Most Recent Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 10, 2019

Our Community Salutes (OCS) Honors Military-Bound High School Seniors with Gift of the US Constitution

The new OCS US Constitution pocket guide will be gifted this spring to more than 3,000 enlistees to help them gain a deeper understanding of the document they have taken an oath to support and defend.

CHERRY HILL, NJ (April 10, 2019) — Our Community Salutes (OCS) announced today it will honor more than 3,000 military-bound high school seniors across the US with a gift of “The United States Constitution and Fascinating Facts About It,” a new OCS pocket guide to the US Constitution. The pocket guides will be presented to enlistees at their 2019 OCS High School Senior Enlistee Recognition Ceremonies being conducted throughout the country this spring.

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Media Resources

Within this page, you will learn about OCS and our communities, download our fact sheet, watch and request video footage of selected OCS events, and access our logo and other media assests.

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Resources on this page include:

  • Mission statement
  • Orgins of OCS
  • Founder bio
  • Facts and figures
  • OCS community structure
  • List of OCS communities
  • Colin Powell Award
  • Awards received
  • Quotes
  • Logo
  • Video clips

Mission of OCS

Our Community Salutes (OCS) is a national, non-profit 501c3 organization helping communities honor and support high school seniors enlisting in the U.S. Armed Services after graduation.

OCS helps communities provide guidance, resources and community support to high school guidance counselors, service recruiters, enlistees and to their parents as their son or daughter transition into military service.

OCS Fact Sheet

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Origins of OCS

OCS was founded in 2009 by Dr. Kenneth Hartman, educator and former U.S. Army officer. Hartman was inspired to create OCS while serving on his county’s Public Schools Board of Education, where he noticed the growing disparity between the recognition provided to students who were going college following graduation compared to the students who were choosing to serve in the Armed Services.

In 2007, while serving on the Cherry Hill Public Schools Board of Education in southern New Jersey, Hartman realized the disproportionate amount of honors being provided to the students attending college after graduation and the lack of recognition for those who were choosing to serve in the military. Two years later, Hartman would found OCS and provide the first recognition ceremony with OCS of South Jersey for high school students choosing to serve their country after graduation.

In a 2016 interview with Robin Beres of the Richmond-Times Dispatch, Hartman explained why OCS is so important to the teachers and families and communities OCS supports. For Beres, Hartman “recounted the story of a young man named Jeremy Kane who graduated from Cherry Hill East High School in 2006. After high school, Kane joined the Marine Corps Reserves on Sept. 11, 2006. His unit deployed to Iraq in 2009. He was killed in action on Jan. 20, 2010. Hartman noted that while Kane’s high school put a tribute to the fallen Marine on the school marquee and the town’s funeral procession for the hero was miles long, the thanks came too late. The tribute should be given to those who volunteer to serve before they go in harm’s way.”

Founder – Dr. Kenneth Hartman

Dr. Ken Hartman
Founder and President of Our Community Salutes

Dr. Kenneth Hartman is an e-learning authority, former university professor, administrator, consultant at several leading universities, and the founder of Our Community Salutes.

Dr. Hartman served as president of Drexel University Online, and has served on several boards, including the Board of Education of the Cherry Hill Public Schools (NJ) and the Executive Board of the Online Learning Consortium. He is the author of numerous trade and scholarly publications related to educational technology, a presenter at industry conferences, a syndicated newspaper columnist, television talk show host, and was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.

Dr. Hartman holds degrees from The State University of New York at Geneseo, a MA from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania.

OCS by the Numbers

Since 2009, more than 30 OCS communities in 20 states and Puerto Rico have honored graduates who have committed to join all branches of the U.S. Armed Services.

OCS communities have performed hundreds of OCS Enlistment Recognition Ceremonies™ to honor and recognize high school graduates who chose to join the 1% of Americans who currently serve in uniform.

OCS estimates more than 10,000 graduating high school seniors have been honored in front of more than 100,000 attendees from the community who typically include: family, friends, veterans, business owners, members of military recruiting community, high school teachers, guidance counselors, local media, and state and federal government officials including governors, lieutenant governors, congressman and senators.

OCS Communities

Since Our Community Salutes was founded in 2009 with our inaugural OCS South Jersey Community, OCS enlistee recognition ceremonies have been held by local communities in banquet halls, auditoriums and sports arenas from New York to California, with tens of thousands of people attending or speaking at OCS ceremonies, a testimony to the appreciation of the young men and women of OCS entering military service.

