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72 commission as second lieutenants from UNG in spring 2020

UNG commissioned 72 second lieutenants into the Army or Georgia National Guard on May 7-8.

2nd Lt. John Perry saw many events during his senior year at the University of North Georgia (UNG) affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From the Military Ball to Alumni Weekend to commencement, a litany of events were changed by social distancing and shelter-in-place orders aimed at reducing the spread of the virus. Even Perry's wedding on May 23 has been adjusted to a much smaller event.

That made Perry all the more grateful he was still able to commission at the Pennington Military Leadership Center on May 7. He was one of 72 UNG cadets to commission as second lieutenants into the Army or Georgia National Guard on May 7-8, with eight of those individual ceremonies taking place virtually. The in-person ceremonies were spaced out and the number of visitors was limited to adhere to social distancing practices.

"It was important to hold these individual commissioning ceremonies to recognize the hard work of our new second lieutenants," said Col. Joshua D. Wright, professor of military science at UNG. "This year our primary goal was to maintain the health and safety of our cadets, cadre, family and supporters."

Perry commissioned into the Military Intelligence branch and will report to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, for Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC).

"I really appreciate that they still found a way to get it done within the guidelines," said Perry, who was deputy brigade commander for UNG's Corps of Cadets his senior year. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native earned a degree in strategic and security studies.

While Perry was one of those who commissioned on campus, 2nd Lt. Micaela Tierce commissioned from her Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home as part of a virtual ceremony that included retired Col. James Lackey and retired Sgt. Maj. James Smith, her JROTC instructors in high school. She wanted to commission from home so her grandmother could attend. Tierce, who earned a degree in international affairs, will report to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for BOLC before being stationed in Japan.

"I'm really excited to be part of something that's bigger than me," Tierce said.

2nd Lt. Eric Carbone came to UNG already a soldier in the Army through the Green to Gold scholarship that allows enlisted soldiers to become officers while earning a degree. The Woodinville, Washington, native was joined by his wife and two kids at the ceremony.

"I'll go back to the Army with increased responsibility, and I'll be able to have a much larger sphere of influence toward accomplishing any mission," said Carbone, who earned a political science degree, commissioned into Military Intelligence with an Infantry detail, and will report to Fort Benning, Georgia. "I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this fantastic institution and the Boar's Head Brigade."

Perry, Tierce and Carbone are all three Distinguished Military Graduates.

Including 19 officers who commissioned in December and those who will commission in August, UNG is on track to commission about 100 officers during the 2019-20 academic year.

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