First Officer Training School-Victory graduates take flight

  • Published
  • By A1C Tyrique Barquet
  • Air University

The first Officer Training School-Victory class graduated at Maxwell Air Force Base on December 8, 2023.

The graduation ceremony marked the historic transformation of the Department of the Air Force’s Officer Training School, setting an elevated standard for the next generation of Air and Space Force leaders. OTS-V provides a competency-based course designed to develop Warrior-Minded Leaders of Character committed to our oath, values and creed. The new course promotes transformative change through leadership reps and sets in the affective, cognitive and behavioral learning domains. This experiential learning includes 60 hours across 28 days of challenging Mission Command Experiences (MCEs), as Officer Trainees lead their teams in multiple demanding environments to achieve the commander’s intent. OTS MCEs are conducted in three primary environments: a new tactical level Multi-Domain Warfighting Lab, an innovative Combined Joint Task Force Wargame and a deployed field exercise to prepare graduates to serve and lead their Airmen and Guardians through volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous challenges to accomplish difficult missions.

"All of it has changed to produce a better warfighter,” said Col. Derrick J. Iwanenko, Deputy OTS commandant. “For the first time, we're a competency-based course, executing Mission Command Experiences. Within our condensed timeline, nobody is executing the level of reps and sets we're able to induce for the trainees through Mission Command."

OTS-V incorporates a physically, intellectually and emotionally rigorous five-module approach across 60 training days. OTS will conduct, on average, 20 classes per year with a new class starting every two weeks. The additional class start dates promote flexibility for stakeholders, reduce candidates’ wait time to attend training, and allow for increased trainee throughput. At any point, OTS will have up to five classes in session in various phases of training. The new training construct allows OTS to easily surge production to meet mission requirements in both steady state and a contingency mobilization posture.

“I’m extremely grateful and honored to have had the privilege to serve and to be a part of our OTS transformation,” said Col. Keolani Bailey, OTS commandant. “I’m sincerely appreciative of the entire OTS Team for their innovation, passion, and commitment to the mission, each other and our trainees. Our OTS Professionals are the best in the leader development business! I am also thankful for the officer trainees who invest their best to develop themselves, their peers, and our staff as we continually improve to become the premier leader development institution within the profession of arms. As Warrior-Minded Leaders of Character, our graduates emerge committed to living with honor, lifting others and elevating the performance of their teams to deter, fight and win our nation’s wars,” added Bailey.