NEWS | Oct. 5, 2021

Illinois National Guard Soldiers Graduate from Officer Candidate School, Become Army Lieutenants

Thirty Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers graduated from the 129th Regiment (Regional Training Institute) Officer Candidate School on Aug. 22, fulfilling the leadership and military education requirements to be commissioned as U.S. Army officers. Of these Soldiers, 26 were commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the Illinois Army National Guard and U.S. Army. Four graduates of the program decided to “hip-pocket” their commissions and seek federal recognition as officers at a later date.

The Illinois National Guard’s Officer Candidate School transforms enlisted noncommissioned officers and qualified civilians into U.S. Army officers. The future leaders complete more than 661 hours of classroom and field instruction, must meet the commissioning standards of the U.S. Army and be examined, and approved by a federal recognition board. Two OCS classes graduated Aug. 22, Class 65-20 and Class 66-21. The ceremony was held at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield, Illinois.

The newly commissioned second lieutenants are:

  • 2nd Lt. Timothy Eychner of Chicago
  • 2nd Lt. Christian Garcia of Chicago
  • 2nd Lt. Jason Grover of Chicago
  • 2nd Lt. Patrick LeBlanc of Glen Carbon
  • 2nd Lt. Matthew Lodwich of Palos Park
  • 2nd Lt. Eduardo Rodriguez of Elgin
  • 2nd Lt. Carlos Romero of Springfield
  • 2nd Lt. Connor Rutherford of Macomb
  • 2nd Lt. Arlene Santiago of Wisconsin
  • 2nd Lt. Daniel Chamblin of O’Fallon
  • 2nd Lt. Joshua Furbeck of Auburn
  • 2nd Lt. Christopher Garibay of Chicago
  • 2nd Lt. Adrian Hernandez of South Elgin
  • 2nd Lt. Angel HernandezRendon of Chicago
  • 2nd Lt. Spencer Kiesewetter of Farmington
  • 2nd Lt. Michael Koenig of Glen Ellyn
  • 2nd Lt. Uri Kuyoro of Country Club Hills
  • 2nd Lt. Devin Luton of Carbondale
  • 2nd Lt. Adrian Martinez of Northlake
  • 2nd Lt. Ryan McKennedy of Chatham
  • 2nd Lt. Brady Middleton of Chicago
  • 2nd Lt. Giovanni Ortega of Chicago
  • 2nd Lt. Christopher Peters of Highland
  • 2nd Lt. Hector Rios of Aurora
  • 2nd Lt. Vincent Thomas of Dunlap
  • 2nd Lt. Brandon Urquidi of Plainfield

 

Graduates choosing to “hip-pocket” their commissions and seek federal recognition as Army Officers at a later date are:

  • Timothy Jefferson of Mattoon
  • Jodainey Johnson of Skokie
  • Justin Wise of Oswego
  • Seth Knopp of Cape Giradeau, Missouri

Justin Wise of Oswego was awarded the Erickson Award as the Distinguished Honor Graduate of Class 65-20. 2nd Lt. Devin Luton of Carbondale was awarded the Erickson Award as the Distinguished Honor Graduate of Class 66-21. The other honor graduates included 2nd Lt. Connor Rutherford of Macomb, 2nd Lt. Timothy Eychner of Chicago, 2nd Lt. Joshua Furbeck of Auburn and 2nd Lt. Adrian Martinez of Northlake. Jodainey Johnson of Skokie, Timothy Jefferson of Mattoon, 2nd Lt. Connor Rutherford of Macomb, 2nd Lt. Arlene Santiago of Wisconsin, and 2nd Lt. Devin Luton of Carbondale won honors for their leadership scores and Justin Wise of Oswego and Joshua Furbeck of Auburn won honors for their academic scores.