NEWS | June 30, 2020

Training in Guam Continues Even during a Pandemic

By Capt. Mark Scott Guam National Guard

Guam - They emerge from the 6-foot-high sword grass, one by one, carrying carbine paintball guns and wearing vastly different uniforms. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Celso Leonen, the commandant of the Guam National Guard's 203rd Regional Training Institute, must suppress his urge to make uniformity corrections — for now.

This is a joint exercise between the Guam National Guard's Officer Candidate School (OCS), and the University of Guam's ROTC programs. As distinct commissioning sources, the two programs traditionally have separate curricula, training events and uniforms.

Due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the normal training events in the mainland United States have been postponed for both OCS and ROTC.

"This doesn't mean we just walk away from our obligations," Leonen said. "The training doesn't just stop. These are our future leaders, and we owe it to them to give them the best training possible."