In a time-honored tradition in the commonwealth, 13 Citizen-Soldiers become commissioned officers on the steps of the Capitol in Frankfort, Sept. 25 – including Bryan Fuller of Lewisburg.
Hundreds of family members, friends and fellow Guardsmen packed the gardens beneath the Capitol on the warm and sunny autumn day for the annual commissioning ceremony. Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan presided over the event with Col. Hal Lamberton administering the oath to the new officers.
“This ceremony and atmosphere is so fitting as a culmination of the hard work these candidates have put forth,” said Maj. Corey Flannery, commander of Kentucky’s Officer Candidate School. “The events of this weekend and this ceremony here will remind them of their new responsibilities as leaders in the Kentucky National Guard for years to come.”
Eleven of the Soldiers commissioned as second lieutenants, while two become the newest warrant officers for the Kentucky Guard.
Following their swearing in, each candidate was pinned by family members or friends and received their first salute from a non-commissioned officer.
2nd Lt. Cody Stagner was pinned by his son Ayden and received his first salute from his cousin, Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Stagner.
“This has been an emotional roller-coaster the last 18 months,” said Stagner. “But being here today and seeing my son in the crowd put my nerves in check to get through the day and realize what I have accomplished.”
Stagner was also named the distinguished honor graduate of the class and said the decision to become an officer, after ten years as an enlisted Soldier was a matter of natural progression for him.
“Today is the final day of a long journey filled with pain, hard work, sacrifice and love,” he said. “But it’s now the first day of the rest of my career.”
The graduating class:
B Kirtley Amos, Lexington, Ky. – 2123rd Transportation Company
Reed Michael Bagley, Lexington, Ky. – 617th Military Police Company
Corey Alan Blankenship, London, Ky. – Bravo Company, 1/149th Infantry
Markus Christopher Broussard, Fairfield, Calif. – 2138th Forward Support Company
Johannes Sebastian Chandler, Radcliff, Ky. – 149th Distro Company
Derek Kenneth Cundiff, Olive Hill, Ky. -2 061st Multi-Role Bridge Company
Marty Dye, Wayland, Ky. – Charlie Company, 1/376th Aviation
Bryan Lee Fuller, Lewisburg, Ky. – 138th Field Artillery Brigade
Sean Michael Lough, Vernon, Texas, – 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade
Jacob R. McIntosh, Central City, Ky. – 138th Field Artillery Brigade
Cody Jonathon Stagner, Springfield, Ky. – 1/149th Infantry
Nicholas Scott Anglin, Frankfort, Ky. – 103rd Brigade Support Battalion
Jarrod Anthony Freitas, Nicholasville, Ky. – Bravo Company, 147th Aviation
Fuller was awarded the Leadership award also. His wife Jessica and son Ace pinned him. Fuller lives in Russellville and is a Loan Officer at First Southern National Bank.