Four lieutenants promoted at 120AW

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Eric Peterson
  • 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office
Four Montana Air National Guard second lieutenants received their silver first lieutenant bars in a promotion ceremony held at the 120th Airlift Wing December 16.

120th AW Executive Officer Maj. Maureen Maphies administered the oaths to second lieutenants Bradley J. Gauvin, Caressa L. Hewitt, Raymond R. Orsua and Cassandra L. Ross during a ceremony attended by family, friends and coworkers.

Following the oaths, family members approached the stage to pin each of the officers' new rank on their loved ones epaulets.

Maphies said the promotion ceremony was unusual because of the large number of officers who attended officer training school and were commissioned together on Dec. 18, 2015. Traditionally, she said the wing might see only one or two officer candidates attend OTS at one time.

"It is an unusual event for four officers to pin the same day," Maphies said. "So we wanted to recognize them and recognize their families for all of their hard work and support as well."

The four lieutenants have had much more than just their membership in the MTANG to share in common.

Three of the four officers began their military careers as enlisted personnel. In addition, three of them serve as educators in their civilian careers.

Each newly promoted first lieutenant stepped up to speak before the gathered friends, family and Airmen.

"Although we stepped onto the same plane starting our journeys together, it hasn't been the same," said 1st Lt. Hewitt. "We've all traveled different places and are in different stages in our learning how to be effective leaders. Ultimately, we have a good foundation of being second lieutenants and taking care of Airman but now we are ready to move on."

1st Lt. Orsua thanked family members for sacrifices they made two years ago when the four officers first boarded an airplane to take them to their training.

"And the amazing part now is the new family we have at the 120th," Orsua said. "The open arms you all have received us with-all the help I've received and everyone caring so much. I'm really excited to see where our future goes and what it will be like in two years. I'm so blessed and excited to be here."

1st Lt. Guavin thanked wing leadership, members and families for helping the new officers grow to be successful in their positions.

"It really is based on a foundation that you have provided for us," Gauvin said. "For our leadership, you have guided us, directed us, set standards for us and held us to those standards. You are setting that standard for us and forcing us to grow. For our coworkers we have to thank you for allowing us to make decisions. And thank you to the families. I appreciate the love and support you guys have given us."  

"I'm just really proud of all of them," Maphies said. "I've seen them all grow professionally and I'm excited to see what they have to offer in the future."