The Kentucky Army National Guard makes history with its first warrant officer graduating class

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Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Oliver, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

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The first graduating class of the Kentucky Army National Guard's Warrant Officer Candidate school. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Kehl (left) stands with newly pinned Warrant Officers Leroy Wolpert, Brandon Layne, Howard Barcus, Morgan Howell, Robert Boatman, Christopher Ralston, Brian Piatt, Matthew Sterwerf and State Command Chief Warrant Officer James Simms. (photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Oliver, Kentucky Guard Public Affairs Office)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Eight Soldiers are now in the history books to be the first graduates of the Kentucky Army National Guard’s 238th Regiment Warrant Officer Candidate School.

Commandant Warrant Officer Career College Col. Stanley Smith congratulates Honor Graduate Leroy Wolpert at the Reserve Component Warrant Officer Candidate School at a ceremony in the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis, Ind., July 30. (photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Oliver, Kentucky Guard Public Affairs Office)

Howard Barcus, Robert Boatman, Morgan Howell, Brandon Layne, Brian Piatt, Christopher Raltson, Matthew Sterwerf and Leroy Wolpert recently took part in a graduating ceremony at the Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis, Ind., July 30 following their phase III training. More than 70 Soldiers representing 20 states pinned on their new rank during the event.

Wolpert was recognized as the class honor graduate.

“Being technical and tactical is what this class will bring,” said guest speaker Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Vadnais, adjutant general for Michigan.

Graduating candidates must pass a leadership reaction course, land navigation and the Army physical fitness test which the class had a combined average of 250 score out of 300 points.  The graduates also completed a 6.2 mile road march and a community project at the Muhlenberg County Park.

“I’m proud that all eight of our traditional guardsmen graduated,” said State Command Chief Warrant James Simms.  “For all of them to make it, that’s great for our state and for our new course.”

The eight new warrant officers will be recognized in a joint ceremony with the graduating class of the Kentucky Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate School on August 20 at the state capitol building in Frankfort.

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