SAN ANTONIO, Texas --
Officer selection officers, or OSOs, gathered from recruiting stations across the United States for the National Officer Selection Officer conference, held here Dec. 13 through Dec. 17. One of the prime events of the week took place on the first night, where the OSOs were recognized for their hard work during the year with an awards dinner.
The awards covered different goal markers such as making the district assigned mission, producing 30 Officer Candidate School inductions, the OSO runner up, OSO of the year and awards for the assistant for officer procurement staff of the year. Major Gen. Robert E. Mistead Jr., commanding general, Marine Corps Recruiting Command, handed out the different awards accompanied by Brig. Gen. Frederick Padilla, commanding general, Eastern Recruiting Region, and Maj. Gen. Ronald Bailey, commanding general, Western Recruiting Region.
Maj. Gen. Milstead opened the awards presentation, congratulating the OSOs on a year marked with success on many different fronts.
“I can’t say enough good things about all the OSOs we recognized this evening. Through the hard times, our OSOs have never wavered from continually rising above the standard set for them and finding the best qualified applicants to continue our proud Marine Corps tradition. I am just tickled pink that I was able to work with such a fine collection of officers.”
After the awards in the different categories were given out, it was time to name the OSO of the year runner up and the OSO of the year. Capt. Jeffery Potter, OSO for Officer Selection Station Hyattsville, Md., in the 4th MCD, was named OSO of the year runner up for his superior performance in 2010. He attributed his success to how hard his officer selection team worked together.
“Receiving the award is a great thing for the team; something I can bring home to them and show them that their hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed,” said Potter. “What contributed to our success this year was a true team effort, dedication to the mission and focus. We represented the Marine Corps as best we could every day.”
The final event of the evening was announcing the OSO of the year. Capt. Joseph Petkus, OSO for OSS San Diego, Calif., in the 12th MCD, took home the top honors. Over the course of 2010 Petkus submitted 194 percent of his assigned mission and shipped 134 percent of his required ship mission. The time he spent preparing his candidates in the poolee program, where applicants wait for their ship date, led to his team having the nation’s lowest induction attrition level. For his accomplishment, Petkus was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, gold star in lieu of third award.
“It’s an honor to accept this award on behalf of our officer selection team. We had a great year due to a great team, from the human resources assistant to the officer selection assistants, everyone worked together to make this happen,” said Petkus. “My advice to other OSOs would simply be to maintain the high standard the Marine Corps demands of its officers and work hard. As an OSO, you are selling yourself and to most applicants, you are the Marine Corps.”
Many of the OSOs were able to leave the dinner with a symbol of their hard work over 2010; however, the end of the award ceremony also marks the beginning of next year’s struggle.