MEDIA ADVISORY: 14 Florida Army National Guard officers to graduate Saturday during Camp Blanding ceremony
14 Florida Army National Guard officers to graduate
Saturday during Camp Blanding ceremony
WHAT: Fourteen officer candidates of the Florida Army National Guard will graduate as the state’s newest military leaders during a formal ceremony.
WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014.
WHERE: Kennedy Bullard Armory, Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Starke.
Officer candidates usually enter the Florida Army National Guard officer training program as enlisted Soldiers and go through a physically and mentally demanding 18-month school that mirrors the U.S. Army’s active duty curriculum.
The new lieutenants will join Army National Guard units to serve in leadership positions. Some will become full-time military members with the Guard while some will perform their traditional Guard role by attending unit training one weekend per month and two weeks each year.
Since the program’s inception 1,818 officers have graduated from the Florida Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate School (OCS).
This year former Adjutant General of Florida Maj. Gen. (ret.) Ronald O. Harrison will offer the keynote address during the OCS graduation ceremony.
Officers graduating from Class 53 live in and represent communities throughout Florida. The officer candidates and their hometowns are listed below:
Navid Akbari, Orlando
Chelsea Amos, Newberry
James Barr, Palm Coast
Casey Carder, Riverview
Lamorne Chang-Blissett, Pembroke Pines
Jack Higginbotham Jr., Lakeland
Ketner Jackson, Tampa
Jordan Jerris, Orange Park
Robert Kirk, St. Petersburg
Talesha Montfort, St. Johns
Michael Purvis, Milton
Leeona Sanders, Leesburg
Joshua Smith, Land O’Lakes
Matthew Wilson, St. Augustine
Media coverage is highly encouraged and welcomed. Opportunities are available for interviews with the Florida National Guard leadership as well as the new lieutenants and their families. Please contact the Florida National Guard Public Affairs Office at (904) 823-0166 or (904) 200-5621 for more information.