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May 2019 Newsletter

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President's Message

OCS Alumni,

It is an honor to be the president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Army OCS Alumni Association (USOCSAA). I thank the USAOCSAA Board of Directors for their confidence.

John Ionoff has been a great president and I thank him for his service and leadership. He will continue to serve on the board and act as president emeritus. He will still be active and will form an advisory committee to help with strategic issues and fundraising.

We have a new and very strong executive committee: retired Lt. Col. Ken Braswell-Vice President for Operations, retired Lt. Col. Dan Johnson- Vice President for Administration, retired Col. (R) Rick Jung- Treasurer, and retired Maj. Mike Harris- Secretary. Their leadership, organizational and management skills, and technological understanding is just what we need now to take the organization to the next level and create an organizational model that is sustainable going forward.

These are my objectives as president and chief executive officer:

  • Scope the USAOCSAA so that it is organizationally sound, financially sound, objective oriented, and meaningful so it lasts well past our time in leadership positions.
  • Establish an endowment to sustain USAOCSAA activities into perpetuity.
  • Sustain support to the OCS Battalion and each class that includes $500 for class events, graduation awards, and class bricks in the Memorial Walk.
  • Sustain the annual USAOCSAA reunion to include three ceremonies, three dinners, and one brunch and an opportunity for integrated class reunions.
  • Sustain and increase USAA support and sponsorship.
  • Sustain and improve our communications and public relations program and assets.
  • Continue to manage and expand the OCS Memorial Walk.
  • Finish the OCS Heritage Center at Wigle Hall and conduct an official dedication ceremony.
  • Sustain and improve our support of the OCS Hall of Fame.
  • Affiliate with the National Infantry Association, AUSA, and MOAA to maximize members benefits.
  • Double USAOCSAA membership
    • Increase chapters
      • New class chapters
      • Virtual chapters
    • Integrate the National Guard OCS schools and graduates into our membership
  • Sustain and improve veterans’ honors for combat, military service, and public service
    • Ceremonies and wreath laying during Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day
    • Recognize lifelong service through the Memorial Walk, Order of Saint Maurice, distinguished and honorary members of 11th Regiment, and other awards and honors
  • Improve our online store for OCS memorabilia

This is a fairly long list and somewhat ambitious, but with our current board it is very doable. I hope you embrace USAOCSAA and see value in what we are doing and support however you can.

Once again, thanks for the opportunity to lead this great organization and we look forward to your calls and emails. I hope to see you at one of our events.

Forward Ever,

Frank L. Harman III
Colonel (USA Retired)
President/CEO, USAOCSAA

Commander's Circle

Greetings from Fort Benning!

As many of you know, we just completed our 2019 Hall of Fame Week and it was the biggest and best yet. All alumni inducted into the Hall of Fame were very deserving. Past OCS classes dedicated a total of 24 memorials to our Memorial Walk and we’re proud to remember their sacrifices. Lastly, we conducted a soft opening of Wigle Hall, the future OCS Heritage Center in the battalion footprint on Fort Benning, with the expectation that it will be complete in time for next year’s Hall of Fame week. All-in-all, it was a fantastic week.

The 2020 Hall of Fame ceremony events will occur May 2 to 4, 2020 in Columbus and Fort Benning. In partnership with the OCSAA Board of Directors, we will publish a detailed schedule of events in the coming months. However, submission deadline for Hall of Fame nomination packets is October 1, 2019. We’re aiming for mid-December for acceptance notification. Please review the information on our website periodically as we will post updated information and timelines there.

We continue to remain busy as we approach our summer training period, traditionally our busiest time of year. The battalion remains on track to meet our commissioning mission for fiscal year 2019 of 1,570 second lieutenants. We have one class starting mid-May, two in June, and one in August. We’re definitely looking forward to the challenge.

