MARIETTA ARMORY, Marietta, Georgia, December 6, 2015 – With family and friends looking on, the newest members of the Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) graduated from Initial Entry Training (IET). The twelve recruits of IET Charlie Class marched crisply into the Georgia Army National Guard 248th Medical Company armory under the direction of Sgt. Jason Tweedell from the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). After enthusiastically reciting the Soldier’s Creed, the GSDF’s newest Soldiers were pinned with their ranks by Capt. Scott Thompson of TRADOC as their duty assignments were read out loud.
Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Akers, the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of IET, presented the Academic Achievement Award to Charles Sullivan III and the Leadership Award to George Kirk. The Academic Achievement Award is presented to the Soldier with the highest grade-point average.The recipient of the Leadership Award is selected by the IET class and awarded to the Soldier who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities. One member of IET Charlie Class previously served in the United States Marine Corps before joining the GSDF. Before dismissing the graduates, Capt. Thompson addressed the audience and said, “these GSDF Soldiers need you to always support them in their mission to serve the people of Georgia.” Following the formal graduation ceremony, the new Soldiers presented a gift to each member of the IET Cadre in recognition of their service and commitment. When asked how this IET class compares to other classes, Sgt. 1st Class Akers remarked, “IET Charlie Class is one of the best I have ever seen.”
The IET course trains incoming GSDF personnel in search and rescue tactics, basic communication, crowd control, military history, military customs and courtesies, drill and ceremony, and the structure of the GSDF. IET is a moderate-stress environment, designed to challenge the recruit from the first day of training. In addition, IET is used to evaluate the recruit while providing the basic skills necessary to meet the needs of the GSDF.