Kentucky Guard welcomes its newest officers

By Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

2nd Lt. Douglas Frederick’s family members attach his new rank on to his uniform during the ceremony at the Capitol rotunda April 26, 2019 in Frankfort. Frederick was one of three candidates who participated in the winter-accelerated Officer Candidate School. (U.S. Army photo Staff Sgt. Benjamin Crane)

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Three of the newest officers in the Kentucky Army National Guard took their oath at the rotunda in the state Capitol April 26.

2nd Lt. Douglas Frederick, assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry, 2nd Lt. Stephanie Lynn Huffman, 623rd Field Artillery and 2nd Lt. Kyle Moore with Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, were each sworn in as commissioned officers and received their first salute.

Frederick and Moore took part in the National Guard winter-accelerated program meant to get candidates through the course in less than three months, instead of the traditional 16 months, one weekend a month.

“They did such an exceptional job,” said Lt. Col. Bobbie Badgett, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 238th Regiment. “All I heard were wonderful remarks about them. We are very, very, proud of them today.”

The accelerated course started in January and finished in late March at Fort McClellan, near Anniston, Alabama.

To qualify for the accelerated OCS, Soldiers need to have completed 90 hours of college credit and working towards and undergraduate degree. Also they need to be proficient in Drill and Ceremony and tactical land navigation.

“It was a tough course,” said 2nd Lt. Douglas Frederick. “It seems like your there for a year but it’s only a few months, and the feeling you get when you get done is phenomenal.”

They must also be in peak physical shape prior to the course. Their physical training test scores have to be above average and they have to have a lot of endurance to keep up with the rigorous demands of the course.

“It’s 59 days of rigorous physical training. As soon as you get up in the morning until you go to bed,” said Badgett. “After you go though all three phases in that time period you are able to graduate; That is why it is so important when we send the Soldiers there that they are ready.”

She went on to say most Soldiers could get through the course, but shed light on why it’s harder for some.

“Many people have the physical skills to do this, but it’s the mental attitude they lack,” added Badgett. “You can find a thousand reasons to not accomplish something, but you got to find that one reason to do it. It could be your parents, your spouse, your child or even your pet. But whatever it is, when you have the feeling you cant complete it, you think of that one thing. Not everybody can be a commissioned officer, not everybody can be in the military; and that is why we do what we do, to be the best of the best.”

For Frederick, he said days as a NCO will help him be a more effective leader since he’s walked in the shoes of lower ranking Soldiers and understands how leaders’ actions and decisions affect them.  “The decisions I make are going to affect Solders at the lowest level so I’ll know how it.”

As far as what he’d say to other NCO’s looking to make a career change, he encourages them to not let the courses difficulty deter them.

“It’s tough on Soldiers to do it, but it’s going to set you up for success in the future, I highly recommend it, especially for NCO’s who want to transition to the officer world,” added Frederick.