I made a trip to the Royal Military Academy – Sandhurst, the United Kingdom’s sole commissioning source, to visit our three second lieutenants undergoing training there. Notably, the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, was present and spent quite a bit of personal time with our officers. He remained very impressed with the quality of our officers and proud of the type of leader OCS produces for the Army. It was definitely an event that our lieutenants will not soon forget!

This is my last OCS Alumni Association newsletter as I will change command on June 11, 2019. My replacement, Lt. Col.  David Holstead, is more than capable of leading the battalion and I have no doubt that he will excel. Believe me when I say that it was my honor and privilege to serve in this capacity for the last two years. The battalion’s reputation remains high and I’m positive Lt. Col. Holstead and the Board of Directors will continue to push our institution to new heights.

Standards!! No Compromise!!

Matthew B. Chitty
Lieutenant Colonel, Armor
Commanding
Office Phone: 706-545-3507
Email: matthew.b.chitty.mil@mail.mil

Chaplain's Corner

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

One of my all-time favorite cartoon characters is good old Charlie Brown. Often in my younger days, I could identify with him. I never was any good at baseball. I tried out for the Little League team every year and always got cut.

I would draw a catcher’s mitt on the side of our barn and stand back with ball and glove … close my eyes and hear the roar of the crowd … the bases are loaded … it’s the bottom of the ninth … two outs … I have worked to a full count (3 balls and 2 strikes) … I check first base … then second … glare at third to hold the runner close to the bag … then my mother calls out, “Son, I’m not going to call you again. Get in here and wash your hands or you will go to bed without supper!” Good grief, mothers just don’t understand that you were just one pitch away from being famous!

Recently, a college friend sent me a quiz that reflected the philosophy of the late Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts.  I found it to be very insightful:

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.
  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
  5. Name the last six Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
  6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do? Schultz’s point is none of us remember the headlines of yesterday. These examples are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners. Here is another quiz. See how you do on this one:

  1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
  2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
  4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
  6. Name six heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Did you find this quiz a little easier? I did. The lesson? The people who made a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.  They are the ones who care!

I started my article by telling you that I was cut from the baseball team. The first time I was cut, I was 10 years old. I left the ball park to walk to an aunt’s house where my mother would meet me to ride home. My heart was broken. Tears flowed down my cheeks. 

Mr. Boyd Miller saw me and offered a ride. He asked why I was crying and I told him. Next Sunday, before the start of church, Mr. Boyd asked if I could help hand out bulletins and pass the offering plates. I walked down the aisle with three grown men. My friends, who made the baseball team, looked at me with awe! I don’t remember the minister of that church. I don’t remember the sermon that was preached. I shall NEVER forget Mr. Boyd!

Thank you: Bud, Randy, Ken, Michael B, David, Michael G, and my fellow 2-74 brothers. Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today, Sir!

Chaplain (Colonel, USA Retired) Sam Boone is a graduate of OCS Class 2-74.

 

OCS Bookshelf

Treat ‘Em Rough! The Birth of American Armor, 1917-20


Tanks caused havoc among the Germans when they first appeared on the battlefields of Europe in 1917. These metal monsters broke up the trench warfare stalemate and thus hastened the armistice. This is the first full study of the U.S. Army's World War I Tank Corps.

Because of production delays and political maneuvering, no American tanks made it into the war and American tankers had to use French machines instead. But a new breed of army officers, of which Eisenhower and Patton are the most famous, saw the promise of this new technology and staked their careers on it. Ike trained the first generation of tankers at Camp Colt at Gettysburg and Patton led them into battle in France.

The author brings these early days of the Tank Corps to life. Using eyewitness accounts from the archives at the Army War College and elsewhere, he details the design and building of the first tanks, the training of crews, the monstrous problem of transport in an age when roads were built for horse-drawn carriages, the evolution of armored combat doctrine, and the three great battles in which tanks revolutionized modern warfare: St Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and St. Quentin.

Dale Wilson graduated from 50th Company in February 1979. He began his military career as an enlisted infantryman with service in Vietnam. He was selected to teach military history at USMA. In preparation for that assignment, he earned a Ph.D. in history at Temple University.

