News: Wisconsin Military Academy graduates 55th Officer Candidate School class
Story by Vaughn Larson
FORT MCCOY, Wis. - Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general, and other senior Wisconsin National Guard leaders were on hand to congratulate the latest Officer Candidate School graduates Aug. 10 at the Wisconsin National Guard's 426th Regiment (Regional Training Institute), part of the Wisconsin Military Academy.
Officer candidates included Matthew Christiansen of Kenosha, Wis., Joshua Doro of Sheboygan, Wis., Amber Garfoot of Waunakee, Wis., Colin Griffin of Neenah, Wis., Kayla Krueger of Shawano, Wis., and Dustin McCormick of Madison, Wis. McCormick completed the course but chose not to accept his commission at this time.
Col. Richard Borkowski, 426th Regiment commander, applauded the six candidates for completing the rigorous course.
"As time passes you will reflect on the time and experiences of this past year," Borkowski said. "These experiences have had a profound impact on you and will continue to shape you forever. As you embark to lead your soldiers, always remember that it is a privilege to serve.
"In an ever-changing and volatile world, you will be facing daunting challenges," Borkowski continued. "You have all my faith that you will meet all those challenges."
Dunbar echoed that sentiment.
"In our world, where we have to defend freedom and our country trusts us to do the right thing, to lead men and women potentially into combat, to stand ready, they rely on men and women - leaders - to be ready at any moment," Dunbar said. "As you stand here about to take that momentous step and become an officer in the finest Army National Guard the country has to offer, in the finest Army the world has ever seen, I want you to know that I have full faith that you are ready, and I challenge you to stay ready. It's a bond of trust between us and the American public, a trust I know you will meet head on."
Kleefisch recalled the events of the Battle of Gettysburg 150 years ago, and credited the graduates with picking up the mantle of leadership to defend freedom at home and abroad.
"There is a deep sense of confidence in the future of leadership in the United States military, thanks to you all," Kleefisch said. "Thanks to your dedication, your sense of duty, your vigorous virtues, your principles that you have lived out and have brought you to this day. Thank you for your willingness to serve in this capacity. You have tremendous courage. Your families have tremendous confidence in you and willingness to sacrifice time with you."
Retired Lt. Col. Ron Butler, a graduate from the Wisconsin Military Academy's inaugural officer candidate school, presented the second lieutenant gold bars to Lt. Col. Mike Murphy, commander of the 426th Regiment's 2nd Battalion, on behalf of the Military Officers Association of America. For more than three decades the Wisconsin Military Academy operated out of Camp Williams, Wis.
"It's hard to believe that it was 55 years ago we were sitting in places sort of like that, and instead of a beautiful building we were in the old officer's club," Butler told the candidates. "But it's been a wonderful 55 years and I trust you all are going to do a good job."
Christiansen and Krueger will be platoon leaders with Detachment 1, 229th Engineer Company in Platteville, Wis. Doro will be a platoon leader with Company D, 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry in Baraboo, Wis. Garfoot will be a platoon leader with Company B, 132nd Brigade Support Battalion in Mauston, Wis. Griffin will be a fire support officer with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry in Appleton, Wis. McCormick remains a full-time member of the Madison-based 54th Civil Support Team.
Date Posted:08.21.2013 17:21
Location:FORT MCCOY, WI, US
Hometown:KENOSHA, WI, US
Hometown:MADISON, WI, US
Hometown:NEENAH, WI, US
Hometown:SHAWANO, WI, US
Hometown:SHEBOYGAN, WI, US
Hometown:WAUNAKEE, WI, US