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    Illinois Army National Guard Officer Candidate School Graduates 21 Leaders

    Illinois Army National Guard Officer Candidate School Graduates 21 Leaders

    Photo By Lt. Col. Bradford Leighton | Illinois Army National Guard Officer Candidate School Class 68-23 graduates pose for...... read more read more

    The Illinois Army National Guard’s 129th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) Officer Candidate School commissioned 19 new officers as U.S. Army second lieutenants and graduated an additional two future officers on Sunday, Aug. 20, at Heartland Community College’s Astroth Community Education Center in Normal.

    “Your training and the OCS program has instilled in you the values of citizenship, selfless service, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment,” Maj. Gen. Rodney Boyd, the Assistant Adjutant General – Army of the Illinois National Guard and Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard, told the graduating Soldiers. “Everything you have learned, and all that you have experienced has prepared you for future success.”

    Col. Shawn Nokes, Commander of the 129th Regiment, told the graduating Soldiers that “Your first job and the job of any good leader is to take care of your Soldiers. You serve them, they don’t serve you.”

    Nokes also told the graduates to have fun. “We are in a very serious business. It is important relieve some of the stress by having fun – joke around a little bit.”

    Class 68 – 23 is the 68th class to graduate from the 129th’s Officer Candidate Program, which transforms enlisted noncommissioned officers and qualified civilians into U.S. Army officers. The future leaders complete more than 660 hours of classroom and field instruction, must meet the commissioning standards of the U.S. Army and be examined, and approved by a federal recognition board.

    The newly commissioned second lieutenants are:

    · 2nd Lt. Javier Barba of Oak Forest

    · 2nd Lt. Floyd Bastien of Decatur

    · 2nd Lt. Comlan Bocovo of Ames, Iowa

    · 2nd Lt. Jeremy Burhorn of Kewanee

    · 2nd Lt. Michael Callahan of Champaign

    · 2nd Lt. Austin Hunt of Rockton

    · 2nd Lt. William Johnson of Aurora

    · 2nd Lt. Colin Kehoe of Machesney Park

    · 2nd Lt. Tyler Mahan of Decatur

    · 2nd Lt. Eliana Martinez of Springfield

    · 2nd Lt. Tymon Maurer of Wheeling

    · 2nd Lt. Daniel Medina of Racine, Wisconsin

    · 2nd Lt. Ross Nations of Oak Park

    · 2nd Lt. Salomon Ngapout of Joliet

    · 2nd Lt. Ilie Suciu of Niles

    · 2nd Lt. Batbold Sukhbaatar of Buffalo Grove

    · 2nd Lt. Brandon Viken of Decatur

    · 2nd Lt. Grecia Zabala of Rushville

    · 2nd Lt. Rodrigo Zarco of Chicago

    Graduates choosing to “hip-pocket” their commissions and seek federal recognition as Army Officers at a later date are:

    · Haley Keenan of Chicago

    · Laquan Melvin of Joliet

    Both are full-time Active Guard Reserve Soldiers who will commission later as second lieutenants in the full-time force.

    Class 68-23 awards went to:

    Sgt. 1st Class Keenan Haley of Chicago was awarded the prestigious Maj. Gen. Edgar C. Erickson Trophy as the Distinguished Honor Graduate of Class 68-23. Keenan was presented with an Army Commendation Medal. In addition, Maj. Gen. Rodney Boyd, the Assistant Adjutant General - Army of the Illinois National Guard and Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard, surprised Keenan with the national 2022 Large State Medical Readiness NCO of the Year Award.

    2nd Lt. Tymon Maurer of Wheeling was the 2nd Honor Graduate. He led the class with an academic average of 97.6 percent, earning the class Academic Award as well. He was presented with an Army Achievement Medal.

    2nd Lt. Daniel Medina of Racine, Wisconsin, was the 3rd Honor Graduate of the class for achieving high academic, leadership, peer evaluation, and physical fitness scores. He was presented with an Army Achievement Award.

    2nd Lt. Brandon Viken of Decatur was presented with the Physical Fitness Award for achieving the highest average Army Combat Fitness Test scores in the class. Candidates must also successfully pass three foot-marches (6-mile, 9-mile and 12-mile) and the 4-mile release run without requiring retesting. Viken was presented with the Army Achievement Medal.

    2nd Lt. Tyler Mahan of Decatur for outstanding leadership during OCS Phase 3 at Camp Murray, Washington. Mahan graduated in the top 4 of 98 candidates during OCS Phase 3 receiving multiple "excellent" ratings and leading his assigned squad and platoon to a 100 percent pass rate. He was presented with the Army Achievement Medal.

    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.21.2023
    Date Posted: 08.21.2023 23:55
    Story ID: 451849
    Location: NORMAL, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: AMES, IOWA, US
    Hometown: AURORA, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: BUFFALO GROVE, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: DECATUR, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: JOLIET, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: KEWANEE, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: MACHESNEY PARK, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: NILES, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: OAK FOREST, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: OAK PARK, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: RACINE, WISCONSIN, US
    Hometown: ROCKTON, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: RUSHVILLE, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, US
    Hometown: WHEELING, ILLINOIS, US

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