NEWS | April 16, 2021

The Kentucky National Guard promotes its newest officer at the State Capitol

By Sgt. Jesse Elbouab, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

Family members, friends and fellow Guardsmen filled the Capitol for the annual officer commissioning ceremony April 16, 2021.

In a long-standing tradition in the commonwealth, Officer Candidate John J. Brent, the sole graduate from Officer Candidate School Class 62-20, became the Kentucky National Guard’s newest 2nd Lieutenant, in the rotunda of the State Capitol building.

The ceremony commemorated Brent’s completion of the accelerated Officer Candidate School, which is a series of strenuous physical activities and academic challenges taking place over the course of eight weeks, traditionally taking place over an 18-month span.

Brig. Gen. Haldane Lamberton, Kentucky Adjutant General was present as the keynote speaker and, Lt. Col. Derek Hart, 2nd Battalion, 238th Regiment Commander, presided over the event.

Traditionally, a newly commissioned officer will present a silver dollar to the first Non-Commissioned Officer that presents a salute. According to Hart, while the origins of the tradition are unknown, the coin symbolizes the receipt and respect due to the new rank and position.

Sgt. first class Tony Horn, Ky Recruiting and Retention Battalion, B Co. Det 1, a family friend and neighbor, provided the first salute.

“When you moved into the neighborhood, I called you neighbor. Upon meeting you, I called you John. When you completed basic training, I called you brother,” he said. “Today you have earned a new title in my repertoire of titles for you. Today I call you Sir.”

Brent will go on to provide leadership for the Kentucky Army National Guard as a military intelligence officer.