Earn your officer stripes

The West Virginia Army National Guard's 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.

There are three options for attending OCS, as outlined below. After speaking with the your recruiter or Officer Strength Manager, you will choose the best one for you based on your specific circumstances, such as your work and family commitments.

197th Regiment (RTI)


1SG Willis G. Thomas

SFC Damon C. Jones  

1SG Zacchary S. Custer


Three paths to an OCS Commission:

1 - State Officer Candidate School

If you already have at least three years of college credit and you meet the eligibility requirements, you can join the West Virginia Army National Guard under the state Officer Candidate School enlistment option. Current National Guard soldiers and Prior Service soldiers who meet the eligibility criteria may also apply for state OCS.

The state OCS program is a 15 to 18 month course of instruction conducted from March to August the following year. Upon successful completion of OCS, you will become a commissioned officer in the West Virginia Army National Guard. To qualify for state OCS, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Earned a minimum of 60 semester hours toward an accredited degree and 90 credits upon commissioning.
  • Be at least 18 and not have reached their 35th Birthday prior to enlistment and able to complete the State OCS course and commissioning requirements prior to reaching the age of 42. Prior service personnel are eligible to enlist after age 35.
  • Have a minimum score of 110 in the GT section of the ASVAB
  • Be eligible for a SECRET security clearance
  • Complete Basic Combat Training
  • MEPS Physical
  • SF 86

*If you are already enlisted, you will require an interview with your Battalion Commander.

2 - Accelerated Officer Candidate School

The Army National Guard also conducts an eight-week accelerated OCS program for qualified personnel. To qualify applicants must meet the requirements for the state OCS program and be selected to attend. Candidates are eligible for commissioning upon course completion pending federal recognition.

3 - Federal Officer Candidate School

The Federal OCS program is an Active Army course at Fort Benning, Georgia. The program is conducted over a 12 week period. In order to qualify, applicants must have a Bachelor’s or higher degree and be a current U.S. citizen. Applicants must not have passed their 33rd birth date at time of shipment to BCT and must accept a commission prior to age 34.


Officer Candidates Branching Aviation

Candidates who request to branch Aviation are required to conduct and additional flight board and submit a flight packet to the OSM Office. Candidates are required to have the following to be considered:

  • Class 1A Flight physical with Fort Rucker approval stamp (allow 1-3 months processing time at Fort Rucker).
  • Must be older than 18, but no older than 32 at time of selection board.
  • Passing Score of 40 on the SIFT