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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard school house builds tomorrow's leaders

RTI roadmarch CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Schoolhouse instructors of the 175th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, hold high standards as they prepare Soldiers for the future for the United States Army

"We work hard to make them more adaptable and resilient leaders to face the complexities of future state and federal missions," said Col Stefanie Horvath, 175th Regimental Commander

The 175th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, or RTI, shares its foundation from one of Minnesota's earliest artillery units which began during the Civil War Since then, the regiment has continued to serve with distinction in the US Army, most recently earning the Institution of Excellence award by the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC)

1st Battalion - 175th Regiment RTI trains Soldiers in the fundamentals of leadership by instilling professional ethics and the ability to think, move and communicate within an organization; and, finally, evaluating their leadership potential as part of the Officer Candidate School Those who qualify are commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army and begin the next phase of their careers with different units throughout the state

"OCS is a physically challenging and mentally stimulating course designed to educate, train and develop the leadership potential of enlisted Soldiers working to become officers," said Maj Rob Grutsch, OCS company commander

One of the programs requirements is a series of lengthy and challenging marches which includes heavy packs and combat equipment Each candidate is given the opportunity to lead and learn by ensuring their squad is informed, trained, prepared and ready to execute the mission

"It's tough working through a project individually, but we have to be able to think on our own as a leader before applying it to the team," said acting platoon leader Zach Boyum

Encouraging her instructors and students alike, Horvath joined the OCS class for the last of their phase II marches, October 25, 2015 Starting at 5:30 am, the class of 18 candidates and their instructors began the 10-mile march through the Camp Ripley training area

"It was neat to see Col Horvath out here walking through the mud with us, it's inspiring to know that she is willing to push us," said OCS Candidate Zach Nipper "It shows the same kind of 'lead from the front' attitude that made me want to become an officer"

"We focus Officer Candidate School training on getting them ready for their Officer Basic Courses and their next duty assignments following their commissioning," said Grutsch "We are putting special emphasis on identifying the candidates' commissioning branches earlier in OCS, which sets the candidates and their future units up for success"

October 28, 2015
by Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs

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