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New Army officers begin their careers

BOONE—Six cadets in Appalachian State University’s ROTC program transitioned from students to second lieutenants during commissioning ceremonies held on campus.

View larger imageSix Appalachian State University graduates have been commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. They are Meagan D. Griffin, David S. Hubner Jr., Jordan P. Kinder, Austin D. Schilling, Smith and Holly K. Sovine. (Photo by Marie Freeman)

Col. Michael Oeschger, a 1992 graduate of Appalachian, shared advice he has learned during his career in the U.S. Army. Oeschger told the new officers that they would build on their reputation each day in the ways they interact with the soldiers they will be commanding, how they communicate with others, by having a positive attitude no matter the situation they are in, and by saying something when they witness activities, such as harassment or other improper conduct.

“You are not going to get the great jobs right off the bat. You’re not going to become a company commander right away,” Oeschger said. “What is important is to be a good officer. Be the best at whatever it is you are doing.”

Oeschger is the 3rd Brigade Combat Team Commander with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York. He will attend the Army War College this summer. Oeschger has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and has served at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Camp Hovey, Korea, Fort Polk, Louisiana and Fort Benning, Georgia.

The new officers receiving their second lieutenant bars are:

  • Meagan D. Griffin, a psychology major from Firefox Village, Virginia. Griffin has received an educational delay to attend graduate school in clinical psychology, after which she will be branched to the Army’s Medical Service Corp. Griffin served in the N.C. National Guard for three years.
  • David S. Hubner Jr., a political science major from Fort Stewart, Georgia. He has been branched to the Army’s Infantry.
  • Jordan P. Kinder, a criminal justice major from Mocksville. He will continue to serve with the N.C. National Guard’s Engineer Battalion.
  • Austin D. Shilling, a history major from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Shilling will join the Army’s Armor Branch. He served more than two years in the N.C. National Guard.
  • Jacob C. Smith, a geography major from High Point. Smith has been branched to the Army’s Infantry. Prior to enrolling at Appalachian, served on active duty in the Army Infantry in 2007-08 in Iraq.
  • Holly K. Sovine, a journalism major from Fayetteville. A former member of the Army National Guard, Sovine will join the Army’s Aviation Branch.