Military Science

Banner collage of military science scenes with GOLD program students

Bobcat Guard Officer Leader Development (GOLD) Program

Military Science & Leadership

While examining future goals at College of the Ozarks, students should consider the unique experiences available through the Guard Officer Leader Development (GOLD) Program. “Bobcat GOLD” provides some of the best leadership training in the world, and develops the essential teamwork and managerial skills required to succeed in any career. Success as a “Hard Work U” graduate can take students far, and investment in officer training will build upon that success by adding another highly sought-after skill to your resume: Leadership.


Available Programs

Patriotic Education

Patriotic Education & Fitness is a required general education course designed to help students develop essential skills and abilities that mark a person as being well-educated and equip them to live out their vocations in family, church, country, and the global community. This course in particular encourages an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country, and willingness to defend it. In addition to meeting the College’s General Education Program requirements, the course is designed to meet all academic requirements for the first year of the Bobcat GOLD curriculum.

Self-confidence, personal development and team building are also promoted in this class through adventure activities such as rappelling, land navigation and basic rifle marksmanship. The focus in this area is on developing basic knowledge and comprehension of Army leadership dimensions, attributes and core leader competencies as well as the communications skills necessary to be an effective leader. Students will examine the Army Profession and what it means to be a professional in the U.S. Army while gaining an understanding of the Bobcat GOLD Program, its purpose in the Army, and its advantages for the student. The course also contains a physical health element structured after a military environment and a “Total Body Fitness” concept, emphasizing the development of an individual fitness program, and the role of exercise and fitness in daily life.

Basic Program

The primary objective of the Basic Program is to provide college students with an understanding of the United States Army, but Bobcat GOLD Basic Program courses also provide students with training and preparation in leadership, management and confidence-building instruction that will be of great value in any career field. Students who enrolled in Basic Program courses incur no military service obligation, but receive valuable information to help them determine if they should fulfill the call to be an Army Officer.

Through Bobcat GOLD, College of the Ozarks students will enhance their leadership skills and reinforce self-confidence. By participating, students discover untapped talents and strengths while taking part in activities such as rappelling, marksmanship, orienteering, leadership reaction courses, and tactical training exercises. Basic Program students also have the elective opportunity to participate in physical fitness and tactical lab training events. Bobcat GOLD Basic Program courses are engaging and exhilarating, and will help students determine if they are interested in becoming an Army Officer. Regardless of future career decisions, these courses will provide students with foundational leadership training that will instill excellence in any career field.

Advanced Program

In addition to the Basic program, GOLD offers an Advanced Program for those who are qualified and ready for the challenge are encouraged to pursue a commission as an Army Officer.

Advanced Program courses are restricted to contracted candidates who meet departmental criteria and who will, upon graduation, accept a commission as an Army officer with a military service obligation. The primary objective of the Advanced Program is to prepare qualified college students for military service as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army National Guard. Students meeting departmental criteria become eligible for Advanced Program courses by enlisting in the MOARNG and successfully completing Initial Entry Training (IET).

Students accepted as contracted candidates in all Basic and Advanced Programs must participate in classes, the regularly scheduled physical fitness program, lab training, and field training exercises. Contracted candidates will attend Accelerated Officer Candidate School (OCS) between their junior and senior years before returning to complete their senior year requirements.

Upon completion of the Advanced Program courses, OCS, and a bachelor’s degree, students are commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army National Guard. These officers may elect to complete their military service obligation in the Army National Guard or apply for a release to Active Duty or the Federal Reserve after successful completion of their initial, branch specific officer training - Basic Officer Leadership Course B (BOLC B).

Simultaneous Membership in the MOARNG:

The Bobcat GOLD Program requires contracted candidates to maintain simultaneous membership in the Army National Guard. Students in this status remain full-time college students and officer candidates in the GOLD program while also fulfilling a part-time drill duty with the Missouri Army National Guard once a month. Under this program, candidates hold the rank of Officer Candidate and are payed at the rate commensurate with their enlisted pay grade. While conducting training with their units, Candidates can continue to perform the functions of their primary Military Operational Specialty (MOS) and also serve as officer trainees under the watchful eye of a commissioned officer in the unit.


Contact Information

If you are ready to lead, serve your country, earn respectable compensation, and have more fun than you ever imagined possible in your career, please contact us for more information.

COL James P. Schreffler
Program Director
Assistant Professor of Military Science
College of the Ozarks
(417) 690-2275

CPT Caleb Dunnam
Instructor of Military Science
College of the Ozarks
(417) 690-2347

1LT Alex Williams
Adjunct Instructor of Military Science
College of the Ozarks
(417) 690-2294


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