First student commits to FHSU Officer Candidate School Program

By UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS

Jackson Piper, Overland Park junior, was sworn-in to the Kansas Army National Guard in November. As the first student to be part of the FHSU Officer Candidate School program, he will start basic combat training immediately followed by advanced individual training in January. Piper will begin phase one of the Officer Candidate School program in the summer of 2024.

Basic combat training and advanced individual training will be in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; phase one of OCS, in Salina. Phase two will be on campus at FHSU through the FHSU OCS program and then he will conclude OCS phase three in Washington. 

Piper comes from a long line of military family members, from his great-grandfathers to his grandfather and his uncle. His interest in the military began when he was very young.

“I liked to watch war movies and documentaries on major figures and events within the military,” Piper said. “I also took inspiration from the prior service within my family and loved hearing the stories that would be passed down from my grandparents.”

He entered FHSU with the intention of attaining his undergraduate degree and then joining the military. When Piper discovered the officer candidate school program at FHSU, he opted to enroll in a few of the classes. 

“I found that I really liked what I was learning,” Piper said. “So, after asking questions and doing research on the opportunities that OCS brings, I decided to fully commit.”

He has declared the military science leadership minor and has been completing courses in military science for the past two years. According to 1LT Hannah Byun, FHSU military science instructor, Piper has shown “great potential and will make a great officer.”

He will commission as an officer in the Kansas Army National Guard in August of 2025.

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