An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | Sept. 20, 2022

Oklahoma Army National Guard welcomes newly commissioned leaders

By Spc. Haden Tolbert, 145th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

NORMAN, Okla. - The Oklahoma Army National Guard welcomed 19 new second lieutenants into its formation during a graduation and commissioning ceremony at the Norman Armed Forces Reserve Center in Norman, Oklahoma, Sept. 18, 2022.

Officer candidates from classes 67, 67A, and 67B celebrated with friends and family as they took the oath of commissioned officers alongside their fellow graduates.

2nd Lt. Michael Goodin, a graduate of OCS Class 67 who served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard for 14 years before earning his commission, said officer candidate school builds leaders who are not only technically and tactically proficient but who understand the importance of mental toughness and resiliency.

“I believe that OCS, specifically the traditional OCS program, builds officers who have had to push through very difficult things mentally, not just physically, but mentally every month,” said Goodin, a Broken Arrow, Oklahoma resident who will serve in the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s Company A, 777th Aviation Support Battalion (Air Assault). “It's very difficult, and every month the candidates are encouraging each other to go through another weekend and to get as much as we can out of it.”

Goodin said he originally wanted to become a commissioned officer through the Reserve Officer Training Program but after meeting a National Guard noncommissioned officer who was earning a commission through the ROTC simultaneous membership program, he knew he wanted to gain experience in uniform before earning his commission.

“My thought process was, how am I going to be put in charge of 40 guys that are older than me,” Goodin said. “I didn't even pay my own cell phone bill and I saw a sergeant come in who was in the Guard, and he was doing ROTC simultaneously, and I decided I wanted to enlist and learn how to be led before I try to learn how to lead.”

Maj. Warren Queton, commander of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 189th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) who oversees the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s OCS program, said that’s OCS’s role - to take experienced service members and develop them into commissioned officers.

“We train leaders for tomorrow,” Queton said. “We mentor, coach and develop those leaders to have the skills to serve as second lieutenants in today's military.”

Queton said the Oklahoma Army National Guard works hand in hand with the Oklahoma Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion to identify the next generation of officers and help them achieve their goals through the OCS program.
“We work to seek new people, new leaders—people who want to serve as platoon leaders, the future company commanders, future battalion commanders,” Queton said. “We look for those people who aspire to be those leaders of the future.”

Officer Candidate School is one of many paths for Soldiers who hope to become commissioned officers. Traditional state OCS is conducted on drill weekends over the course of 15 months, while National Guard Bureau’s accelerated OCS takes place over two months and Federal Officer Candidate School lasts 14 weeks. All three OCS paths result in candidates earning a federally recognized commission as a second lieutenant.

To commission as an Oklahoma Army National Guard officer, Soldiers must have 110 GT line score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and have a minimum of 90 college credits toward an accredited degree to begin training. Age requirements depend on prior service.

“Since its beginning in January 1957, the Oklahoma Army National Guard Officer Candidate School has graduated 2,175 officer candidates,” Queton said. “Putting people through a rigorous course program is important, but it's not about beating them up. It's about developing them as leaders.”

-30-

This year’s graduates who earned are their commissions are:

2nd Lt. Alota Che Alota, 271st Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Field Artillery Brigade

2nd Lt. Michael Goodin, Company A, 777th Aviation Support Battalion (Air Assault), 345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command

2nd Lt. Joseph Hacker, 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

2nd Lt. Spencer March, 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Field Artillery Brigade

2nd Lt. Darcie Raridon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

2nd Lt. Kevin Roberts, 1245th Transportation Company, 345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command

2nd Lt. Roland Vietzke, 1245th Transportation Company, 345th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command

2nd Lt. Bradley Woodard, 2120th Engineer Company, 120th Engineer Battalion, 90th Troop Command

2nd Lt. Kaylyn Gomez, Company B, 2-149th General Support Aviation Battalion, 90th Troop Command

2nd Lt. Lawal Aliu, 205th Signal Company, 45th Field Artillery Brigade

2nd Lt. Ryan Barnes, 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

2nd Lt. Michael Elizondo, 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

2nd Lt. Alexander Garcia, Troop C, 1st Squadron, 180th Cavalry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

2nd Lt. Thomas Palmer, 1st Battalion, 160th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

2nd Lt. Conner Pennington, 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Field Artillery Brigade

2nd Lt. Herve Taning-Kaffo, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

2nd Lt. Dalton Westover, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 545th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

2nd Lt. William Nunes, Company E, 700th Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team

2nd Lt. Matthew Buck, Company B, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck
Oklahoma Guard conducts annual Mechanic of the Year competition
Oklahoma National Guard
Feb. 7, 2024 | 1:36
Oklahoma Army National Guardsmen gathered to test their mechanical skills at the third annual Mechanic of the Year competition held at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Norman, Oklahoma, Feb. 7, 2024. (Oklahoma National Guard video by Staff Sgt. Reece Heck)

CG Information:
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Rocky Anderson
President of the Mechanic of the Year Board
More