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Space Force Master Sergeant’s Persistence Pays Off: Selected for Officer Training School

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Hunter Lavigne
  • Space Launch Delta 30 Public Affairs

U.S. Space Force Master Sgt. Joseph D. Spears, known for his unwavering perseverance and tenacity, recently achieved a significant milestone in his 13-year military career. He succeeded in his multiple attempts to earn a spot to attend Officer Training School (OTS) at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

Currently serving as the 30th Space Communications Squadron cyber security section chief, Spears will attend OTS later this year. Following graduation, he will return to Vandenberg and attend training at the 533rd Training Squadron to become a space operations officer.

“Being selected for commissioning is an extremely competitive process, in which applicants are considered based on their aptitude, leadership, and potential and Master Sgt. Spears excelled amongst his peers,” said Brig. Gen. D. Jason Cothern, deputy commander, Space Systems Command. “With this selection, Master Sgt. Spears now has the well-deserved opportunity to go through Officer Training School later this year.”

This achievement did not come easily for Spears, who has repeatedly applied for OTS in the past. He sought admission through the Senior Leader Enlisted Commissioning Program and twice through the Cyber Direct Commissioning Program. However, it was his third traditional application to OTS that earned him the selection.  

Spears offered his thoughts on his persistence, saying, “Never give up on your goals, no matter how many times you have been told no; keep improving yourself until they say yes.”

While Spears’ undergraduate degree had a grade point average on the lower end of the spectrum, he recently completed a master’s degree in cyber security to augment his credentials and enhance his application to the selection board.  

The rigorous nine-week, four-phase OTS program challenges the mental and physical fortitude of Guardians like Spears. Throughout each phase and week, he will continue honing his skills and building the confidence needed to lead the men and women of the U.S. Space Force.

Although Spears excelled in his role on the enlisted side of service, his desire to contribute to the foundation of the new military force motivated him to commission. Notably, Spears played a pivotal role in developing the Space Force enlisted Basic Military Training standard and now aims to make a broader impact within the U.S. Space Force. 

U.S. Space Force 1st Lt. Kyle Kauffman, Spears’ officer-in-charge and plans and resources flight commander, exalted his extraordinary conduct.

“Every day I witness the invaluable impact Master Sgt. Spears has in his role as my flight's section chief,” said Kauffman. “He consistently differentiates himself as a remarkable leader - putting a distinct focus on our team's growth and development. Master Sgt. Spears has dedicated countless hours to creating training curriculum, mentoring our Guardians, and ultimately serving as an important role model in our unit. His selection to OTS is a testament to his hard work and dedication throughout his career, and recognizes the unique aspects that make him such a deserving OTS candidate. The wealth of experience that Master Sgt. Spears carries has been personally valuable and will be immeasurably beneficial to the officer corps. Without a doubt, Master Sgt. Spears will be an exemplary Space Force officer.”