A Common Bond Forged Through Shared Experiences 2019 Reunion


The OCS Alumni Association conducted the 2019 reunion at Fort Benning, Ga. from April 28 to May 1. Over 250 people attended the reunion.

The reunion included a briefing by the OCS Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Matthew Chitty. (See the briefing at the OCSAA website.) Chitty briefed the alumni, many of whom attended in the 1960s, what OCS is like today. One of the biggest changes from previous generations of OCS graduates is the background of the OCS candidates. Previously many of the graduates were prior service, in particular non-commissioned officers. Today, the vast majority of candidates are “college-option” candidates, which means they enlisted specifically for OCS and their sole military experience prior to OCS is the Army’s ten-week basic combat training.

Chitty described the training regimen. The course is currently 12 weeks in length and is designed to confirm competencies in basic soldier skills, train the candidates to be small-unit leaders, and teach them to be critical thinkers able to operate in a complex environment. The OCS course is a branch-immaterial course as it has been since 1973. Upon completion of the training, the newly commissioned lieutenants will go to BOLC – B, Basic Officer Leader Course – B which is their branch-specific training. (Note BOLC – A is the commissioning source of a lieutenant: OCS, USMA, ROTC.) Branches are determined by an order-of-merit list during the eighth week of training.

While there are differences in the OCS regimen, land navigation remains generally the same. No GPS or other technological aids are permitted. It’s a map, red lens flashlight, protractor, and pace count. The candidates must get four out of the five points correct to pass the land nav course. Candidates still receive peer evaluations as part of their training.

The OCS Battalion is on track to commission 1,570 officers this year. In contrast, just two years ago, OCS commissioned approximately 960 lieutenants in one year. OCS is the only commissioning source that can quickly respond to such increases in demand for officers.

The Training and Doctrine Command annually conducts a survey of field leaders on the readiness of lieutenants from the various commissioning sources. Chitty reported the field leaders assess OCS graduates as twice as ready as their West Point counterparts and seven times as ready as their ROTC colleagues.

HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY AND DINNER

The OCS Hall of Fame, currently housed at the National Infantry Museum, was established in January 1958 to honor OCS graduates who displayed outstanding service to the nation. This year 40 graduates were inducted including five general officers.

LTG Michael K. Nagata

COL (R) Dennis C. Tomcik

MG Benjamin J. Corell 

COL (R) Stephanie D. Vaughn

Brig Gen Jay S. Goldstein (USAF)

COL Aaron Wilkes

BG Erick K. Little

COL (R) Harold W. Youmans

BG (R) Douglas A. Pritt

LTC (R) Alan “Ace” Cozzalio*                                  

COL (R) Michael J. Baier

LTC (R) Ilmars H. Dambergs                                   

COL (R) David J. Bolter 

LTC (R) Orlando J. Illi Jr.        

COL (R) Gerald A. Boston

LTC (R) Michael S. McDaniel

COL Dan Roger Brue II

LTC (R) Grady A. Smith

COL Basil J. Catanzaro

MAJ (R) Edwin W. Spinaio*

COL (R) Juan I. Chavez

MAJ (R) John Synowsky*

COL (R) Abbas K. Dahouk

CPT Edwin C. Jackson*

COL Wayne O. Dehaney

CPT Laurence M. Kerr

COL (R) Frederic D. Hyatt

CPT Stephen Orlofsky

COL (R) Anthony Kanellis

CPT Patrick C. Polis

COL (R) William M. Knarr

CPT (R) Ronald A. Radcliffe

COL (R) Dean A. Levay

CPT William W. Walker*

COL (R) Gregory C. Meyer Jr.

