The year 1965 marked a turning point in the Vietnam War, as U.S. troop levels rose from 150,000 to over 250,000. And there were and plans to nearly double that number. Such a massive buildup required unprecedented levels of logistical supplies and service support -- and an urgent need for more Quartermaster trained officers.
This was not the first time the Army needed a sudden infusion of QM second lieutenants. Back in World War II the first QM Officer Candidate School (OCS) opened at Camp Lee in 1942, and trained graduated some 50,000 officers during the course of the war, prior to ending the program in 1946.
Now, thirty years later, with increased fighting in Vietnam, a new OCS was called for and developed at Fort Lee. The initial class of 93 candidates, having already completed 13 weeks of branch-immaterial training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, arrived at Fort Lee on 15 May 1966 for their last 10 weeks of Quartermaster branch training.
By July 1966 a fully 23-week program was being taught at Fort Lee. Their days were filled with classes, PT, inspections, chain of command duties, and much more. Before closing its doors in February 1968 the Quartermaster OCS program commissioned 2,487 new officers, ready for service in Southeast Asia.
Compiled by Dr. Steven Anders, former Quartermaster School historian
Event: Quartermaster OCS at Fort Lee
Date: May 1966
"For most men, the matter of learning is one of personal preference. But for Army officers, the obligation to learn, to grow in their profession, is clearly a public duty."
- General Omar N. Bradley