The organizing body of Our Community Salutes includes community leaders, government officials, educators, businessmen, and veterans who feel strongly in the importance of community support and recognition of the courageous and patriotic young adults who will serve in the U.S. Armed Services after graduation.

All local OCS recognition ceremonies are independently led, managed and financed by donations from supporting citizens and sponsorships by organizations within their respective community.Current and former OCS communities include the following:

Alabama
OCS of Montgomery

Arizona
OCS of Glendale
OCS of Tempe

California
OCS of Los Angeles

Connecticut
OCS of Bristol
OCS of Fairfield
OCS of Hamden
OCS of Southington
OCS of Waterford
OCS of West Haven

Delaware
OCS of Delaware

District of Columbia
OCS of District of Columbia

Florida
OCS of Broward County
OCS of Jacksonville
OCS of Miami
OCS of North Central
OCS of Palm Beach

Georgia
OCS of Atlanta

Hawaii
OCS of Honolulu

Indiana
OCS of Gary-Valparaiso

Louisiana
OCS of Baton Rouge
OCS of Lafayette
OCS of New Orleans
OCS of Shreveport

Massachusetts
OCS of Boston

Michigan
OCS of Detroit
OCS of Grosse Pointe
OCS of Southeast Michigan

Mississippi
OCS of Jackson

New Hampshire
OCS of Manchester

New Jersey
OCS of Burlington County
OCS of Gloucester County
OCS of North Jersey
OCS of South Jersey

New York
OCS of Brookhaven
OCS of Brooklyn
OCS of Broome County
OCS of Conkin

Ohio
OCS of Northeast
OCS of Tuscarawas County

Oregon
OCS of Portland
OCS of Vancouver-Clark County

Pennsylvania
OCS of Bucks/Montgomery County
OCS of Chester County
OCS of Philadelphia
OCS of Pittsburgh
OCS of Venango County

Puerto Rico
OCS of San Juan

Texas
OCS of Austin
OCS of Concho Valley
OCS of El Paso
OCS of Fort Bend County
OCS of Harris County
OCS of Manor
OCS of Rio Grande Valley
OCS of San Antonio

Virginia
OCS of Central VA
OCS of Fairfax County
OCS of Fredericksburg
OCS of Northern VA
OCS of Richmond-Henrico

Wisconsin
OCS of Wisconsin

OCS Colin Powell Award

The Colin Powell Award, named after General Colin Powell, U.S. Army (Ret.), is a public service award that is presented to high school counselors in recognition of providing guidance, counseling and mentoring for students as they assess their accomplishments, talents, and interests as they move forward in their lives. The award is provided to one guidance counselor in each local organization, and represents all counselors within the school’s program whose service, compassion, and commitment serve as an example for all of us. Since 2009, more than 53 awards have been provided in various OCS communities. For a list of award recipients, visit the awards section under About OCS.

Notable Awards for OCS

United States Army Recruiting Command

Dr. Ken Hartman receives award from the U.S. Army Recruiting Command on behalf of OCS.

“For your outstanding and unwavering support of our service members, their families, and recent enlistees from 2009 to present. Your successful collaboration of the”Our Community Salutes” program in partnership with our military liaisons, provided quality community support to the military’s newest enlistees. Your unmatched patriotism embodies the core values of a patriot in a true humanitarian, which reflects great credit upon yourself, the United States Army Recruiting Command, and the United States Army.”

Allen W. Batschelet, Major General, USA, Commanding (15 May 2015)

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Quotes and Comments

I am proud of the people in this room here today that are stepping forward, willing to serve this country, willing to wear the uniform…you will represent the heritage, the history, the dedication and the skill that are the armed forces today.
Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy
At a time when many of their peers are pursuing vocational training or college degrees, these young men and women have instead chosen to dedicate themselves to military service… It is thanks to their sacrifices that the United States of America remains a beacon of hope and freedom in a fractious world.
U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews (NJ)

Logos

The OCS logo proved here is a full resolution, retina ready, transparent png file.

The colors of the logo use the Pantone colors of the USA flag: Old Glory Red 193 C and Old Glory Blue 282 C. Pantone Blue 281 C and Blue 288 C are also used on OLC branding.

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Images and Video Clips

Images and videos on the OCS website may be used with proper attribution to OCS that includes the “ourcommiunitysalutes.org” url or as a link back to the OCS website.

Founder and President of Our Community Salutes, Dr. Ken Hartman, discusses the origins, purpose and the impact of OCS.