During large-scale wartime mobilizations, engineer officers are in short supply. When a pressing demand for qualified officers to command and staff activating engineer units is more than the Army can provide, permission is granted to the Corps of Engineers to “grow their own” through the Officer Candidate Program system.
Most of these new officers were in-place and highly qualified enlisted combat and construction engineers already serving on active duty, in the Army National Guard or in the Army Reserve. Additional volunteers were selected from induction stations and various types of other units. Many had already received decorations for valor in combat.
The Engineer Officer Candidate School (OCS) commissioned more than 35,000 officers in support of three periods of this nation’s armed conflicts.
From initial activation in July 1941, until inactivation in December 1946, 23,000 officers were turned out during World War II. The first class graduated prior to the Japanese attach on Pearl Harbor and produced 67 new Engineer officers. Following formal declarations of war, class size grew significantly with graduates seeing action in all theaters of the war.
Following a few years of down time, the Korean War produced yet another requirement for more Engineer officers than were available from within the system. From September 1951 through July 1954, more than 2300 officers qualified for the Castles on their collars.
Once again, in September 1965, Engineer OCS was activated at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. From that time until final inactivation in 1971, more than 10,000 Engineer officers were commissioned to support operations in Vietnam and other worldwide requirements.
Please send all correspondence, including Hall of Fame nominations to the address below:
Army Engineer Association
PO Box 634
Fort Leonard Wood MO 65473
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|Please visit The Engineer Officer Candidate School Association, Inc. (TEOCSA) at www.teocsa.org. |
Engineer OCS Class #60, November 1953.
(Photo courtesy of CPT Carl.)
The Engineer OCS Hall of Fame was established next to the OCS Regimental Headquarters at Fort Belvoir in May 1970. The purpose of the Hall of Fame was to provide special recognition to those graduates who distinguished themselves, and to serve as an inspiration for all who serve. A plaque was unveiled for display, recognizing known qualified OCS graduates. The Engineer OCS Hall of Fame was closed when the OCS at Fort Belvoir inactivated.
On 7 December 1990, the Engineer OCS Hall of Fame was reestablished at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (the new home of the United States Army Engineer Center and School). A ceremony was conducted to honor those known OCS graduates who had attained the standards set back in 1970. A second plaque listing known qualified OCS graduates was unveiled to compliment the original 1970 plaque.
Since 1991, the Army Engineer Association (AEA) has administered the Engineer OCS Hall of Fame program for the Engineer Regiment. The AEA provides an annual update plaque showing the names of the inductees who have been properly identified as having met the qualifications during the most recently completed calendar year.
The Engineer Officer Candidate School (OCS) Hall of Fame is in a quiet room on the second floor of the Engineer School complex, between Lincoln Hall and Clarke Library, at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The Plaques with the names of known qualified OCS graduates are complimented by donated mementos.