ECU Gold Program

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The GOLD (Guard Officer Leadership Development) Program is a challenging leadership program available to ECU students and Oklahoma National Guard Soldiers attending East Central University. GOLD creates the next generation of National Guard leaders.

Academic and leadership training is built into the college curriculum. During classes, leadership labs, physical training and field training exercises Student-Soldiers will learn what it takes to lead others, motivate groups, and conduct missions as an Army Officer.

Upon completion of the GOLD Program and Officer Candidate School, Student-Soldiers earn the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and become a commissioned officer in the Army National Guard.


What You Will Learn by Academic Year

Prior to Freshman Year

  • Complete Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training in an MOS that you choose.

Freshman Year

  • You will learn how to work as a member of team learning team dynamics and event planning. Key topics include: Military Structure, organization of the Army, leadership fundamentals, and 

Sophomore Year

  • You will learn to lead small teams and manage multiple events. 

Key topics include Team level tactical skills, group exercises and fitness, team building with an emphasis on professional leadership competencies and insights.

Junior Year

  • You will be placed in a leadership position in the program. You will learn how to plan and implement Army training. You will oversee the execution of several events conducted throughout the year.

Key topics include Operations orders, general leadership skills, and platoon level tactics.

Senior Year

  • You will run the GOLD Program as a 2nd Lieutenant, Officer-in-Charge.

Key topics include Staff functions (administration and logistics), military laws, rules, and regulations, diversity inclusion, and situational management. 

Summers after the freshman and sophomore years will include a two week Annual Training with a focus on physical conditioning and team leadership. The summer after your junior year will be Officer Candidate School. This 8 week course in hosted in South Dakota and concludes with your commission as a 2nd LT in the OKARNG. After your senior year, you will attend Basic Officer Leadership Course where you will learn your Army Military Occupational Skill (MOS) as an officer.

Life skills are emphasized throughout the program and include: time management, problem solving, and organizational skills that will immediately enhance your academic performance and carry over into your professional competency. Professional skills in effective communication, Power Point presentation, small group leading, team building, and management will set you ahead of your peers in the workforce and in the classroom.


ECU Gold Program Demo


Program Details

  • Classroom instruction: three hours per week
  • Leadership lab: four hours per week
  • Physical training 3 times per week
  • Field training exercise: fall, spring, and summer


  • Non-deployable status through graduation
  • 100% Oklahoma State Tuition Waiver
  • Federal Tuition Assistance
  • Perform labs on campus instead of going to week-end drills
  • Commission at 90 hours with GOLD versus 124 hours with ROTC
  • Monthly drill pay (ranging from $190/mo to $370/mo)
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Secret Security Clearances (great on the resume)
  • Student Loan Repayment (up to $50k)
  • Blended, IRA type retirement that follows you even if you leave the Guard before 20 years
  • Upward mobility (promotions)
  • Life Insurance
  • VA home loan’s


  • Meet all current National Guard Enlistment Criteria
  • Be of high moral character
  • Agree to complete basic and individual training
  • Agree to enroll full-time at ECU (and remain a full-time student)
  • Attain a 110 GT score or higher by the end of your sophomore year of college
  • Maintain a passing physical fitness score of 180 each year
  • Interview with GOLD personal via telephone or in person 


Major Burt Page

GOLD Program Instructor 

Oklahoma Army National Guard 



Sergeant First Class Brian O’Hanlon

GOLD Program Instructor 

Oklahoma Army National Guard 


GOLD Program