the United States, the Governor of North Carolina and to the guiding principles of the U.S. Army.
“The military and civilian experience you have are a valuable part of our total force,” said Lusk. “Welcome to our team!”
That same day, Army Col. John Byrd, 139th RTI Commander, announced that the unit received an exceptional award from the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) as an “Institution of Excellence.”
“We were ecstatic. It’s a long process several years in the making. There are literally hundreds of soldiers, instructors [and] support staff that went into making that,” said Byrd.
On top of training commissioned officers, the 139th is also responsible for the professional development of noncommissioned officers as well. In all, the RTI holds 23 accreditations ranging from disciplines in infantry, field artillery, armor, engineers, transportation and health services.
The school was evaluated by members of a TRADOC Accreditation Team who assessed the facility on organization and proponent functions, leadership and education, training and training support, personnel administration and overall facility worthiness.
TRADOC only honors training facilities with this award who receive an overall rating between 95-100%; the 139th received a score 99.4%.
Though the school has only been teaching courses other than OCS and NCO training courses since 1995, the RTI’s schools continue to exceed high standards across the nation.
Of the 54 training institutions in the United States, only 32 share this distinction with North Carolina; a tribute to the staff and cadre of the 139th RTI.
EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: To see more photos from the Accelerated OCS Class 23 ceremony, please visit our Flickr Page at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncngpao/sets/72157633024147642/. For any questions, please contact the North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (919) 664-6242. For more NCNG news, visit our website: www.nc.ngb.army.mil/. To become a Facebook fan of the NCNG, please visit www.facebook.com/NCnationalguard or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NCnationalguard. To view additional pictures from this and other events, visit www.flickr.com/photos/ncngpao.