LEESBURG, Va. --
Marine Corps Recruiting Command hosted the 2012 Officer Selection Officer Conference at the National Conference Center Jan. 9-10. The conference was an opportunity for OSOs to receive annual training and be recognized for their hard work throughout fiscal year 2011.
In attendance were 75 OSOs from across the country and representatives from the six Marine Corps recruiting districts, along with the commanding generals of the Eastern and Western Recruiting Regions and Marine Corps Recruiting Command.
During the conference, the OSOs received training designed to aid them in the changing world of officer selection.
According to the commanding general of MCRC, competition for the opportunity to go to Officer Candidate School has made an OSO’s job similar to that of a canvassing recruiter.
“We’re in the recruiting mode on the officer side, not selection,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commanding general, MCRC. “It is so competitive coming into the door that [OSOs] have to do a lot of work to find out who the best person is.”
Finding that right person is much more than simply looking at tangible statistics like SAT scores, grade point averages and physical fitness test scores. When deciding who to send to OCS, OSOs examine applicants from a whole-person perspective, taking into account intangible characteristics such as moral character and leadership ability.
“You need to be sure the person you are sending to OCS is the right one,” said Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, commanding general, Western Recruiting Region and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego to OSOs at the conference. “You wouldn’t want to subject your Marines to being led by an unqualified person.”
To this end, Brig. Gen. Osterman expressed his belief that the OSOs had done their job accessing the most highly qualified men and women.
“It was really an amazing group of [officer candidates] you brought in this year,” said Brig. Gen. Osterman before handing out awards to the most accomplished OSOs.
Leading the way in receiving awards was Capt. Gregory J. Eichmann, OSO, officer selection station San Diego. Eichmann received multiple awards, to include the OSO of the Year award.
Prior to being recognized for their accomplishments during the awards ceremony, the OSOs were shown a video of Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaking on the importance of MCRC’s mission to increase the diversity of its officer corps. The video gave the OSOs the chance to hear the commandant’s intent from Gen. Amos himself.
“We have a connectedness to the American people that no other service has,” said Gen. Amos in the video. “A diverse force helps guarantee our connectedness to the American people.”
Brigadier Gen. Lori E. Reynolds, commanding general, Eastern Recruiting Region and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, echoed the commandant’s sentiment.
“Those aren’t just words. That’s why we’re still a Corps,” said Brig. Gen. Reynolds, on the importance of maintaining connectedness with the American people.
Throughout FY11, OSOs did their part in assuring this connectedness with the American people, accessing the most diverse group of officers in a decade. With their continued efforts and the use of successful initiatives deployed in the last year, the path has been paved for MCRC to have another successful year in 2012.