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NEWS | Sept. 30, 2020

Georgia Army National Guard OCS Program Commissions 12 Lieutenants

By Maj. William Carraway Georgia National Guard

Twelve officer candidates of the Georgia Army National Guard’s Georgia Military Institute received their commissions as 2nd lieutenants during a ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Ga. The ceremony marks the culmination of 18 months of training by the officer candidates of OCS Class 59.

The newly commissioned lieutenants will attend follow-on training in their branch assignments before returning to their units of assignment. For some, this will be their first unit outside of basic combat training and OCS. Others, like 2nd Lts. Christopher Brown, Rudolph Delpe and Stephen Morris have years of prior enlisted experience from which to draw in their new assignments.

During the commissioning ceremony, the new second lieutenants were administered the oath of office and pinned with their new rank. Following tradition, the new officers received their first salute from an individual of their choosing.

Second Lieutenant Brenton Widener captured the Erickson Trophy which is awarded to the distinguished honor graduate of each OCS class. Widener, who will receive Infantry-branch training and serve in the Lawrenceville-based Company A, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment of the historic 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Second Lieutenant Sergei Prokopov received the George J. Hearn Trophy which recognizes the outstanding graduate in each OCS class as determined by instructors and fellow candidates. Prokopov will next receive Adjutant General branch training and a follow-on assignment with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 48th IBCT in Macon.

The first award of the Roswell Hathaway III Academic Award was presented to 2nd Lt. Christopher Brown who attained the highest academic average in OCS Class 59. The award is named after Captain. Roswell Hathaway, a former GMI instructor. Brown will serve in the Statesboro-based 177th Brigade Engineer Battalion upon completing Engineer-branch training.

The remaining graduates of OCS 59 are:
Second Lieutenant Marcus Alford, Ordnance, Company G, 148th Brigade Support Battalion.
Second Lieutenant Alena Artis, Quartermaster, Company G, 148th Brigade Support Battalion.
Second Lieutenant Gerson Blaise, Adjutant General, HHC, 148th Brigade Support Battalion.
Second Lieutenant Rudolph Delpe, Medical, HHC, 2nd Battalion 121st Infantry Regiment.
Second Lieutenant Allison McCullough, Chemical, HHC, 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery Regiment.
Second Lieutenant Joseph Medina, Quartermaster, HHC, 148th Brigade Support Battalion.
Second Lieutenant Stephen Morris, Infantry, Company B, 1-121st Infantry Regiment.
Second Lieutenant Abdoul Ndiaye, Engineer, 878th Engineer Battalion.
Second Lieutenant Stephanie Soto, Engineer, 878th Engineer Battalion.

The Georgia Military Institute, part of the Georgia National Guard’s 122nd Regional Training Institute, serves as the officer candidate school for the Georgia Army National Guard. The traditional state National Guard OCS class commits to 18 months of training during drill weekends and two summer annual training events

Once accepted into the Georgia National Guard OCS program, candidates are subjected to a series of academic challenges and arduous tasks to test them both physically and mentally. They train in the academics of leadership in a classroom setting and take to the field to learn small unit tactics and unit leadership. The rigorous program is designed to push officer candidates to their limit.