Sometimes it’s not about where you finish, but that you finish. For over 160 Army National Guard Officer Candidates today, it wasn’t about crossing the finish line first at Talladega Superspeedway; it was about having the strength to cross the line at all.
The soldiers are attending the Accelerated 57-day Officer Candidate School (OCS) conducted by the Alabama Military Academy/200th Regiment, located at the Ft. McClellan Army National Guard Training Center.
A requirement of the OCS course is that the soldiers complete a seven-mile foot march in full combat gear. Under laden pack, each soldier marched to and around the 2.66-mile tri-oval while carrying a 35-40 pound rucksack plus their weapon.
The Alabama Military Academy conducts the accelerated OCS course for the Army National Guard nationwide. Candidates from 23 states, including 10 Alabama natives, are attending the current course. Since 2003, more than 2,800 new Second Lieutenants from all 50 states and four territories have graduated from the program.
“On behalf of the Talladega Superspeedway staff, we certainly appreciate the service that these brave men and women perform each day,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Rick Humphrey. “While I believe the soldiers were excited to come out and see the track, we were equally excited to host them. Talladega Superspeedway is proud to support our troops.”