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MA1 Reese prepares for OCS

Published: Monday, April 28, 2014 12:34 p.m. CDT
(John Sheppard)
MA1 Alexander Reese, Naval Station Great Lakes (NSGL) Navy Security Force, signs the document accepting his appointment to Officer Candidate School (OCS) on April 9. He will leave for OCS next month. Following OCS, he will be appointed as a Surface Warfare Officer. Also signing the document was Capt. Bill Bulis, NSGL commanding officer (right). Observing the signing were (left to right) Les Thielbar, NSGL Administration Officer; Lt.jg Jaime Ochoa, NSGL First Lieutenant Division Officer; and Command Master Chief Mike Renbarger.

“I’m not going to lie, I shed a couple tears,” said MA1 Alexander Reese. “I was so elated that I was actually shaking. I couldn’t believe the commanding officer was telling me I got picked up for Officer Candidate School (OCS).”

Reese’s reaction, after being told about his acceptance to OCS in Rhode Island, comes from much time and effort put toward his package.

“It took me six months to get everything for my OCS package together,” said Reese. “Everyone here was very helpful throughout the whole process. My wife helped out a lot too, just by taking care of things at home while I put in extra time at work. I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Reese always had dreams of becoming a Naval officer, but didn’t have the college degree when he decided to enlist. He took advantage of educational benefits offered through the Navy and eventually received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

“I knew getting a degree wasn’t the final step for me,” said Reese. “I still had to come to work in a good uniform with a positive attitude. I needed to get as much experience as possible and learn from others around me before I could take that next step in my career.”

Reese will report to OCS May 18, leaving him five weeks to make any last plans before leaving the area. In that time he hopes to put many more miles on his car.

“I will definitely take road trips every weekend to visit family and friends in the area,” said Reese. “While at work, I’ll focus on making sure I pass down everything I’ve learned to my replacement.” 

Once commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO), Reese hopes to be stationed on a ship homeported on the West Coast.

“I definitely have more goals for my career,” said Reese. “I hope to earn a master’s degree. I hope to be a great leader, while still being myself. I want to show young sailors that they can have a great time in the Navy and make good decisions, all while maintaining the Navy’s core values.”

For those considering going the officer route, Reese says to not waste any time as that was his biggest mistake.

“Get your degree as quickly as possible,” he said. “Don’t ever lose focus. I drug my feet for a while and almost missed the age cutoff. There are tons of people here willing to help you accomplish any goals you have, take advantage of that.”

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