October 2019 Newsletter

October 2019 USAOCSAA Newsletter

President’s Message

OCS Alumni,

It is fall and football season, but it is not too early to plan for next year’s reunion. The Vice President for Administration, Dan Johnson, is doing a great job setting the conditions for the next reunion. Save the date now for May 1-4, 2020 in Columbus, Ga. We will dedicate Wigle Hall, the OCS Heritage Center, at the next reunion. I am very excited about Wigle Hall. It is something all graduates will be proud of and it will tell the story of OCS.

The deadline for the 2020 OCS Hall of Fame submissions was October 1. The selection board will meet in December and the results will be published soon after. Hall Fame members, I challenge you to come back for the reunion and welcome our new inductees. The Hall of Fame dinner and the induction ceremony will be the culminating event of this year’s reunion. We will also honor new honorary members of the 11th Regiment, the 2020 Patterson Award recipient, and the 2020 Nett Award recipient.

There is still time to nominate members for the Board of Directors. It has become an expectation that board members are also project directors. If you want to work to help us achieve our Association’s goals and objectives, please throw your hat in the ring and let me know how you would like to help.

I attended the Maneuver Warfighter Conference in September where I saw presentations by the Army Chief of Staff, Forces Command (FORSCOM) commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) commander, First Army commander, I Corps commander, and III Corps commander. They were very positive about the capability and readiness of the Army. The Army is adopting a new doctrine called Multi-Domain Battle. This is a major shift from counter-insurgency operations/security and stability operations. Multi-domain battle for land forces is similar to air-land battle doctrine of the Army of Excellence but it includes five domains: land, sea, air, space, and cyber. The ground force will consist of dispersed brigade combat teams (BCTs) with integrated cyber-attack and defend capability, enhanced electronic warfare capability, and unmanned aerial and ground systems. The BCTs will be part of a multi-domain task force built around a division or corps headquarters. The task force headquarters will synchronize long-range fires from land, sea, and air with the assistance of satellites, attacking the enemy to allow ground forces to maneuver to positions of advantage to engage, destroy, and disengage to avoid enemy concentrated fires. The objective is to destroy the enemy and eliminate his capacity to attack in any domain.

The multi-domain battle doctrine is supported by the Army’s modernization priorities labeled the Army’s Big 6+1: future vertical lift, combat vehicles, cross-domain fires, advanced protection, expeditionary mission command/cyber-electromagnetic, and robotics and autonomous systems. The Army’s Big 6 is supported with a cross-cutting capability of Plus 1: Soldier and team performance and overmatch.

In the meantime, our ground forces are the best in the world: 12 armor BCTs, 9 Stryker BCTs, and 37 infantry BCTs organized into 11 active duty divisions and 10 National Guard divisions with support from the U.S. Army Reserve and the Army’s generating force.

Remember we have quarterly board meetings. At the board meetings, all of our projects and activities are briefed and evaluated. That information is available to all members on the website so you can track how we are doing to meet our goals and objectives.

Forward Ever,

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

 

Commander’s Circle

Greetings from Fort Benning!

As I enter into my fourth month of command, my respect and admiration for all the OCS Alumni Association does continues to grow. Recently, we hosted OCS Class 06-67 and class 514. I was personally honored to be a part of the alumni dinner for Class 06-67, where I was able to join in celebrating with these proud graduates and pay tribute to the fallen heroes from that class. I am always proud to spend time with our fellow OCS graduates who created the legacy of OCS and paved the way for our current mission.

Currently, the OCS Battalion is refitting from multiple classes in session and preparing for a hectic winter where, at certain points, we will have all four companies (plus the Direct Commission Course) in cycle simultaneously. While taxing, we are fortunate to have quality,

dedicated cadre who are prepared to accomplish the mission. Recently, we modified the program of instruction to ensure that we maximize quality reputations and continuous feedback to allow the candidates to be as prepared as possible when they enter the force. We also have begun implementing the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) and certified 36 people to administer the test. The change from the old Army Physical Fitness Test, I believe, will help change the culture on fitness in our Army. Instead of training to the test, all Soldiers must possess a combination of core strength, agility, muscular strength, and endurance which is much more in line with what is needed when deployed. OCS classes will begin conducting the ACFT as a graduation requirement in Fiscal Year 2020, beginning with Class 001-20, currently in session.

