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Officer Training School celebrates 50th anniversary

Jubilant graduates from a recent class of the Holm Center Officer Traning School  throw their caps into the air. Today OTS begins a three-day clebration of its 50th anniversary.A retreat ceremony honoring alumni who were killed or missing in action takes place today at 4 p.m and a 5K run takes place Saturday at 7 a.m. The run is open to valid military ID holders and their dependents; a golf tournament follows at 8 a.m. at the Maxwell courses. (Air Force photo by Bennett Rock)

Jubilant graduates from a recent class of the Holm Center Officer Training School throw their caps into the air. Today OTS begins a three-day celebration of its 50th anniversary. A retreat ceremony honoring alumni who were killed or missing in action takes place today at 4 p.m. and a 5K run takes place Saturday at 7 a.m. The run is open to valid military ID holders and their dependents; a golf tournament follows at 8 a.m. at the Maxwell courses. (Air Force photo by Bennett Rock)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Today (February 5) Air University Holm Center's Officer Training School at Maxwell-Gunter AFB will mark the 50th anniversary of the school's opening its doors. The school has invited former OTS students, staff and their guests to attend 50th anniversary events beginning today through Feb. 7.

"We will commemorate 50 years of excellence and the graduation of the class 60A, which was the first class to graduate from the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School," said Capt. Steve Masternak, OTS flight commander and one of the project officers for the event. "We wanted former OTS graduates to have the opportunity to return to OTS to see how things have changed since they were officer trainees."

The anniversary highlights include a retreat ceremony, 5K run, OTS facilities tours, golf tournament and a formal dinner on Feb 6 with key note speaker, Lt. Gen. Allen G. Peck, commander, Air University. Retired Lt. Gen. Norman Wood of class 61A was the first OTS graduate to attain flag officer rank will also attend.

"The Retreat ceremony will be pretty emotional for both the OTs and former OTS graduates because we will announce the names of all OTS graduates who have been killed in action. That will make an impression on cadets and bring back memories for OTS graduates, as they may remember some of the names from their classes," said Capt. Casey Pombert, OTS student commander.

The Air Force Officer Training School began at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in 1959 with 89 trainees in the class of 60A. The school was a 90-day program of physical, academic and military training designed to transform active duty, Reserve and National Guard enlisted personnel into quality commissioned officers.

In Sept. 1993, OTS moved to Maxwell-Gunter as part of the Air Force Chief of Staff's vision to align all officer education at Air University. OTS merged with the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1997 under the new Air Force Officer Accession and Training Schools, and in 2008 AFOATS was re-designated the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development. In Aug. 2009, the Air National Guard's Academy of Military Science relocated to OTS from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn., to solidify OTS as the total force training location.

For more information about this weekend's 50th anniversary event, visit the OTS anniversary Web site at: www.au.af.mil/au/holmcenter/OTS/50aniv.asp.