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GMC JC cadets commissioned

GMC JC cadets commissioned (Milledgeville) – One journey came to an end while another began on Friday, as 13 cadets in the Georgia Military College JC Early Commissioning Program were granted their commission into the United States Army. Kevin Ackerman, Thomas Ayers, Robbie Baker, Vince Camacho, Alfranzo Davis, Bryan Deliso, Lucy Flippin, Ashley Gamble, Pancho Gonzales, Thierry Hart, Mary-Macy Jackson, Allen Mathews and Neal Noel earned the rank of 2nd Lieutenant by completing the military aspect of the program and earning two-year degrees. “The opportunity these cadets started two years ago was to get an education at a military junior college and to develop themselves and their leadership ability,” said Lt. Col. Jay Hallam, Professor of Military Science. “It is a very rigorous course. They had to be self-motivated. I am proud that I could be here and I am proud to have been a part of what they accomplished.” The road to this point was not an easy one, said Davis. “It was hard work,” he said. “We had PT every morning; training during the summer; academics. It was very tough to get here, but it just feels great.” Davis hopes to build on this commission. “I plan on spending 20 years in the army,” he said. “Going from being a private, going through the plebe period, just getting to this point, it is almost like a dream. It is great.” The ECP actually begins the summer before enrollment at GMC JC, when interested cadets attend the Leadership Training Course at Ft. Knox, Ky. At the course, cadets are given leadership and adventure training as an introduction to the ROTC program. Cadets who get through LTC move on to the National Advanced Leadership Course at Ft. Lewis, Wash. This usually takes place during the summer after freshman year. Hallam said the 13 newly commissioned officers had limited leadership abilities when they first began the program. “I saw them come in here as freshman, only having the ability to lead themselves,” he said. “Now I can give them a tactical situation and a problem to solve, and they know how to organize a unit, use resources, ask for more resources, and accomplish the tasks.” In other words, ECP trained these men and women how to be efficient leaders and quality soldiers. Now the 13 will serve as platoon leaders in the National Guard or Reserve for two years while they complete four-year degrees. “I am incredibly proud of them,” Hallam said. “I am proud because they are excited to step up and serve our nation at a time of war. They have volunteered to do that. I am proud of them for stepping up and saying, ‘I want to be a leader’.” Submitted by Ross Couch