The battalion staff has begun sorting through OCS Hall of Fame packets in preparation for the board this December. I was able to sit in on the board last year with Lt. Col. Chitty while I was at the pre-command course, so I understand the intense amount of work required to make this happen. With that, thank you for your timely and detailed submissions.

Finally, allow me to close by saying a heartfelt “thank you” to all of the OCS alumni for your continued support. Your contributions in terms of time, finances, and dedication truly make a difference.

Standards!! No Compromise!!

David T. Holstead
Lieutenant Colonel, Armor
Commanding
Office Phone: 706-545-3507
Email: [email protected]

Chaplain’s Corner

How Did You Live Your Dash (-)?

What can I write that might have meaning beyond a quick reading? My thoughts went to a note my late father-in-law, Roscoe Allen, sent to me some years ago. I think the contents of his note, from an unknown source, merits reflection by all of us. How did you live your dash (-)?

“I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a dear friend. He referred to the dates on his tombstone, from the beginning to the end. He noted that first came his date of birth and spoke the following date with tears. But he said what mattered most of all was the dash (-) between those years (1940-2000). For the dash represented all the time he spent on earth and now only those who loved him know what that little time is worth. For it matters not how much we own, cars, houses, cash; but what matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash (-)!”

So think about this long and hard. Are there things you would like to change? You never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged. We should slow down, preaching to myself as well, to consider what’s true and real and always try to understand the way other people feel, be a little less quick to anger, show appreciation more often, and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. We should treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile, remembering that this special dash (-) might only last a little while longer.

When I reported to my first duty station as a new chaplain (Fort Gordon, Ga.), I took the advice of an old mentor (Father Tony Imberri) and visited those agencies, not on my in-processing sheet, that could assist me in taking care of Soldiers and Family members entrusted to my watch care. One individual was the Army Community Services (ACS) budget counselor, Mrs. Louise Sumner. She took the time from her busy schedule to explain how I could refer someone for assistance. When I returned to my motel room, I followed the other advice that Father Tony gave: Take time to send a simple handwritten note of thanks to those who assist you and thank them by name! I dropped a note of thanks into a ‘shot gun envelope’ (remember those?) and sent it thru the post distribution. Four days later the NCOIC of the chapel came into my office and told me that Mrs. Sumner was on the phone and she was in tears! I answered the phone and Mrs. Sumner told me that she had been an ACS budget counselor for over 14 years and I was the first person who ever said thank you! I had meant to enhance my ministry but my actions actually became an act of ministry! That little note card took less than two minutes of my time and allowed me to assist a Soldier some 3 years later … but that is a story for another article.

So when your eulogy’s being read with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things it says? How you spent your dash (-)? If your time on earth were to end today, is there something or someone you need to fix or say?

I pray my simple eulogy will read, “He loved God … He loved his Family … He loved his Country … He loved the Army … He loved Soldiers and their Families … and it showed!”

Chaplain (Colonel, USA Retired) Sam Boone served in the Army for over 38 years as an enlisted Soldier, infantry officer, AH-1G cobra pilot, and chaplain. His final assignment was commandant of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, Fort Jackson, S.C. He is a graduate of OCS Class 2-74.

OCS Bookshelf

The Freedom Shield: When We Were Young, We Were There

John D. Falcon

In war, life has a way of turning on a dime. It is often a small choice that determines who lives and who sacrifices his or her young life. The Vietnam War was no different than any other bloody war. However, for the young guys who lived it, breathed its vigorous stench of rot and mud, the Vietnam War was like no other. In retrospect, life was simple here: turn left, you live: turn right, you die. The Boomerang, Bounty Hunter, and Green Delta aircrews of the 191st Assault Helicopter Company (AHC) had their share of both choices.

