I am pleased to welcome you to my personal blog, which I started in March 2009. I first became interested in blogging about five years ago, using old "blogger.com", which was cumbersome to use and I never mastered. About a year ago I discovered that Google had bought "blogger.com" and had revised it considerably, making it fun to use, so much so that I have devised at least 15 blogs on various subjects and frequently add posts and Gadgets to them.

Friday, April 24, 2009

William T. Johnson at Officer Candidate School

During World War II the Infantry Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning was in the Harmony Church area of the post. I had been in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at Presbyterian College (known as PC) in Clinton, SC, and had there been more time to finish college I might conceivably have received a commission through ROTC. However, there was not enough time and we in Senior ROTC program were permitted to sign contracts to earn commissions through Infantry OCS, provided that if we did not succeed we would remain in the army as private soldiers. So that was our program - basic training, Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), miscellaneous duties, OCS, and combat training and duty as either a Second Lieutent (2LT) or a Private (PVT). By attending college in the summer of 1942 I was able to get college credits and to be classified as a Senior ROTC student by the time I entered the Army in June 1943. So when my time came to enter service I had a guaranteed chance to enter OCS at the Army's convenience. When the end came for the ASTP program some of us with contracts eventually went to OCS and the others went into combat. From the ASTP program at Mississippi State College we traveled by train to Columbus, GA, by bus to an administrative company at Harmony Church area at Fort Benning, and on foot to whatever OCS company we were assigned. I was assigned to the 12th Company. OCS required 17 weeks of training, but I got no further than the 13th week when I was found short of the leadership abilities required of a lieutenant. In May 1944, after my failure in a night exercise while serving as a company commander leading the company across a wooded area during an attack, I was counseled, removed from OCS, and reassigned to the 71st Division, then being retrained in the Sand Hill area of the post. I was somewhat upset at being "kicked out of OCS" but eventually found the move to my advantage.

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