Story by Anthony Housey on 08/21/2019Minnesota Commissions Newest Officers to the Army
By: Mr. Tony Housey, Camp Ripley Public Affairs Aug. 21, 2019
CAMP RIPLEY, Minnesota Graduates of the Officer Candidate School Class 63, under Minnesota's 1st Battalion 175th Regional Training Institute, were commissioned Aug. 18, 2019 following a graduation ceremony held at the Memorial Chapel on Camp Ripley.
"They have been tried, tested and proven capable of being leader of today's Soldiers," said Lt. Col. Aaron Cheadle, commander of 1st battalion 175th RTI.
The Region E (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin) Officer Candidate School (OCS) program, located on Camp Ripley, trains Soldiers in the fundamentals of leadership and basic military skills. A fair but dedicated curriculum of leadership development, planning and conducting of training, and communications are combined with tactical field exercises, land navigation and general military subjects.
The program is executed over a 12 month time table to include two annual training periods with training on Camp Ripley and Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. The cadre instill professional ethics; evaluate leadership potential; and challenge candidate mentally and physically. Those who qualify, earn a commission as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army.
The guest speaker at this year's graduation was U.S. Army Capt. Andrew L. Bundermann who served as the ground forces commander for Troop B, 3rd Squadron 61st cavalry during the Battle of Kamdesh Oct. 3, 2009.
"I envy you all and remember my commissioning well. I was excited, nervous and really looking forward to itI hope you are as well," said Bundermann.
Capt. Bundermann went on to recount some of his experiences as a leader in tough situation and in easy situation.
"Don't worry about your next job, just work to be good at your current on; your leaders and soldiers will appreciate you for that." Added Bundermann.
Before family, friends and fellow Soldiers, the 25 cadets of OCS Class 63 presented themselves to Lt. Col. Cheadle to receive their diploma and receive recognition for their hard work over the past year. Then each graduate took their turn at the front of the ceremony and welcomed their families to place their Second Lieutenant rank on their uniform for the first time.
"I leave you with one final though," said Capt. Bundermann. "Work you hardest to be the most capable you can in anything you do, not for you, but for those you lead."