The Freedom Shield: When We Were Young, We Were There is the collective stories of the 191st AHC. A precious gem lay hidden within their underdog appearance. The unit assembled from a hodgepodge selection of hand-me-down aircraft, used equipment, and overlooked personnel who wanted to make a difference. And they did. Their collective stories define a new breed of Soldier: the combat assault-helicopter crewman.

The 191st pilots, crews, and support personnel vividly share the visceral details of what it’s like to be at war and count on your fellow crewmembers to survive day in and day out. After years of healing, it has finally become easier for the members of the 191st AHC to tell their stories candidly and their message is infinitely clear: “The price of freedom is painful.”

Retired Maj. John Falcon graduated from OCS at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in August 1966. He served as a Vietnam War helicopter pilot, flying over 500 combat missions.

Military Museums and Sites of Interests

The National Museum of the United States Army opens at Fort Belvoir, Va. next year. This will be an amazing opportunity for Soldiers and veterans to view their history. But the new museum is not the only place to commemorate our legacy. There are many other museums and sites of interest across the United States that have artifacts or interpretive displays exploring our military history. This article provides brief details on 20 different physical or virtual museums across the country that warrant exploring. Not listed in this article are the museums on Army installations such as Fort Carson, Foot Hood, Fort Benning, or Fort Eustis. Also not included are the National Military Parks such as Vicksburg, Miss. or Gettysburg, Pa. These museums and parks are well worth a visit, but the sites listed below are less well known.

The California State Military Museum (www.militarymuseum.org) remains temporarily closed to the public as it moves to a new location. Nevertheless, it is by far among the best virtual museums exploring Army history. The exhibits are temporarily located at Camp Roberts, near San Miguel, Calif. and will remain there until the museum can complete the move to new facilities in Sacramento. While the physical museum remains closed, the online museum remains open and represents an outstanding resource for individual’s looking at California’s military history. Operated by the State Military Reserve, the museum has an Army and Citizen-Soldier focus but also has a great deal of joint material. An amazing resource is the listing of California military posts. This includes everything from short-use National Guard training sites, Coast Artillery installations, large Army posts, prisoner of war camps, station hospitals, Cold War air defense locations, and Army airfields. An additional resource is the curator, Sgt. Maj. (CA) Daniel Sebby ([email protected]).

San Pedro, Calif. hosts the Fort MacArthur Museum (ftmac.org/).  While the Army turned Fort MacArthur, an old Coast Artillery installation, over to the Air Force in 1982, portions of the pre-World War II gun positions became a museum. Battery Osgood and Battery Farley contained 14-inch disappearing guns, so called as the recoil of the firing weapon would return it to a defiladed position inside the gun pit. Exhibits include the fire direction center, the emergency power supply, and a collection of communications equipment. Co-located is the Korean Bell of Friendship. Weighing 17 tons, this bell is a combination bicentennial gift and token of thanks for American involvement in the Korean War by the citizens of the Republic of Korea.

Technically not a museum is the Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal) (www.pattonhq.com/church.html) located at 535 West Roses Road in San Gabriel, Calif. This church is unique in that it is the family church of Gen. George S. Patton. The church yard contains a statue of Patton, but more impressive is the entry to the church itself. The entry contains a stained-glass window featuring Patton in an M3 Grant medium tank and the shoulder-sleeve insignia of the various corps and divisions comprising the Third U.S. Army.

The General Patton Memorial Museum is in Chiriaco Summit, Calif. (generalpattonmuseum.com/). The mission of the museum is to honor veterans and educate the public through the preservation and interpretation of artifacts from the major conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum offers a variety of tanks and military vehicles to view to include, not surprisingly, the M48 Patton tank and the M60a Patton tank.