1LT Lee B. Alley

COL Randolph M. Morgan

1LT James F. Godsey*

COL (R) Randell G. Stansfield

2LT Jasper D. Sturdivant*                                                                

*Deceased

OCS HERITAGE CENTER AT WIGLE HALL

Since the last reunion, the OCS Alumni Association has been working hard to raise the funds to renovate the current Wigle Hall at Fort Benning to be the OCS Heritage Center dedicated to celebrating the heritage and legacy of OCS graduates, regardless of branch or training location. The intent of the OCS Heritage Center is to honor, preserve, and educate visitors on the valor and sacrifice of the OCS graduate as a small unit leader from 1941 through today.

At the 2019 reunion, a “soft opening” of the OCS Heritage Center was conducted. Currently the interactive museum is 15 percent complete. The center is expected to be finished by next year’s reunion.

Currently complete or nearly complete are the Hall of Fame room, the Alumni Association room, the OCS Today wall, and the interactive kiosk that contains stories of OCS graduates.

Still to be finished are the main gallery exhibits that will feature stories of valor across the decades of OCS, an exhibit to honor fallen comrades, and a display to illustrate OCS school locations and history. Exhibits will include donated items, shadowboxes of valor and service, words of wisdom from OCS graduates, and stories of notable graduates.

MEMORIAL WALK DEDICATION CEREMONY

Frank Harman

I am often asked why is the OCS Memorial Walk important. I answer with a question. Have you ever been to the Plain at West Point? You see statues of Grant and Lee, Black Jack Pershing, MacArthur, Eisenhower, and Patton. All icons of our country’s military greatness and rightfully so. But here at Fort Benning, in the OCS area, what did we have? Your OCS Alumni Association Board of Directors wanted to fix that.

Who are our icons? Well, the OCS icons are those young men who demonstrated competence, courage, valor, and sacrifice leading small units in combat. Our icons are also those senior leaders who provided 78 years of superior meritorious service across the Army and distinguished public service across the nation. This is our answer: the OCS Memorial Walk. The walk covers the 78-year OCS history. It starts with the George Marshall monument identifying the requirement for tough, well-trained officers and small unit leaders to lead the platoons, companies, troops, and batteries of World War II. We honor over 69,000 OCS-trained lieutenants from eight branch schools who were commissioned from 1941 to 1946. They were the small unit leaders who breached and assaulted their way from island to island in the Pacific, across North Africa, Sicily, and Italy and into and across Western Europe represented by Medal of Honor recipients Robert Nett, Thomas Wigle, and Jimmie Monteith.

We honor the graduates from the Korea and Vietnam eras. The situation was much the same. Small unit leaders were in demand again and, once again, OCS graduates met the challenge represented by Medal of Honor recipients Don Faith, Pinky Durham, Keith Ware, and our recently departed brother Charles Kettles.

We honor our Cold War graduates who stood guard in Berlin, West Germany, and Korea. They trained hard at places like the National Training Center and the Joint Readiness Training Center and conducted exercises like REFORGER and Team Spirit and contingency operations in Panama, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. During the era known as VOLAR, or the Volunteer Army, and subsequently known as the Army of Excellence, OCS graduates from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam were culminating successful military and civilian careers. This includes Senator Bob Dole who ran for president of the United States, Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, Secretary of the Army John O. Marsh, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and NATO commander General John Shalikashvili, U.S. Army Europe Commander Fritz Kroesen and CENTCOM commander Tommy Franks who led the joint and combined forces in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. We honor them also.

We honor our Global War on Terrorism graduates. Since 9-11 and the beginning of the global war on terror, OCS has had between three to five companies and produced between 800 to 1,200 lieutenants a year. The Army has been in continuous combat now for 18 years and OCS graduates have served in every capacity to support that effort. Two OCS officers received the Medal of Honor for valor during this period: CPT Florent Groberg and CPT William Swenson.

And finally, from now on we honor each graduating class with six bricks with class 3-19 being installed just last week.

