- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Eight of the state’s national guard soldiers have been commissioned as second lieutenants.

The South Dakota Army National Guard says the eight lieutenants recently completed officer candidate school. They took the oath of office and were commissioned during a ceremony Aug. 15 at Mount Rushmore National Park.

In order to become officers, the soldiers first had to undergo three intense phases of training.

Col. Deb Bartunek says they give soldiers the opportunity go through stressful situations so officials can evaluate their ability to act under pressure and make decisions.

The second lieutenants will now be assigned to units across the state. They will attend basic officer leader course where they will continue their training.

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