In close proximity, but not related, are the remnants of the Desert Training Center (deserttrainingcenter.com), originally headquartered at Camp Young, near Indio, Calif.  Today, the National Training Center at Fort Irwin is the Army’s largest maneuver training area. In early 1942, the Army established the Desert Training Center to prepare Soldiers for the harsh desert conditions that would be faced when fighting the German Army in North Africa. Also known as the California-Arizona Maneuver Area, 20 divisions and supporting units, to include elements of the Army Air Forces, trained in an area covering over 18,000 square miles. While the Patton Museum is the most readily accessible reminder of this chapter in the Army’s history, many signs of training remain scattered across the Mojave Desert, to include camp roads, the outlines of building foundations, and memorial markers.

Phoenix, Arizona is home of the Arizona Military Museum (dema.az.gov/army-national-guard/papago-park/arizona-military-museum), located on the grounds of the Papago Park Military Reservation. Focused on Arizona’s military history, it provides information on some of the lesser-known events in Army history, to include the Mexican Border Crisis of 1916-1918.  This episode played a major role in preparing the Army for World War I by both validating Pershing’s capacity for senior leadership and in uncovering myriad uncorrected problems in the National Guard. Uncovering these problems led to a much more efficient mobilization of the National Guard for overseas service in Europe.

The Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona (pimaair.org/) is not solely focused on the Army (a major weakness in any military endeavor!); however, the Pima Air and Space Museum is the best aviation museum west of the Mississippi River. The Pima Air and Space Museum possesses a large collection of military aircraft including examples from the Army Air Corps, the Army Air Forces, and Army aviation since 1947 and the creation of the U.S. Air Force.  Examples include three different variants of the UH-1 Huey, an AH-1 Cobra, an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior, a U-8 Seminole, a YO-3A Quiet Star, and an OV-1C Mohawk (pictured below). These last two aircraft played important intelligence roles during the Vietnam War.

Located in Green Valley, Ariz., roughly 30 minutes south of Tucson, is the Titan Missile Museum 

(titanmissilemuseum.org). Focused on the Titan intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the museum provides a close look at one of the Air Force’s major weapons systems and of a concept that helped define the size, shape, and purpose of the Army during the Cold War.

White Sands, N.M., hosts the White Sands Missile Range Museum (www.wsmr-history.org/index.htm) and the associated missile park. Often overlooked is the Army’s role in America’s space program and, while the developmental work took place at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., much of the actual testing took place at White Sands. The missile park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and interpretive aids accompany each display. Particularly noteworthy are the Corporal, the Army’s first operational guided missile and the Dart, the first anti-tank guided missile in Army service.

Cheyenne, Wyo. is the location of F.E. Warren Air Force Base Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and Heritage Museum (www.warrenmuseum.com). F.E. Warren Air Force Base was established as Fort David A. Russell in 1867. It was renamed Fort Francis E. Warren after the Wyoming senator, and father-in-law of General John J. Pershing, in 1930. It provided a home to a number of infantry and cavalry regiments through World War II. During the war, it became a Quartermaster Corps training center and, most significantly, hosted a Quartermaster Corps officer candidate school. The post museum provides some details on the post’s broader history without touching on its ties to OCS. The museum also maintains a large collection of Army shoulder-sleeve insignia, including many examples of World War II units that rarely appear anymore. A drive through the historic grounds will give you a sense of the pre-war Army—so long as you don’t look at the intercontinental ballistic missiles on display.

Oklahoma City, Okla. hosts a museum dedicated to a single unit: the 45th Infantry Division (and its successor, the 45th Infantry Brigade) (www.45thdivisionmuseum.com/index.html). Known as “The Thunderbird,” the division originally drew units from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Serving in the Mediterranean and European theaters in World War II, it again saw active service during the Korean War. The Global War on Terror saw the unit serving both in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bill Mauldin, the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist known for “Willie and Joe” in World War II, got his start as a staff member on the 45th Division News and moved from there to the Stars and Stripes. The museum has a large collection of his original cartoons.

Topeka, Kan., hosts two museums of note: The Combat Air Museum and the Museum of the Kansas National Guard. The Combat Air Museum is located at Forbes Field, the local airport, while the Kansas National Guard Museum is conveniently located only a few blocks away.