It is hard to believe what we have accomplished here in the last three years. We have 118 dedication blocks representing eras, units, OCS classes, and members of the OCS Hall of Fame. We honor Soldiers, fellow graduates, OCS sponsors, Medal of Honor recipients, and fallen comrades. We have in excess of 700 plates, pavers, and bricks with their names. This winter we took the opportunity to reorganize the walk. In the center of the walk facing the parade field, we have the eras of OCS. New from last year are the COL Nett tribute, the Judge Patterson tribute, the Secretary of Defense tribute in honor of Casper Weinberger, the Secretary of the Army tribute in honor of John O. Marsh. Also new are the combatant commands, direct reporting units, numbered armies, and corps in honor of our three- and four-star generals who were the past commanders. We highlighted the 50 Medal of Honor recipients and surrounded it all with the members of the OCS Hall Fame. On the north and south wings, we have divisions, separate brigades, and regiments mixed with OCS class blocks and surrounded by individual names on granite plates, pavers, and bricks. Over half of that is new. We expanded with over 240 feet of new paver bed on the outside wings and the four cul-de-sacs. In the cul-de-sacs are additional unit memorials and OCS classes and more plates, pavers, and bricks. Over half of that is new; the rest was cascaded from the center walk. Finally, we reordered the raised monuments to make them standout and to achieve symmetry. Although similar and symmetrical each monument is unique.

The class blocks are important and special as each honors their cadre and their killed in action. I am most proud of the fact that those young men who gave their lives in combat over the last 78 years are now recognized here and lie with their fellow OCS graduates from each era and the units which they served. We will reach capacity by this time next year, so in 2020 I expect another expansion.

We are encouraging new raised monuments; more dedication blocks for divisions, brigades, regiments, OCS classes, and branches especially combat service support and combat support units; and, of course, individual and group tributes and memorials. And finally, we want hundreds of bricks and pavers surrounding them all.

Thank you for your support.

Frank Harman serves as the President of the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Alumni Association. This is the speech he gave at the dedication ceremony for the expanded Memorial Walk on April 30, 2019.

ALUMNI REUNION DINNER

The reunion concluded with an alumni dinner where the third Robert B. Nett Award was presented. Nett, an OCS graduate, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in the Battle of Ormoc Bay in the Philippines in December 1944. Nett went on to command the 5th Student Battalion, OCS and later the Infantry School Brigade. The OCS Alumni Association established the Nett Award to recognize and honor an OCS alumnus, current or former cadre member, or leader in the OCS chain of command who has provided superior support and advocacy to the OCS program. This year’s winner of the Nett award is retired Lt. Col. Edgar Burroughs. Burroughs, a graduate of Class 023-70 at Fort Benning, has dedicated countless hours volunteering in service of OCS and the Alumni Association where he previously served as Treasurer.

The keynote speaker for the reunion dinner was Nick Snider, retired senior vice president of UPS and 1965 OCS graduate. Snider delivered a humorous, rousing speech on what he learned in the Army and how it translated to the successes he had in the business world. He also highlighted the military and post-military service of a classmate, Rick Rescorla. Rescorla served in Vietnam under then-Lt. Col. Hal Moore. Moore describes Rescorla in his book We Were Soldiers Once…And Young as “the best platoon leader I ever saw.” As the head of security for Morgan Stanley, Rescorla is credited with saving most of Morgan Stanley's 2,687 employees in the South Towner of the World Trade Center on September 11. Rescorla, however, was not one of those employees. Rescorla’s life illustrates the contributions OCS graduates have made and continue to make to this nation. 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

At the general membership meeting on Monday, April 29, retired Col. John Ionoff relinquished the presidency of the Association to retired Col. Frank Harman. The following is John’s final report as president of the Association:

On Monday, April, 29, 2019, I formally passed the Alumni Association flag to President Frank Harman, thus completing my four years of service as president of our great organization. In the last newsletter, I described the change of Association officers as both an era change and a generational change. I view this as a very important and healthy change for the continued growth of the Association. I am confident that under Frank’s leadership, the Association will move forward to a new level of success. 

