50th Company Infantry OCS
OC 24-69 “ First and Best”
Click Here for Audio: https://vimeo.com/420771833
On August 1, 1969, 161 out of the original complement of OCS 224 “candidates” (as we were called) graduated from the rigorous six-month Officer Candidate School program at Fort Benning, Georgia and sallied forth as newly minted Second Lieutenants. The training was designed to place the candidates under intense psychological, emotional and physical pressure, and included a challenging academic component. It changed our lives profoundly. After OCS, we disbursed and headed out to stateside assignments before heading overseas, mostly to Southeast Asia, but also to Korea, Germany, and elsewhere. We then scattered further and set off on the rest of our lives. Some remained in the military, but most chose an amazing variety of civilian careers. We lost contact and our memories of each other, and of 50thCompany OCS, faded.
Thanks to the magic of the internet and the dogged effort of a few members, we were able to locate and reconnect with most of the Company and had our first reunion in 2017 at Fort Benning. The bonding of members and spouses was instantaneous and powerful. A second wonderful reunion in Washington DC two years later built on friendships established at the first gathering.
This website tells our story and serves as a repository for 50th Company OCS memories. The intent is to inform and entertain us and, when we are gone, future generations. It contains narratives (largely drawn from our publication, The Men of 50thCompany), after action reports for our reunions, photos, videos, OCS documents, personal musings, and much more. The focus is on the intense OCS experience itself and how it influenced our lives as individuals. We invite 50th Company members, their families and friends, and anyone else curious about OCS in the late Sixties to take some time to explore and enjoy what we have included in the site.
Welcome to the 50th Company OCS Current Events Page
This is where we will post a variety of current discussions and plans for 50th Company. The Company’s ad hoc leadership group (fifteen or so active members) “meets” via Zoom calls on the second Monday of each month. The minutes of these meetings are written up by our current leader (Lou Lallo) and sent out to the group. We will post these on this site, to help keep our 50th Company classmates informed on current events.
If there are any 50th Company classmates who would like to become more involved in 50th Company activities, we would be delighted to hear from you. Just send an email to the following address: email@example.com
Hello Men of 50th Company:
Once again, I have the privilege of wishing you all a Happy Veterans Day. It is our special day to honor each other on the sacrifices that we made and risks that we took to stand up for what we thought to be right. To me, outside of what my family and fellow veterans think, I don't much care for all the phony political speeches or politicians riding on top of cars in parades. It is about the mutual respect, trust and camaraderie that I feel when I shake hands and look into the eyes of another veteran. The bond is instantaneous and everlasting. So, on your special day of the year, stand tall, always remember our fallen brothers and shake another veteran's hand.
50th Company classmate Brian Flora lives in Oak Park, Illinois, a large town of 50,000 inhabitants that is no longer home to anything resembling a veteran’s organization that could put on Veterans and Memorial Day ceremonies. For the past several years, Brian has stepped up on these occasions and organized traditional events to salute our veterans and thank them (and their families) for the sacrifices they have made in service to our country. On November 11, 2022, Oak Park’s Veterans Day ceremony was held in the ballroom of a local not-for-profit. It began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, to commemorate the armistice which ended the First World War. Officers from the Oak Park Police Honor Guard posted the Colors. Brian was the emcee and introduced Illinois Senate President and the Oak Park Mayor, who gave welcoming remarks. Uniformed Chaplain Kerstin Hedlund (U.S. Army Reserves) delivered the invocation and benediction. Brian’s remarks examined the origins and meaning of Veterans Day, originally called Armistice Day, and generally recognized and honored all of our veterans, especially those who lost their lives in service to our country. The History Singers, a local musical duo, led the group patriotic songs, including the Medley of Service Songs. (The medley included the local premiere of the new Space Force Anthem.) As wreaths were laid, a bugler in a WWI uniform played Taps. Our veterans were remembered and recognized.