St. John man completes airborne school
Spc. William Gnerlich Jr., of St. John, graduated from airborne school in May. Gnerlich completed basic infantry training in Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga., at ECHO Company in January which was followed by OSUT training where he learned infantry tactics and completed the bayonet march that ended at Honor Hill where he earned his Cross Rifles and Blue Chord.
Gnerlich then attended Alpha Company 1, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment for three weeks of airborne training where he was trained as a paratrooper. Upon successful completion, Frank Hoffman, Gnerlich's grandfather, who also served at Fort Benning, attended the graduation ceremony and pinned the Civil Wings on him.
Gnerlich is now stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he is about to attend selection for Special Forces. Gnerlich is the son of William and Carol Gnerlich, of St. John. He is a 2008 graduate of Lake Central High School.
Thornton Twp. High grad completes basic training
Air Force Reserve Airman Meshach H. Barker graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
Barker completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Barker is the son of Monique Barker, of Park Forest, and grandson of Sofronia Barker, of Chicago. He is a 2006 graduate of Thornton Township High School, Harvey. He earned a bachelor's degree in 2010 from Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Miss.
St. John man graduates from basic training
Army National Guard Pvt. Alexander J. Armstrong has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.
During the nine weeks of training, Armstrong received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, Army history, core values and traditions. Additional training included development of basic combat skills and battlefield operations and tactics, and experiencing use of various weapons and weapons defenses available to the infantry crewman.
Armstrong is the son of Mary and Larry Armstrong, of St. John.
Highland High grad completes Navy training
Navy Seaman Apprentice Thomas W. Tiffany, son of Donald A. Tiffany, of Crete, Ill., and Kelly L. Tiffany, of Highland, completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.
During the eight-week program, Tiffany completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.
The capstone event of boot camp is Battle Stations, which gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. Battle Stations is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of honor, courage and commitment.
Tiffany is a 2013 graduate of Highland High School.