When I joined the Board of Directors in September 2014, the Association was in a very precarious state with very little income and back pay owed to the Executive Director and failure to make reports and pay taxes to the IRS and the state of Georgia. The Association had lost its nonprofit status due to the failure to report its activities to the IRS and was in danger of disbanding. With the help of Ed Burroughs, who agreed to fill the vacant treasurer position, and Gus Youmans, OCS graduate and CPA, we were able to pay money owed to the Executive Director and settle with the IRS and state of Georgia. At that time, we terminated the Executive Director in order to conserve funds and the volunteer board took a much bigger role in running the Association.

I was elected President in June 2015 and set goals which included recruiting board members outside of Columbus, Ga., and the southeast U.S. I believed if we were to be a truly national organization, we needed broader representation. By the end of 2015, there were nine new board members, geographically located from California to Virginia, Ohio to Texas.

Given the financial problems of 2014, solid financial management was a priority, as well as a concentrated effort to gain and maintain members. USAA gave every graduate who wished to be a member of the Alumni Association a free membership for a year. This money has been used by the Association to help pay for various projects and monthly expenditures such as the website maintenance, storage facility, and other budget items.

Supporting all of our efforts is a great public affairs team producing a greatly improved newsletter every three months, blast emails (“Attention in the TOC!”) every two weeks, and an aggressive outreach program to the civilian and military communities. Thank you, Karla Langland and Jim Wright. We have righted the ship now and added the Memorial Walk, Veterans Day activities in Washington D.C., establishment of July 1 as the official birthday celebration of OCS, four very successful reunions, and now the development of the OCS Heritage Center. We have improved our relationship with the OCS commandant, staff, and candidates. We have advocated for improvement in the security holdovers and allowing candidates to attend OCS without a college degree. During my tenure, we began developing chapters in various locations, such as Washington D.C., Florida, Colorado, Columbus, Ga., and now Southern California.

None of these goals or subsequent activities would have been possible without our dedicated, hardworking Board of Directors: Frank Harman, Pat Smith, Tom Evans, Rick Jung, Danny Leifel, Allen Haines, John Bowles, Karla Langland, Jim Wright, Mike Mayo, Ken Braswell, Ric Boyer, Chris Bresko, Dan Johnson, and Ed Burroughs. Nancy Ionoff, Lisa Harman, Mona Evans, and Mary Wright have helped with volunteer efforts as well as many others. You all have been exceptional in accepting the challenge and overcoming the obstacles. In accomplishing these goals and so much more, you have placed the Association in a strong position to move to the next level. 

I am looking forward to assuming my role as past president of the Association and chairing the Advisory Council.

I thank each and every one of you for your loyalty, sound advice, and your dedication to the Alumni Association. You are all very special to me. I am deeply humbled and honored to have been the President and CEO of The Officer Candidate Schools Alumni Association for the last four years.

Forward ever,
John

OCS CLASS 6-65: WHAT ONE CLASS IS DOING

Grady Smith

Before March of last year, OCS Class 6-65 hadn’t seen each other as a group since graduation, 53 years earlier. But since that first reunion, they’ve been making tracks. Under the leadership of co-chairs Phil Kearns and Dave Schollman, these 51st Company graduates have been conducting a double envelopment—working to memorialize their class while making sure OCSAA’s larger projects are covered. After the plaque to recognize their classmates was unveiled at the Memorial Walk, they shifted focus to the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam OCS memorial, and then to the OCS Heritage Center.

Memorializing its own members became a major task. Seventeen classmates, a very high number in the context of other classes, were KIA in Vietnam. Two members earned the Medal of Honor while two more were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. All four awards were posthumous.

Right now, the class’s active network is comprised of 80 graduates. Some don’t do email, but when the call went out to fund the OCS Heritage Center, a dozen members came forward before close of business—that only grew in the following days. The graduates had already put their shoulders to the wheel for Memorial Walk plaques, 6-65 legacy award pavers, and Hall of Fame donations for the two posthumous DSC recipients. In an 18-month period more than three dozen members contributed over $12,000. This amount also covered some reunion expenses: a hospitality suite and a pair of dinners for the 31 attending classmates and their guests. It’s been an across-the-board effort, not just driven by a few grads with deep pockets. 6-65 members are all stockholders in OCSAA.