Like the Pima Air and Space Museum, the Combat Air Museum (combatairmuseum.org/) includes exhibits from our sister services. Its collection of Army aircraft, however, is impressive and includes a CH-47 Chinook, an RU-8 Seminole, two versions of the UH-1 Huey, an OH-23 Raven, and a CH-54 Tarhe. Also on display are a Corporal short-range ballistic missile, a Nike-Hercules surface-to-air missile, and an Honest John rocket. The Honest John is significant because it formed the core of the Army’s short-lived Pentomic division. First organized in the late 1950s, the Pentomic division removed regiments/regimental combat teams from the divisions and replaced them with five independent battle groups that would maneuver to exploit nuclear strikes made by Honest John rockets.

The Museum of the Kansas National Guard (www.kansasguardmuseum.com/) includes the 35th Infantry Division Museum. Among the 35th’s noteworthy alumni was President Harry S. Truman who commanded Battery D of the 129th Field Artillery during World War I. Truman remained in the Organized Reserve Corps after the war and ultimately retired as a colonel.

The long stretch of road between the Rocky Mountains and Omaha, Neb. is broken in Lexington, Neb. with the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles (heartlandmuseum.com/). Created in 1986, the museum’s collection now includes over 100 wheeled or tracked vehicles or Army aircraft. The museum maintains many of these in operational condition. Some of the vehicles are driven in local parades. Among the most recent additions is an M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. One of the most unusual pieces is the M274 Mechanical Mule, originally designed to provide dismounted infantryman a way to carry heavy loads or crew-served weapons over a range of terrain.

The Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy, Ill. includes the All Wars Museum (www.quincyivh.org/museum.html) with over 5,000 artifacts of American military history from the Revolutionary War through the ongoing Global War on Terror. While not focused solely on the Army, the museum’s collection includes replicas of Revolutionary War uniforms, an actual brass cannon, and also a number of Nazi German flags brought back to the United States as trophies following the war.

Also in Illinois is the Pritzker Military Museum and Library (www.pritzkermilitary.org).  The museum, which opened in 2003, was founded by retired Col. Jennifer Pritzker who served on active duty and in the Illinois Army National Guard. The library’s military history collection has a particular focus on the concept of the Citizen-Soldier in America.

New Orleans, La. is the home of the National WWII Museum (www.nationalww2museum.org). The mission of the museum is to tell the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. The museum contains exhibits, multimedia experiences, and a collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, in addition to its online collections.

The Veterans Memorial Museum of Southern West Virginia (visitwv.com/company/veterans-memorial-museum-of-southern-wv-inc/) is West Virginia’s first and most extensive military museum. Exhibits highlight Frontier, Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan eras.  Displays contain military artifacts, memorabilia, weapons, photos, and collections donated by regional veterans. Of special interest are Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s footlocker, a vintage M151A2 Jeep, and a World War II D-Day display. 

The National D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford, Va. (www.dday.org/ ). The small Virginia town was the pre-World War II home station of Company A, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment of the 29th Infantry Division. The Army built the 29th Infantry Division around elements of the Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia National Guard. Sent to England, the 116th Infantry Regiment participated in the first wave of D-Day landings on Omaha Beach. Company A suffered over 90% casualties by day’s end and Bedford gained the distinction of having the highest battle-loss rate per capita of any city in the United States. To commemorate A Company’s sacrifice, Bedford became the home of the D-Day Memorial, dedicated on June 6, 2001 by President George W. Bush.

A small collection dedicated to honoring women who served in the military opened this past summer in Mt. Pocono, Pa. The Women Veterans Museum (www.womensveteransmuseum.com/home#TJynFX) is dedicated to honoring women’s service in particular their service in combat. The museum features donated items like a protective mask, tools, challenge coins, and combat uniforms, including one from 1943.

The last museum on the list isn’t a military museum and isn’t even open yet! The Jackie Robinson Museum (www.jackierobinsonmuseum.org) is scheduled to open this year in New York City. At this time it is not clear whether there will be any displays or artifacts related to his service in the Army to include as an OCS graduate.

