In ceremonies held Dec. 11 at North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega, several graduating cadets were awarded commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. They also received their degrees in graduation ceremonies held later that day.
Andrew P. Kelley earned a Bachelor of Science degree and commissioned into the Army's Quartermaster Corps. He is the son of Lance and Meg Kelley of Gainesville. He graduated from North Hall High School in Gainesville. He also graduated from Army Airborne School.
Thomas D. Kruklis earned a Bachelor of Science degree and commissioned into the Army's Military Intelligence branch. He is the son of Reginaldo and Renate Kruklis of Braselton. He graduated from Flowery Branch High School in Flowery Branch. He attended Air Assault School and served overseas at the Republic of Georgia.
North Georgia is one of only six senior military colleges in the nation. Participation in the Corps of Cadets, also known as the Boar's Head Brigade, offers the opportunity to acquire a degree on a chosen field of study while simultaneously earning an officer's commission in the U.S. Army, either active, guard or reserve.
Gene A. Lary Jr. has graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Columbus, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He is the son of Gene A. Lary Sr. of Plantation Way, Cumming, and Elizabeth J. Ayres of Evan Court, Gainesville.
During the 12 weeks of training, the officer candidate received "basic soldiering" instruction in leadership, professional ethics, soldier team development, combined arms tactics, weapons defense, combat water survival, squad drill, intelligence, field training exercises, day and night land navigation, confidence obstacle course, common core tasks, communications, staff and general military subjects, and physical fitness tests which include three, four and five-mile runs, and foot marches between five-12 miles carrying rucksacks.
The candidate is tested on leadership skills and team work abilities required of a commissioned officer. Students learned to utilize acquired skills to function in "leader and follower" positions in squad and platoon sized elements, and evaluated in various leadership garrison positions while in a stressful and demanding field environment.
The lieutenant, a visual information operations chief with six years of military service, is regularly assigned to the 11th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning.
Lary graduated in 1999 from South Forsyth High School, Cumming, and received a bachelor's degree in 2009 from DeVry University, Alpharetta.