The graduates took special pains with the Legacy Award, established in August 2018. The class set up an ad hoc board to vet nominated classmates. Most of its 156 grads were rifle platoon leaders in Vietnam—two and out. Yet many of these men went on to make significant contributions in their civilian lives. Ten classmates now have pavers in their honor on the Memorial Walk. These legacy award pavers, the 6-65 memorial plaque, and the memorial to MACV OCS graduates were all funded through donations from 6-65.

What motivates this class? First, its beginnings in the 51st Company, evidenced by the fact that their TAC officers are now an integral part of current reunions and group planning—an acknowledgment of the TAC officers’ contribution to the formation of the grads. Second, a strong desire to honor those 17 KIAs, making sure they’re remembered in special ways. Finally, they are motivated to perpetuate the larger OCS legacy—preparing young officers to lead in combat.

More than 20 members attended the April 29 Hall of Fame induction at the National Infantry Museum. Five new 6-65 inductees brought the class’s HOF total to ten. It was a proud moment as 6-65 graduates were recognized themselves as they have been striving to recognize their fallen comrades and memorialize the OCS tradition.

Grady Smith, retired lieutenant colonel, along with fellow classmates Phil Kearns and Dave Schollman, led the effort to create a plaque at the OCS Memorial Walk to recognize their classmates. Smith was one of the five members of 6-65 to be inducted this year into the Hall of Fame.

Fellow graduates from Class 6-65 listen during the reading of the names of their fallen comrades at the class’s plaque at the Memorial Walk.

Classmates from Class 6-65 pose with a Viet Cong flag captured by Lt. Pete Juvet. The flag was captured by Juvet and his radio-telephone operator as Juvet’s infantry platoon overran a Viet Cong base camp while participating in ground operations in Tan Binh in February 1966. The flag was presented to the OCS Battalion to be displayed in a place of honor.

Members of the OCS Alumni Association attend the general membership meeting at the start of the 2019 reunion. 

Candidates and alumni enjoy lunch together in the OCS Battalion area.

Alumni visit the National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus. Jim Wright fires a Civil War cannon.

 

Chapter Formation

Interested in establishing an OCS Alumni Association chapter in your area?

Association chapters are established to coordinate and promote activities and camaraderie at the local level. The chapters encourage fellowship and goodwill among the OCS graduate community and promote the purposes of the Association.

Association has an SOP that describes the process for establishing and operating a chapter. To establish a chapter, a minimum of 10 founding members are required. The requirements for operating a chapter are submission of an annual report on the activities of the chapter and reporting any change in its leadership.

If any member is interested in establishing a chapter or would like to receive a copy of the SOP, please contact Chris Bresko at panther06247@gmail.com.

Member News

There are over 300 yearbooks listed on the OCS Alumni Association website. (First log in with your member password and then go to the Members drop down menu. Next click on Yearbooks, Programs, & Memorabilia.) A number of the yearbooks posted on the website do not have a graduation date. Please go to the website and see if your yearbook is there. If it has a graduation date entered of December 31, 0001, then we do not have the date and need your help. Even if there is a date, please review to ensure the class number and graduation date is correct. If the information needs to be updated or if your yearbook is not listed, please contact Dr. Patrick A. Smith at patocsaa@gmail.com or 951-712-3240. This is your history. Let’s preserve it for future generations.

The OCS Alumni Association now has a LinkedIn account! To join, send an email request (from your civilian not military email account) to OCSLinkedIn@ocsalumni.org. Include your class number and graduation date in your request. Check out the page at https://www.linkedin.com/school/army-ocs-alumni-association./

Check out the OCS Alumni Association online store for OCS-embossed coffee mugs, polo shirts, and baseball caps.

Make sure you keep your contact information up to date! We sometimes get out-of- office automatic replies that don’t provide a forwarding email. Members can log into their account and update their information at the website.