OCS Heritage Center

Thanks to your generosity, we exceeded our fundraising objective and raised $305,415 in donations to build the Heritage Center. Below is the breakdown by giving category.

  • US Army OCS Alumni Association General Funds (seed money) = $50,000
  • $25,000 – Commandant’s Circle = $50,000
  • $10,000 – Regiment Commander’s Circle = $80,000
  • $5,000 – Group Commander’s Circle = $40,000
  • $1,000 – Troop Commander’s Circle = $47,500
  • $500 – Team Leader’s Circle = $16,000
  • Team Players = $21,915So far, we have completed the interactive kiosk, the Hall of Fame room, the U.S. Army OCS Alumni Association room, donors’ plaques, and the OCS Today exhibit. We are in the process of designing and building the rest of the exhibits which include World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Volunteer Army, Army of Excellence, Global War on Terror, Judge Patterson, Thomas Wigle, Women Army Corps OCS, and the Fallen Heroes Memorial. Installation is scheduled for December and the first annual update and refinement is scheduled for April.We estimate annual sustainment costs will be between $25,000 to $50,000 a year. We are in the process of developing a sustainment fundraising program to ensure everything we have accomplished in the last three years is maintained and sustained.Please view the YouTube video and see for yourself what your donations have created.

Memorial Walk

Frank L. Harman III

The OCS Memorial Walk is a place where we remember 78 years of service by OCS officers in the Army.

The OCS Memorial Walk features Gen. George Marshall, who started OCS and established the vision and objectives the OCS program continues to achieve. The OCS Memorial Walk features commanders, cadre, and staff who supervised the OCS program. Their training, mentorship, and leadership of OCS candidates has made Marshall’s vision possible. The OCS Memorial Walk features seven era blocks that represent war campaigns, combat operations, contingency operations, deployments, military exercises, and major events that illuminate the essence of each era of the OCS program. The OCS Memorial Walk features our 50 Medal of Honor recipients and their valor and heroism. The OCS Memorial Walk features our killed in action, may they rest in peace. The OCS Memorial Walk features distinguished graduates who served our country at the highest levels. The OCS Memorial Walk features all of our Hall of Fame members and the outstanding service they gave to our Army and the public as a whole. The OCS Memorial Walk features our career officers: generals, crusty colonels like myself, lieutenant colonels, and iron majors, commanders and staff officers at all levels who kept the Army rolling along. The OCS Memorial Walk features all of our graduates especially those who did their time and returned to civilian life, such as my uncle who was commissioned in 1941, served the duration of World War II, and returned to civilian life to work a job, buy a home, raise a family, and live the American dream.

Wow! We have come a long way in three years. It was September 2016 when we developed the initial plan for the OCS Memorial Walk. It is hard to believe what we have accomplished in the last three years. We have 118 dedication blocks representing eras, units, OCS classes, and members of the OCS Hall of Fame. We have over 700 plates, pavers, and bricks installed. Last 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. In addition, we now have the Col. Nett award, the Judge Patterson award, the Secretary of Defense paver in honor of Casper Weinberger, the Secretary of the Army paver in honor of John O. Marsh, combatant commands, major commands, numbered armies, and corps in honor of our three- and four-star general officers 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 surrounded by individual names on granite plates, pavers, and bricks. We expanded with over 240 feet of new paver bed on the outside wings and four cul-de-sacs. 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 of OCS are now recognized here and lie with their fellow OCS graduates and the units in which they served.

We are about to reach capacity again. We have one class monument staged for installation and three others in the works so we are on the verge of an expansion. Because of economy of scale and excavation, installation, and landscaping costs, we would like to put in six new cul-de-sacs this winter. That would give us approximately a 30 percent increase in capacity. We have a cascade plan to give a finished look, but still retain about two to three years of new capacity. We will introduce a new sustainment fundraising program that is designed to support the Memorial Walk, the OCS Heritage Center, and our support to the OCS Battalion. As part of that support we will offer blocks, pavers, and bricks as incentives. In the meantime, below is our current pricing structure. Every dime goes into improving the Memorial Walk.

