By Staff Sgt. Josiah Pugh, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
PINEVILLE, La. – The Louisiana National Guard’s 199th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) held a graduation ceremony to commission seven new officers at the Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Camp Beauregard in Pineville, March 19. The newly commissioned second lieutenants received their oath of service from Maj. Jason Montgomery, the OCS company commander, in front of family, friends, mentors and leaders.
“Congratulations on achieving a significant milestone in your life and thank you for your service to our nation and to our state,” said Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Friloux, LANG’s director of the joint staff. “Thank you to all the family members and friends who have supported your lieutenant on their journey to becoming a military officer.”
The 199th Regiment has managed Louisiana’s OCS program since July 1960. Since graduating the first class in August 1961, more than 1,800 second lieutenants have been commissioned through Louisiana’s program. These officer candidates graduated as part of an 8-week long winter accelerated course, rather than the traditional course which replaces drill for one weekend a month and two annual training sessions over a period of 18 months.
“You’ve accomplished something that very few people have the opportunity to attempt, let alone complete,” said Lt. Col. Joseph E. Carey, deputy commander of the 199th. “Less than one percent of the people in the United States serve in the military. Thirty percent of that one percent actually become an officer. If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
Each of the seven new officers received a diploma, certifying their achievement. Their families pinned on their new golden second lieutenant rank.
The mission of Louisiana’s Officer Candidate School is to train, mentor and commission the future leaders of the Louisiana Army National Guard.