National Guard Leadership Program Eliminated at SWOSU

Federal budget reductions are responsible for the elimination of an Oklahoma National Guard leadership program at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. 

The university recently learned the National Guard will terminate the SWOSU Guard Officer Leadership Development (GOLD) program due to the budgetary impact of federal sequestration spending reductions, originally authorized by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The program, which was established on the SWOSU campus in 2007, was to develop future federal-commissioned officers. After completion of the program, the candidate earned the rank of Second Lieutenant and became a commissioned officer in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

“It is unfortunate that we are losing this military-leadership program on our campus and in western Oklahoma,” SWOSU President Randy Beutler said. “This has been a very successful course for SWOSU, the Oklahoma National Guard and especially those students who participated in the program.”

Beutler added that the university has been in contact with Oklahoma’s congressional delegation to inform them of the situation and seek any alternatives that may be available. 

The GOLD program was a minimum of four semesters with no weekend drills for students. The program was designed to be a four-year program with exceptions made for military experience, civilian education and combat leadership.