Kentucky Guard Pins OCS Class 54-12

Story and Photos by:  Staff Sgt. Fredrick P. Varney, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

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Col. William A. Denny, Commander for the 238th Regiment, administers the oath of office to OCS class 54-12 during the Officer Commissioning Ceremony at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Aug 25. The 238th Regiment graduated 11 new officers to serve in the Kentucky National Guard. (photo by Staff Sgt. Fredrick Varney, Kentucky National Guard 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

FRANKFORT, Ky.— Eleven second lieutenants raised their right hands and swore an oath of office to become the Kentucky National Guard’s newest officers at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. Aug. 25 , 2012.

Officer Candidate Class 54-12 endured a rigorous 18-month training program on their way to becoming the next leaders in the Kentucky National Guard.  Officer candidates were tested in key areas such as physical fitness, leadership abilities, land navigational skills and operational orders.

“The hardest part of the OCS program is definitely the mental aspect,” said distinguished honor graduate 2nd Lt. Martin A. Goldey.

Goldey was presented with the Erickson Trophy for attaining the highest overall standing in leadership, academics and the Commandant’s evaluation in the class.  The Erickson Trophy is awarded in honor of retired Maj. Gen. Edgar C. Erickson, former Chief of the National Guard Bureau.  Each state officer candidate school grants the trophy annually.

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Staff Sgt. John Riggi shakes hands with newly promoted 2nd. Lt. Joshua Whitfield during the 238th Regiment’s OCS Commissioning Ceremony at the State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Aug 25. Class 54-12 graduated 11 new lieutenants to serve in the Kentucky Army National Guard. (photo by Staff Sgt. Fredrick Varney, Kentucky National Guard 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Other awards included the Physical Fitness Award, which was given to 2nd Lt. Donald Prysi for attaining the highest overall score on the Army Physical Fitness test.   2nd Lt. Carson Gregory was presented the National Guard Association of Kentucky Award for earning the highest academic average in the class.  2nd Lt. Christopher Cook was presented the Association of the U.S. Army Plaque for demonstrating the highest standards of leadership throughout the course.Class 54-12 president 2nd Lt. Scott A. Hill said finishing the OCS program meant a great deal for him because he had previously held leadership roles as both a teacher and volleyball coach, but nothing compared to having the opportunity to lead his fellow Soldiers in the Kentucky National Guard.

“I can’t think of anything more honorable than serving one’s country as an officer in the United States Army, especially the Kentucky National Guard,” said Hill.

The traditional custom of having friends and Family pin their newly promoted officers was observed and each Soldier designated one non-commissioned officer to render their first salute.

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, Kentucky’s Adjutant General, served as the keynote speaker for the graduation ceremony, while the 202nd Army Band participated by playing both the National Anthem and “My Old Kentucky Home”.

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