SOLDIERS GRADUATE OCS, EARN COMMISSION AS U.S. ARMY OFFICERS
Last updated 9/19/2022 at 9:45pm
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Twenty-two Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers and one U.S. Army Reserve Soldier graduated from the 129th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) Officer Candidate School Aug. 21 in a ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Springfield, fulfilling the leadership and military education requirements to be commissioned as U.S. Army officers. Of these Soldiers, two graduates of the program decided to "hip-pocket" their commissions and seek federal recognition as officers at a later date and one graduate will be commissioning in the near future.
"Today is a special day in your careers," said Col. Daniel Reichen, Commander, 129th RTI. "You won't realize how special today is until you are further into your career."
Reichen shared advice with the newly commissioned second lieutenants.
"You have to remember a few things to set yourself up for success," Reichen said. "Trust yourself, trust your leadership, trust the organization and find a mentor who will help you as a sounding board."
Reichen told the future leaders many of them had accomplished the last task.
"You are wise. You didn't make it this far without a mentor," he said. "Looking around the room today I see a lot of guests who are senior non-commissioned officers and senior officers, so I know a lot of you already have mentors in your life."
Reichen said he is looking forward to hearing stories as each of the new lieutenants progresses through the ranks.
"You are prepared to lead," he said. "I look forward to hearing stories about you as you progress to captain, major, lieutenant colonel and to see which of you will be the general officer in the group."
Brig. Gen. Rodney Boyd, of Naperville, Illinois, Assistant Adjutant General – Army and Commander of the Illinois Army National Guard, told the new leaders he agreed with Reichen's comments.
"Colonel Reichen is spot on with his remarks about trusting the organization," said Boyd. "When I finished my battalion command, I was hoping for a less strenuous assignment as I started work through distance learning for the Army War College. I didn't get the assignment I wanted, an