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HomeNewsArchivesMilitary News of Virgin Islanders-- June 2007

Military News of Virgin Islanders– June 2007

Editor's note: The Source newspapers publish available information about Virgin Islanders who are serving their country in the military. For earlier notices, see previous months' files in this section. Please e-mail information about yourself or any family member serving in these regards to source@viaccess.net Provide the individual's full name, age, rank, service branch or organization, home island, immediate family members in the Virgin Islands, brief description of education and training, and, if possible, a description of where the person is based or has been deployed. Please limit the information to about 200 words. We welcome photos.
Army National Guard 2nd Lt. Chernenko Wheatley/St. Thomas
June 1, 2007 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Army National Guard 2nd Lt. Chernenko Wheatley was one of 55 ROTC cadets representing all military services from colleges and universities from across the nation who were administered the oath of office by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates during a special White House ceremony attended by President George W. Bush. This historic ceremony marked the first time a non-military member administered the oath of commission for an officer.
Previously, the law required a commissioned military officer to administer the oath of commission. A change in the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act gave the president, vice president and secretary of defense authorization to administer the oaths of commission and enlistment.
Prior to the oath of commissioning, President Bush addressed the cadets when he said, "We gather at a solemn moment for this country. Many of you were still in high school when terrorists brought death and destruction to our streets on September 11, 2001…and yet some of you understood that the cause of freedom would soon depend on your generation's willingness to step forward to defend it. And when it came time to be counted, each of you volunteered, knowing full well the risks involved during a time of war. As your commander-in-chief, I salute your decision to serve, and I congratulate you on a fine achievement."
Wheatley was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Army ROTC program at Virginia Tech University where he received a bachelor's degree. He will be assigned to the adjutant general branch.
He is the son of Judith Rumberg of St. Thomas.
Army Pvt. Alexander L. Thomas/St. Thomas
June 1, 2007 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Army Pvt. Alexander L. Thomas has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.
During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition, core values and the military justice system. He was trained in physical fitness, basic combat skills and military weapons. He received instruction and practice in chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, basic first aid, foot marches and field training exercises.
Thomas is the son of Cynthia Thomas, and grandson of Enrica Thomas, both of Estate Smith Bay, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Ronaqua Russell Accepted to U.S. Coast Guard Academy/St. Thomas
June 8, 2007 (United States Coast Guard Academy Fleet Hometown News Release) – The United States Coast Guard Academy announced that Ronaqua Russell of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands has been recognized for superior academic achievement and leadership potential. Russell, who attends the University of the Virgin Islands, has accepted an appointment to attend the Coast Guard Academy and will be sworn-in as a member of the Class of 2011 on July 2, 2007.
The United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. is an accredited college educating future Coast Guard officers. The smallest of our nation's five military service academies, the Coast Guard Academy's Corps of Cadets represents the nation's best and brightest students, ready to serve and lead their country. Admission to the Coast Guard Academy is highly competitive and less than 400 appointments are offered annually from a pool of over 3,000 applicants. Cadets receive a full tuition scholarship and monthly stipend for a five-year service commitment to the Coast Guard upon graduation. All graduates receive a Bachelor of Science degree and are guaranteed a position of leadership as a commissioned officer in the USCG.
She is the daughter of Aquannette Chinnery-Montell of St. Thomas, V.I.; granddaughter of Arthur and Annette Chinnery of St. Thomas, V.I.; and daughter of Ronald Russell of St. Croix, V.I.
Air Force Airman Kyle M. Kelly/St. Thomas
June 22, 2007(Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Air Force Airman Kyle M. Kelly has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies. He performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations.
In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Kelly is the son of Cherita Francis of Baychester Ave., Bronx, N.Y., and the grandson of Mary Rawlins of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
The airman is a 2006 graduate of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, St. Thomas.
Air Force Airman Brandon L. Spencer/St. Croix
June 26, 2007 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Air Force Airman Brandon L. Spencer has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies. He performed drill and ceremony marches, and received instruction in physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises and special training in human relations.
In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
He is the son of Gerarda Gibbs and Warren Spencer of Richmond, Christiansted St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Spencer is a 2006 graduate of the St. Croix Educational Complex.

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