It is often said the window of opportunity only opens once. Fortunately for Sgt. David Lynch of the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), the window of opportunity to become an officer opened twice.
In late 2017, Lynch, who already earned an undergraduate degree before joining the U.S. Army Reserve, applied for the Army’s Officer Candidate School to become a second lieutenant. Shortly after submitting his packet, he deployed overseas with his unit. Lynch figured he would return home safely and immediately receive notice for an anxiously awaited OCS slot. After nearly a year in Syria, he learned that he, in fact, was selected to attend OCS. However, Lynch missed his window to choose a date to attend OCS after the deployment.
“A friend of mine told me my name was on the MILPER list for OCS. I didn’t know what that was,” Lynch said. “I figured I missed my opportunity.”
After talking to Soldiers about his career goals, Lynch learned that he could reapply for the OCS program. So, in 2019, he applied again. “By then, I learned about S1 Net, MILPER messages, and all of the other ways the Army communicated with Soldiers about career opportunities and selection boards,” Lynch said.
S1 Net is an online community where Soldiers can find current and archives of official military communications and messages. The network also provides a space for human resources news and a place where HR professionals can share thoughts and ideas.
Although Lynch missed his opportunity to attend OCS in 2018, he does not consider the lost time as a missed opportunity. “Every situation is full of opportunities. There are costs to doing one thing over another thing,” Lynch said. From 2018 to 2020, Lynch used what he learned from other Soldiers to earn a master’s degree in Business Administration and become a Certified Professional in Human Resources through the HR Certification Institute.
Now, Lynch is serving in the 316th ESC as a mobilization HR officer after recently completing nearly three months of OCS training at Ft. Benning, Ga. He finally earned the commission he sought for so long.
Lynch has served nearly 10 years in the Army Reserve and now advises other junior Soldiers to get busy learning about the advantages of being in the Army Reserve. “The Army Reserve has so many opportunities to achieve whatever you want,” Lynch said. “Whatever kind of Soldier you want to be, you can do it in the Army Reserve.”