An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NEWS | May 10, 2024

Kentucky National Guard welcomes newest officers from OCS class 66-24 at State Capitol

By Sgt. Destini Keene, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

 The Kentucky Army National Guard celebrated the graduation of Officer Candidate School (OCS) Class 66-24 at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort April 20. 

The ceremony honored the ten Soldiers who successfully completed the twelve-month training program, of which nine have now been commissioned as new officers in the Kentucky Army National Guard. 

During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Jennifer Watson, 2/238th Regiment Training Institute commander acknowledged the commitment and sacrifices made by the graduating officers, their families, and friends.  

“There is a tremendous amount of commitment that comes with this program. As well as time away, physical and mental endurance, and the hardest of all-sacrifice,” said Watson. “Families and friends, without you, none of this is possible. “ 

Deputy Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Brian Wertzler also addressed the graduates commenting on their monumental accomplishment upon completing OCS. 

“Each of you have demonstrated your capability to lead, operate and succeed in our fast-changing world”, he said. “As an officer, you only need to win one battle-the hearts of your troops.” 

Wertzler encouraged the new officers to continue on the path of progression through the Army's officer leadership courses. The OCS training program is designed to push candidates to their physical and mental limits. For over a year, candidates must pass eight exams, complete timed runs and foot marches with heavy loads, participate in field training exercises and leadership evaluations.  

The program aims to produce officers with the necessary skills and characteristics to excel in their roles. 

Newly appointed 2nd Lt. Tyler Thurman, who was recognized with the Leadership Award for superior leadership traits and abilities, shared his motivations for joining OCS and his experience throughout the course.  

“I wanted something more than what the Army had already given me, and OCS was that answer," said Thurman. “I recommend OCS to anyone who has the slightest interest.” 

Thurman was also named Distinguished Honor Graduate for his exceptional performance in leadership, academics, and physical fitness. As the Distinguished Honor Graduate of OCS Class 66-24, Thurman received the Erickson trophy, named in honor of Major. General Edgar C. Erickson, a former chief of the National Guard Bureau. 

Several awards were presented during the ceremony, including the Physical Fitness Award, which went to 2nd Lt. Javonnie Harvey, who achieved the highest score on the final Army Combat Fitness Test. 2nd Lt. Tyler Thurman received the Academic Award for having the highest academic average in the class, while 2nd Lt. Oladipo Onaeko earned the Commandant's Award for demonstrating the greatest self-improvement. 

Wertzler reiterated his earlier advice to the newly commissioned officers, emphasizing the importance of leading, operating and succeeding in every battle. 

“What we do as Soldiers, and now officers of the United States Army matters, " said Wertzler. “Each of you have proven you are a warrior.”

News Search

Narrow Search