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May 8, 2014

RSU, Oklahoma Army National Guard Provide Officer Development Program

Pictured after a recent signing ceremony on the Rogers State University campus are, from left, Bill Ramsay, President of the Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association, Oklahoma Adjutant General Myles Deering and Rogers State University President Dr. Larry Rice. The university and the Oklahoma Army National Guard have agreed to bring a Guard Officer Leadership Development program to campus starting this fall, one of only three such programs in the state.

Pictured after a recent signing ceremony on the Rogers State University campus are, from left, Bill Ramsay, President of the Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association, Oklahoma Adjutant General Myles Deering and Rogers State University President Dr. Larry Rice. The university and the Oklahoma Army National Guard have agreed to bring a Guard Officer Leadership Development program to campus starting this fall, one of only three such programs in the state.

Starting this fall, Rogers State University and the Oklahoma Army National Guard will be offering a Guard Officer Leadership Development (GOLD) program that will build upon the university's distinguished military history.

RSU President Dr. Larry Rice and Major General Myles L. Deering, Adjutant General of Oklahoma, recently signed the agreement during a campus ceremony. The program is expected to begin on the Claremore campus this fall.

"For more than 50 years, this school operated as Oklahoma Military Academy and enjoyed a reputation as one of the nation's premiere military schools," Rice said. "Through this agreement with the Oklahoma Army National Guard, we are providing opportunities to prepare a new generation of citizen soldiers."

The leadership program is open to Oklahoma Army National Guard soldiers who attend RSU. Candidates can receive 100 percent of their college tuition paid, live on campus, develop leadership skills and accelerate their military career by being commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Oklahoma Army National Guard upon completion of the program. 

"The National Guard is the face of the Army. Our citizen-soldiers are in your schools, in your churches and throughout your communities," Deering said during last week's event. "It is crucial to our mission that we develop future leaders for the Guard because we are an integral part of your hometown and we're an integral part of today's Army."

The college curriculum includes academic leadership training built into the program, along with leadership labs, physical training and field training exercises that provide firsthand experience about leading others as an officer. RSU's program would be the only such program in northeastern Oklahoma.

Several OMA alumni attended the event, and their contributions to the school and its mission were recognized by comments from both Deering and Rice.

Bill Ramsay, president of the OMA Alumni Association, said, "We've been wanting something like this to happen for years, and we think it will be a great asset to the university. We thank the university and the Guard for bringing boots back to the ground once again on College Hill."

An endowment to support the GOLD program has been established by the family of one of OMA's most decorated alumni, Lt. Col. Ed Ramsey, who was instrumental in the liberation of the Japanese-occupied Philippines during World War II. His widow, Dr. Raquel "Raqui" Ramsey, has worked with the OMA Alumni Association to create an endowment that honors her husband through its support of the leadership program.

For more information about the program, contact Captain Michael Mitchell, who is serving as the Officer in Charge of the RSU GOLD program, at 405-625-3088 or michael.mitchell33@us.army.mil.