National Guard Officer Candidate Graduation - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

National Guard Officer Candidate Graduation

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CAMP BEAUREGARD - After fifteen months of hard work, dedication and taking orders, the newest grads of the Louisiana Army National Guard's officer candidate school are ready to go to work. News Channel Five's Nolan Crane shows us the hard work it took to get here and what's next for this group.

When soldiers first arrive at Camp Beauregard for officer candidate school, they are greeted with a steep learning curve.

Captain J.P. Beaudion says the officer and platoon candidates come in to learn how to be leaders, and it takes overcoming physical and mental stress to complete the program.

"It is a hard process to take new people to officer candidate school and move them through," says Cpt. J.P. Beaudion.

For most of theses soldiers the process takes fifteen months before they can earn their gold bar, and go from being the one who takes orders, to the one who gives them.

"It was a lot that we put into it, a lot of time, even away from the training environment it's a lot of time and I feel great," says Kory Mundy.

"They put us into a high intensity situation, they tried to make it relate to being over seas because you need to think on your feet and you need to make decisions quick and if you don't, that could mean the life of you and the lives of guys that are under your command," says Alfred Schneider Jr.

Alfred Schneider Jr. has been in the military for 13 years, and has earned many medals including the Purple Heart, but he's always been the one following the leader. Now, his family watched him becoming the person who would be the next leader.

"No matter what he does, we back him up, we're so proud of him, he's accomplished so much and we love him to death," says Catherine Schneider.

These grads left with one final lesson, their general reminded them that army is another four letter word for team.

"It becomes very real world for them once they are pinned. We have the ceremony but then the work begins," says Cpt. J.P. Beaudion.

In order to be part of this school, you have to be selected. The 36 soldiers who graduated were chosen, by their commanders from units all across the state.

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