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NDGuard > Recruiting > Become An Officer > Basic Branch Officers > Officer Candidate School

Officer Candidate School

Develop the skills to be a leader
The North Dakota Army National Guard depends on strong leaders: its commissioned officers. Rising through the ranks, commissioned officers become managers and problem-solvers. They maintain a commitment to excellence, make critical decisions, lead every mission and guide Army Soldiers by the thousands. They take responsibility for the safety and freedom of Americans all over the world. And the place where they’re made is Officer Candidate School (OCS).

Officer Candidate School (OCS) is an intense leadership training ground. It's physically and mentally challenging, and not everyone's cut out for it. But those who are accepted, and make it through, agree it's one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Whether you're a first-time Soldier or have prior military experience, OCS will transform you into an effective leader.

There are two options for attending OCS, as outlined below. After speaking with a recruiter, you'll choose the best one for you based on your specific circumstances, such as your work and family commitments.

OCS (Traditional)
The state OCS option (traditional course) is a 16 to 19-month course of instruction conducted from February to August of the following year. Upon commissioning each officer must attend Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) within 12 months in the branch to which he or she is assigned. Traditional OCS’s training is broken down as follows:

• PRE-PHASE: One weekend drill will be held each month in February, March, April and May conducted at Camp Grafton, North Dakota.
• PHASE I: Two weeks of training will be conducted at Ft Meade, South Dakota. Training will be held in either June or July.
• PHASE II: Inactive Duty Training (IDT) weekends will take place the month following completion of Phase I starting in August and continuing until June the following summer. Candidates are attached to their state Regional Training Institute (RTI) OCS Company and will perfect the skills previously learned at Phase I.
• PHASE III: A two-week annual training is held in July or August. Candidates will report to Camp Grafton, near Devils Lake, North Dakota, and be transported to Fort Lewis, Washington where they will conduct Phase III training preparing them for graduation in August back at Camp Grafton, North Dakota.

Accelerated OCS (Fast Track)
Officer candidates have the option of three different 8 week accelerated courses.

FAST TRACK ALABAMA (FTAL) is available from January through March or mid-June through mid-August at Fort McClellan, Alabama.

FAST TRACK SOUTH DAKOTA (FTSD) is available from June through July at Fort Meade, South Dakota.

FAST TRACK MARYLAND/PENNSYLVANIA (FTMD/PA) is available from August through September at Fort Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania. Students may be commissioned upon successful completion of the accelerated course.

The accelerated course is broken down as follows:
• PRE-PHASE: One weekend drill will be held each month for four consecutive months at Camp Grafton, North Dakota, prior to leaving for accelerated OCS.

• PHASE I, PHASE II, and PHASE III: All held at the respective OCS training institute for one continuous eight week course. The training content in accelerated OCS is the same as traditional, but differs by the schedule in how it is conducted.
PHASE I: Two weeks of training
PHASE II: Upon completion of Phase I, you immediately will begin Phase II, for a four-week training period
PHASE III: A two-week training period held upon completion of Phase II

Enlisted Soldiers and NCO's who have completed their active duty commitment may enlist in the North Dakota Army National Guard and after meeting screening criteria and have the availability of OCS written into their contract and attend the next available OCS class. Prerequisites are:
• Satisfactorily complete first term of service
• Meet requirements for education
• Meet requirements for obtaining a security clearance
• Meet OCS enrollment requirements outlined below

OCS Enlistment option
Civilians without any prior military experience may enlist into the North Dakota Army National Guard after meeting screening criteria and have OCS written into their contract and attend the next available OCS class. The potential Officer candidate will only have to attend Basic Training prior to enrolling into an OCS class.   Prerequisites are:
• Meet requirements for education
• Meet same medical requirements as enlisted Soldiers
• Meet requirements for obtaining a security clearance
• Meet OCS enrollment requirements outlined below

OCS Enrollment Requirements

OCS APPLICATION – Provided by the Soldier’s unit or Officer Strength Management team

• Minimum of 60 college credit hours from an accredited college or university depicted on an official (or certified true copy) college transcript. Applicants who possess a four year degree will also furnish a copy of the degree certificate.
• Commissioning: Minimum of 90 credit hours on an official transcript
• If a bachelor’s degree is not completed when enrolled in OCS, an education plan must be provided and followed
• Minimum of 90 credit hours on an official transcript is required for acceptance into accelerated OCS

• DD 214 indicating successful completion of Initial Active Duty Training (IADT) and Advanced Individual Training (AIT)
• DD 220 for non-prior service of glossary non-prior service OCS enlistment options personnel indicating successful completion of IADT (AIT is not required)
• Minimum General Testing (GT) Score of 110 (waiver is not authorized). Applicants may retest to improve score.
• The following authorizes verification: Page 1 of DD Form 1966, US MEPCOM Form 714ADP, certified true copy of 2-1, and memorandum from state education service officer (for retest only).

• Must successfully pass a state Regional Training Institute (RTI) administered record APFT prior to admission to Phase I and again within 60 days prior to entering Phase III
• Commissioning: Must successfully complete an APFT within 12 months

• Must meet height/weight requirements  in accordance with current AR 600-9 and annotated on a DA Form 5500-5501 prior to admission to Phase I

• Copy of social security card

• Chapter 2 commissioning physical or Class 1 flight physical conducted within 24 months of anticipated commissioning date
• Commissioning: Medical standards as prescribed in Chapter 2 AR 40-501

• Copy of birth certificate

• Minimum age for appointment is 18 years
• Must be appointed before 42nd birthday
• Age waiver no longer required

• Must be a citizen by birth or naturalization
• Naturalization citizen: Provide proof of Naturalization utilizing Figure 3-1, NGR 600-100
• If not a citizen, you must provide proof of application for citizenship (citizenship is required for Phase III enrollment)
• Commissioning: U.S. Citizenship required (no waiver authorized)

• Commissioning: Must possess “secret” or higher security clearance
• Ask unit administrator for assistance in obtaining a secret clearance verification statement, signed by the state security manager, annotated that a Form 873 is on file in your candidate’s personnel folder

• Letter of recommendation from unit commander recommending applicant for OCS enrollment (ask the unit administrator for assistance in obtaining the commander’s recommendation)

• Waivers must be approved prior to Phase I
• A general counseling form, DA Form 4856, indicating individual will be released from the program if the waiver is not approved. Must be signed by the candidate.
• Copy of the approved waiver must be in the student folder prior to Phase I

• All requests for waivers must be submitted through official channels by the unit commander (or his or her representative). Individual Soldiers applying for enrollment into OCS course are not authorized to apply for a waiver directly.

• Personal qualification record
• 201 file
• NGB Form 62

Last modified date: 11/23/2010 3:45 PM 
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