Illinois National Guard officer candidates become second lieutenants Print
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Staff Sgt. Kassidy L. Snyder, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:21

SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/28/2012)(readMedia)-- A crowd of more than 500 people gathered for 38 officer candidates who received their commission during the Illinois Army National Guard's Officer Candidate School (OCS) Commissioning Ceremony at Springfield High School in Springfield, Aug. 26.

"It's great to know we have a new generation of leaders stepping forward who are well trained to follow the great path our veterans have laid before us," said Maj. Gen. Dennis L. Celletti of Springfield, the Acting Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard.

Officer candidates from the traditional OCS Class 56-11 and accelerated OCS Class 56B lifted their right hands in front of fellow servicemembers, family and friends and repeated the Oath of Office to become second lieutenants.

To meet commissioning requirements, an officer candidate completes more than 500 hours of classroom and field instruction. Candidates are evaluated on leadership abilities, physical and mental tasks and tactical exercises.

"I'm very proud of my daughter," said 2nd Lt. Marivon Ampier's father John Niemeyer, a Vietnam veteran from St. Louis. "The ceremony was very professional and made me feel patriotic all over."

Each new lieutenant's gold bars were pinned on by family members, friends and fellow servicemembers most important to them.

Second Lt. Aaron Ritter of Oak Run, was pinned by his wife Sarah and his father Lou Ritter, a Vietnam veteran who served with the U.S. Army.

"I was glad he was able to be here," said Aaron. "I am proud of his service and look up to him as a father."

Following the pinning of their gold bars, the officers received their first salute from a subordinate.

Ampier of Fairview Heights, chose her father, who served as a technical sergeant with the Air Force and Aaron also received his first salute from his father.

Many of the Soldiers had a close relative or friend who served in the military and were a part of the ceremony.

At the conclusion of the commissioning ceremony, 2,198 Army officers have received their commissions from the 129th Regional Training Institute in Springfield.

"Don't worry about the next assignment or promotion," said Celletti. "It will be there if you continue to give 100 percent effort, maintain your civilian and military education and take care of your Soldiers as you would want to be taken care of."