The Rogers State University GOLD program achieved another milestone this summer when Logan Gear became its first student to successfully complete the U.S. Army National Guard’s Accelerated Officer Candidate School (OCS). Gear will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Oklahoma Army National Guard during a Sept. 11 ceremony in Oklahoma City.
Gear, a senior majoring in public administration from Olive, endured the rigorous and highly demanding eight-week accelerated Officer Candidate School during June and July at Fort Meade, South Dakota.
Accelerated OCS includes three phases. The first phase is two weeks in length and consists of physical conditioning, land navigation training, and various other military exercises. The second phase consists of four weeks of training consisting of multiple classroom sessions, ruck marches of varying lengths, an Army Physical Fitness Test, and tactical exercises. The third and final phase is two weeks of squad, platoon, and company level tactics and exercises during which candidates are tested on their ability to lead soldiers through various training missions/scenarios. Gear said his fellow Oklahoma candidates’ OCS group had a roughly 40 percent failure rate due to the program’s structure, which is designed to test candidates’ physical and mental preparedness with an uncertain and stressful environment.
He said the training he received from RSU’s GOLD program helped give him a leg up throughout the eight-week program.
“I couldn’t have done this without the GOLD program, the mentorship and advice from the officers and NCOs leading the program past and present as well as the support from the other candidates along with my friends and family, and the support from OMA Alumni. I really appreciate everything everyone has done for me and the other candidates,” he said.
Gear is completing his final year at RSU and will then go through the Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in order to become an engineer officer. He hopes to continue his education either in law school or by earning a graduate degree in public administration. He hopes to one day to run for public office in order to effect greater change in his community.
For anyone who is considering the GOLD program, Logan encouraged students to pursue the opportunities that it provides.
“I would strongly encourage students to take advantage of the program, which has excellent benefits for students who want to serve our nation and also get the benefit of a college education,” he said. “It helps that the OMA is supporting each of our students 150 percent. I am thankful for all the support they’ve given me during my time in the RSU GOLD program.”