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Air National Guard graduates first class from Maxwell’s Officer Training School

New second lieutenants in the Air National Guard pass in review Nov. 13 in their graduation parade at Maxwell. The ANG officers are part of the first class to graduate from the newly formed Detachment 12 since the Academy of Military Sciences moved to Maxwell’s Officer Training School from McGhee Tyson ANG Base, Tenn., in October. The graduation was attended by the director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III. (U.S. Air Force photo/Melanie Rodgers Cox)

New second lieutenants in the Air National Guard pass in review Nov. 13 in their graduation parade at Maxwell. The ANG officers are part of the first class to graduate from the newly formed Detachment 12 since the Academy of Military Sciences moved to Maxwell’s Officer Training School from McGhee Tyson ANG Base, Tenn., in October. The graduation was attended by the director of the Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III. (U.S. Air Force photo/Melanie Rodgers Cox)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- One hundred and nineteen Air National Guard officer cadets received their lieutenant bars during a ceremony at Polifka Auditorium, Friday.

The class of O-2010-1 was the first class to graduate from the newly formed Detachment 12 since the Academy of Military Sciences moved to Maxwell's Officer Training School from McGhee Tyson ANG Base, Tenn., in October.

Following an introduction and recognition of distinguished guests by Lt. Col. Ronald Daniels, Det. 12 AMS commander, master of ceremony Maj. Richard Kallstrom introduced the class speaker, Officer Cadet Brian Wall of the 118th Air Wing, Tenn.

"It is an honor and a privilege to represent the class of O-2010-1," Cadet Wall told the audience. "It is a monumental occasion to be the first class to graduate, and the last six weeks have prepared us to be leaders in the Air Force."

OC Wall said while all the graduates present were being commissioned as new second lieutenants, Monday morning they would be like everyone else, because they are the teachers, office employees, merchants and other members of society.

"We are everyday citizens, but the difference is we are also citizen Airmen," he said. "The men and women before you today have chosen to be leaders, and we have learned that we are the future leaders of the Air Force."

Col. Laura Koch, OTS commandant, congratulated the cadets and said it was her privilege to serve with "each and every one of you."

"When you take the oath of office defined by law, you assume an office of trust and honor," she told the officer cadets. "That oath bonds individuals and institutions. You are taking the office of second lieutenant, hence the term officer."

Following Air National Guard director Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III's administering the oath of office, the general told the new lieutenants they had taken the steps to become officers and had also taken the challenge he proposed to them six weeks earlier.

Colonel Daniels told the audience the cadets had focused on training, and today the audience was able to share in their accomplishment by being at their graduation ceremony.

"Your success in this program marks you as having accomplished something very significant. You are the first class to graduate, but more importantly, you are lieutenants in the Air Force," he told the graduates. "You must exemplify the core values of the Air Force and lead with conviction and courage. I believe you will do that and you are cleared hot for your new careers."

Colonel Daniels told the new lieutenants that after the commissioning ceremony they had one last mission to perform at AMS, the graduation parade, and they should make their families proud.

"Lieutenants, God bless you and finally take charge," he said.

Following the parade, General Wyatt said it was a great day for the graduates and a great day for the Air National Guard.

"Due to the direction of the Air Force today, the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve are more operational, and that has brought the need to consolidate the training," he said regarding the AMS move to Maxwell.

Brig. Gen. Teresa Djuric, commander of the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, said she was pleased with the performance of the first AMS class and felt that a lot of people worked very hard to make the class successful.

"Everyone supports what happened today. Good people take a deep breath and make sure things happen the way they should," she said. "We will have a hotwash next week to review the first class, but I'm sure only good can come from this."

General Djuric said she also feels the local community is very supportive of the AMS program and "understands the importance" of what is happening at Maxwell-Gunter.

Colonel Koch agreed saying, she was "very excited" about completing the first AMS class at OTS. She said there were no surprises in the way the program unfolded over the six weeks of training.

"The staff from McGhee Tyson did a great job in settling in at Maxwell, preparing the course and conducting the first class," she said. "I have to attribute all the success to them."

Colonel Daniels said, in all honesty, a few things didn't go quite the way he and the staff wanted them to go, but this in itself provided value to the first AMS class.

"A lot of times it's not about adversity but how you respond to adversity that makes the difference," he said. "The staff did really well, and I think a lot was gained by being co-located here at Maxwell with Commissioned Officer Training and Basic Officer Training. That provided the opportunity for all the students to learn together."

The colonel said 52 states and territories were represented in O-2010-1, and Jan. 11 marks the beginning of the next AMS class for 2010. The first class had a staff of 16 members, but he hopes to have the staff up to a full strength of 23 members by March.