Members of the 60th Officer Candidate School class officially joined the North Dakota Army National Guard's officer ranks during a graduation ceremony Aug. 19 at the 164th Regiment Regional Training Institute near Devils Lake.
Eight soldiers were presented diplomas for completing the intensive officer training program. Among them are area residents Ricky L. Kuhn and Jacob A. Sommerfeld, both of Bismarck; Scott L. Leier, Mandan; and Tanner P. Vesledahl, Regent.
Officer candidates may defer their commission upon graduating OCS, dependent on personal preference or the availability of an officer position in a Guard unit. All but one candidate this year accepted a commission as a second lieutenant and will go on to lead platoons in units across the state. Sommerfeld, Leier and Vesledahl accepted commissions.
Three of the soldiers who graduated pursued their commissions by attending a three-phased, eight-week accelerated, or "Fast Track," course at Camp Rapid, S.D. Graduates also had the option to participate in a traditional course, which is spread over 16-19 months during Guard training weekends with two additional two-week training periods.