By Sgt. Terry Rajsombath
Service members in the Rhode Island National Guard (RING) are raising their general technical (GT) scores to pursue personal and professional advancement in their military careers through a six-week GT Enhancement Course.
“The GT Enhancement Course is an intensive course designed to help service members achieve a GT score of at least 110,” said Capt. Cory Wilson, State Equal Opportunity Officer. “This score will open many doors, such as the possibility of becoming an officer or warrant officer candidate, joining Special Forces or joining another MOS (military occupational specialty).”
Wilson has been a high school educator for over twenty years. She designed and created the course in collaboration with her colleges, Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Mendes, a drill sergeant assigned to the Rhode Island Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion and Sgt. 1st Class Amy Kane, State Equal Employment Manger- both certified teachers as well.
“We’ve had individuals in our program who wanted to go OCS (Officer Candidate School) and couldn’t because their GT was limiting them,” said Mendes. “Maybe they came from a different country, maybe they were a part of a transient population. Maybe there was a tragedy in their home life that limited their education; gave them a disadvantage somehow.”
Staff Sgt. Rosemil Ovalle, a human resources sergeant with A Co. 2/19th Special Forces Group (SFG), was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. In 2013, she moved to Rhode Island with a first professional degree in medicine from the Universidad Católica Nordestana. Despite having a degree, her lack of English and comprehension proved challenging when taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test.
“I did really good in the math portion but not in the rest of it,” said Ovalle. “The English portion of it killed me. So, I definitely wanted to increase my GT score in case I wanted other opportunities, but I didn’t know there was a class.”
After receiving an e-mail about the GT Enhancement Course from her unit, she reached out to Mendes and showed up for the following class cycle; four days a week for five weeks. After completing the course, she raised her GT score from 92 to 118.
“I’m telling you, if I wouldn’t have taken the class, I wouldn’t have gotten that score,” said Ovalle. “If I would had done it [studied] by myself, it would had taken me at least three months and I don’t know if I would had gotten the same score.”
With a new GT score, Ovalle said that she is considering OCS but is currently finishing her masters degree in health care management at the University of Rhode Island; she is considering all her options.
“I have a plan a, b, c, d, all of the plans so it’ll just be a matter of me making the decision, but at least I’m ready,” said Ovalle.
The GT Enhancement Program is free and open to both Army and Air service members at all ranks. For more information, you can contact Sgt. 1st Class Amy Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“They give you the materials, you just need to show up, focus and pay attention,” said Ovalle.