Memorial Walk Prices

  • 4×8 Granite Bricks Gray or Black= $100 with Replicas
  • 8×8 Granite Pavers Gray or Black= $250 with Replicas
  • 12×12 Granite Plates Black only= $250
  • 16×16 Granite Block Gray or Black= $400 plus $30 for each color
  • 24×24 Granite Block Gray or Black= $600 plus $30 for each color

Multi-Piece Class Monuments (custom design and build)

  • 4×8 Granite Bricks Gray or Black= $50
  • 8×8 Granite Pavers Gray or Black= $100 plus $30 for each color
  • 12×12 Granite Plates Black only= $100 plus $30 for each color
  • 16×16 Granite Block Gray or Black= $400 plus $30 for each color
  • 24×24 Granite Block Gray or Black= $600 plus $30 for each color
  • $500= Installation Fee
  • $500= DonationSustainment Gift
  • Donations in the below amounts get courtesy Memorial Walk installation.
  • $200= Brick
  • $500= Paver or Plate
  • $750= 16×16 Block
  • $1000= 24×24 BlockWe are encouraging new raised monuments; more dedication blocks for divisions, brigades, regiments, OCS classes, and branches; and individual and group tributes and memorials. And finally, we want hundreds of bricks and pavers surrounding them all.Haven’t had a chance to visit Fort Benning and see the Memorial Walk for yourself? Click this link for a YouTube video about the Memorial Walk from the 2018 reunion.

Have you ordered your brick or paver? This is truly a great way to memorialize your OCS experience, military duty, and tell your story. If you have already purchased a brick or paver, what about a friend, relative, teammate, or classmate? Go to the OCS Alumni Association website today and order your history.

Frank Harman serves as the President of the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Alumni Association.


Save the Date for Reunion 2020 

Mark your calendar for next year’s Alumni Association reunion! The reunion begins on Saturday, May 2 and concludes with the OCS Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday, May 4. The hospitability room and registration will be open on Friday, May 1 for those who want to arrive early and for mini-class reunions. The Columbus Marriott will again be our host hotel. Registration information will follow shortly on the Association’s website.

Chapter Activities

Members of Chapter One of the OCS Alumni Association participated in the 2019 AUSA annual meeting.

Allen Tidwell, John O’Shea, and Tom Evans participate in the 2019 AUSA annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Mike Harris meets Gary Sinise, actor, director, musician, and philanthropist, at the AUSA annual meeting.

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.

The 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 [email protected]

Member News

The OCS Alumni Association established the Nett Award to recognize and honor annually an OCS Hall of Fame or OCSAA member or current/former cadre who has provided superior support and advocacy of the OCS program. We are currently accepting nomination packages for this award. Deadline for submission is December 1, 2019. Send nominations to the Association’s Secretary, Mike Harris, at [email protected]

The award is named for Robert B. Nett, an OCS graduate who 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. Last year’s winner of this award was retired Lt. Col. Edgar Burroughs. Burroughs, a graduate of Class 023-70 at Fort Benning, dedicated countless hours volunteering in service of OCS and the Alumni Association where he previously served as Treasurer. Who will be the next recipient of this award?

The OCS Alumni Association membership dues policy has changed. Life membership is no longer based on age. It is $300 regardless of age. Furthermore, annual membership dues can count for life membership dues. Annual members who wish to convert to life membership will only need to pay the difference between what they have paid and $300. To renew your annual membership for a life membership, please contact Dr. Patrick Smith at [email protected]

We invite our members to check out our brand new website at ocsalumni.org. Don’t rely on your previously bookmarked page. The new look has been under development for several months and is ready for you to review and explore. You will see a brighter look, with a focus on OCS PRIDE. Look for new photos and quotations from fellow OCS graduates and those who created the program in 1941. Please send all comments to Ken Braswell, Vice President for Operations at [email protected]