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OCS Phase 1 Annual Training

Lt. Col. Jeffery Knepshield, commander of Maryland’s officer candidate school battalion, briefs senior leadership from the Maryland Guard as well as representatives from several states at the Brig. Gen. Thomas B. Baker Training Site Aug. 9, 2009.  August 9 was V.I.P. Day, allowing command representatives to observe candidates train, a chance to chat with and share a meal with the troops.
Camp Baker, located in Hancock, Md., is more than a hundred miles west of Baltimore and named after Brig, Gen. Baker a former Maryland assistant adjutant general – Army. The 1st Battalion, 70th Regiment conducts its consolidated Fall accelerated OCS phase 1 annual training, beginning at Camp Fretterd and ending Aug. 15 at Camp Baker.
Candidates were completing a land navigation exercise before eating lunch in the shaded area overlooking a mountain range. Today’s lunch special are meals ready to eat. MRE’s are also known to some as ‘Mysteries’ because you often have little choice in what flavored meal you get.
Brig. Gen. James A. Adkins, the adjutant general of Maryland, eats an MRE with candidates from different states. 193 candidates began the Fall course, 166 are on schedule to graduate according to the Aug. 8 figures.
Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Sann, state command sergeant major, was once the OCS battalion’s 1st Sgt., and he offers candidates advice on successfully completing the land navigation task. As of Aug. 8 there were 166 candidates from 28 states, 15 from Maryland and 16 from California the most of any state.
1st Sgt. Carrie A. Heinze, first sergeant of Maryland’s OCS battalion, and Brig. Gen Adkins review points used in the land navigation exercises. Candidates are tested on physical fitness, road marches, drill and ceremony, troop leading procedures, operational orders and warrior task battle drills.
Point Kilo is a memorial dedicated to Command Sgt. Maj Roger W. Haller by family, friends and Maryland Guard Members. Haller was the Command Sgt. Maj. of the 70th Regiment and was killed Jan. 2007, while serving in Iraq.  Point Kilo was a favorite spot for Haller. It’s a serene view of the Potomac River, shaded by tall trees; a place to view the sun rise and set over the mountains adjacent the river.

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