The first class to graduate from the new-and-improved Officer Training School marked a second celebration: they are the first class to graduate active duty, Reserve and Guard officer trainees at the same time.
The first class of FY 2015 graduated 193 new 2nd lieutenants on Oct. 10, consisting of 73 active duty and 12 Reserve members completing Basic Officer Training and 108 ANG officers completing the Academy of Military Science, according to an Air Force release.
This is the first time both active duty and reserve component officers simultaneously ran through the new eight week curriculum. The OTS curriculum was shortened from 9.5 to eight weeks in August for active duty and extended from six weeks for Guard members, said 42nd Air Base Wing spokesman Phil Berube.
The most recent class had some combined lecture sessions and parade and drill training, but the Air Force is pushing to educate all members collectively within the OTS program.
“The vision is to merge the classes, meaning have active duty, Reserve and Guard students sit in the same classes together,” Berube said.
While active duty and Reserve members already train together, the Guard moved the Academy of Military Science, its commissioning school, in 2009 from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base near Knoxville, Tennessee, to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The move came three years after then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley expressed his vision of a “shared common experience” at a single location for active duty, Reserve and Guard officer trainees, the release said.
For airmen entering OTS, the ability to train and learn together will set “the stage for working and cooperating as a total force from the inception of an officer’s career,” OTS commandant Col. Scott Lockwood said in the release.
OTS commissioned 748 2nd lieutenants and trained more than 1,300 officers in fiscal 2014 through its Commissioned Officer Training and Reserve COT programs. AMS commissioned 511 Guard officers during that same time period.