Officer trainees volunteer time to LPGA golf tourney

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Fifty-two officer trainees from Maxwell Air Force Base volunteered precious study time last weekend to help make the Navistar LPGA Classic golf tournament in nearby Prattville a success.

"I don't know what I would do without these guys," Larry Deavers, the marshal chairperson for holes 13 through 18, said. "For some reason, I ended up without any [non-OTS] marshals on this [16th] hole today. Every one of them is from Officer Training School; we wouldn't be able to marshal this hole without them."

The tournament will likely bring millions in revenue to the host city of Prattville, according to Rod Morgan, finance director for the city.

Saturday and Sunday, trainees from all three squadrons of Officer Training School helped with crowd control and marshaling throughout the Scottish-style Senator course at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill location.

The third and championship rounds, involving dozens of professional, female golfers, played out as the officer trainees held up the ubiquitous "quiet" signs, directed spectators and spotted stray golf balls.

Wearing plain khakis and LPGA-issued T-shirts, yet easily identifiable by their short haircuts and frequent peppering of "sir" and "ma'am" throughout their conversations, the trainees each spent as many as 11 hours volunteering.

"Part of being in the Air Force is community involvement," Officer Trainee Justin George said. "I don't know much about the area around Maxwell, but it's nice to help out and it's also good to get off [the base]."

The future Air Force officer, who will go on to pilot training after graduating from Officer Training School, said he and his fellow students have a final written test, a briefing and a physical test in the coming days. "I've got my notes in my pocket, so whenever there's down time, I'm studying."

The volunteer opportunity marked the first time most of the participating trainees had seen the world outside Maxwell Air Force Base since they arrived at Officer Training School eight weeks ago.

"We got together as a team and decided to volunteer for this," said Justin Ailor, an officer trainee who will go on to become a contracting officer. Although he does not follow golf very closely, he said the opportunity "was a real stress relief."