Oct. 31, 2011

New Virginia Army Guard Officers sworn in during commissioning ceremony

By Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

FORT PICKETT, Va.— The Virginia Army National Guard welcomed 13 second lieutenants into the Army during a commissioning ceremony Oct. 22 at Fort Pickett. Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, was the guest speaker for the event, which took place at the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute’s auditorium.

 

2nd Lt. Michael J. Cunningham is pinned with his new rank by family members during the Virginia Natonal Guard Officer Candidate School Commissioning Ceremony Oct. 22 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

The graduates completed Officer Candidate School conducted by the 3rd Battalion, 183rd RTI at Fort Pickett. Two of the graduates were from the OCS Summer Accelerated Class 54B while the other 11 were from OCS Traditional Class 53.

The OCS candidates who graduated were 2nd Lt. Michael J. Cunningham, 2nd Lt. Donald G. Davis, 2nd Lt. Christopher R. Epperson, 2nd Lt. Gustavo F Ferreira, 2nd Lt. Adam P. Greiber, 2nd Lt. Brandon A. Harding, 2nd Lt. Michael B. Kohn, 2nd Lt. J. Scott Martin, 2nd Lt. Asa G. Miller, 2nd Lt. David J. Narcum, 2nd Lt. Stephen J. Noggle, Jr., 2nd Lt. Stephen D. Ramsey, and 2nd Lt. Nicholas A. Tucker.

“When I talk to the moms and dads and friends of these Soldiers here I can see the pride in their eyes, pride in the way you talk and how proud you are of them,” Long said during the ceremony. “I’ve had a chance to talk with all these future lieutenants, and I’ll tell you I’m impressed with them. I think they’re great Americans and will certainly make great officers.”

But Long warned the new officers' families they are entering a military about to undergo some changes compared to the last decade.

“Times are going to change,” he explained. “Over the last 10 years we have had an abundance of resources. In the coming years resources are going to be somewhat limited. So they will be challenged to do the things I’m going to ask them to do because I expect them to get out there and train, qualify with their weapons and make sure their Soldiers have the basic things they need to get out there and learn their skills.”

 

2nd Lt. Donald G. Davis is congratulated on his new rank following the Virginia Natonal Guard Officer Candidate School Commissioning Ceremony Oct. 22 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

Following Long’s speech, the graduates received awards for their performance during the course. Epperson was recognized with the Erickson Trophy as the Distinguished Honor Graduate; Ferreira received the AUSA Leadership Award; Greiber was presented with the Commandant’s Award for Academic Achievement; Miller earned the Physical Fitness Award; Tucker was presented the COL James B. Moore Award for most improved in leadership; and Narcum received the CPT Harry Q. Rose Award, which is named after the only Virginia Officer Candidate School graduate to be killed in action in Vietnam and is given to the graduate who most exemplifies Rose’s values.

After the presentation of awards, it was time for the graduates to receive their diplomas and have their new ranks pinned onto their uniform by family members and friends.

Having their family members there for the ceremony meant a lot to the Soldiers, according to Harding, who will be assigned as a platoon leader with Forward Support Company, 276th Engineer Battalion.

“It’s a life changing moment,” he explained. “So you really want your family here to share the moment with you. Without our families, none of us would be here.”

With their diplomas in hand and new ranks on their shoulders, Lt. Col. Bryan J. Coleman, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 183rd RTI, then administered the Oath of Office for the Virginia Guard’s newest crop of lieutenants.

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