Georgia State Defense Force class graduates IET

CORDELE, Ga. — The Georgia State Defense Force (GSDF) Initial Entry Training (IET) celebrated graduation of Charlie Class 2019 from the Cordele Regional Training Institute (RTI), at Cordele Army National Guard Armory.

Col. William Bryant, executive officer of the GSDF 3rd Brigade, gave opening remarks and the colors were posted by the Charlie Class Color Guard.

3rd Brigade Commander Col. Ken Kirk presented each graduate with their certificates, military indoctrination ribbons and other certificates.

Several of the graduates received special honors, Pvt. Kellan Evans was chosen by his peers to receive the Leadership Award and he was also chosen as an honor graduate. Pvt. Rebecca Crissman received a Certificate of Honor  for being chosen as the Unit Public Affairs Representative. Pvt. James Massey was honored for dedication to service. Specialist Chris Jones was awarded for military excellence and Pvt. Kendall Evans received a Certificate of Honor as an academic honor graduate.

Col. Kirk shared some words of wisdom with the new soldiers that had been passed to him throughout his over 35 years of military service.

“True leaders don’t create followers, they create other leaders,” he said. “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

Lt.Col. Lynwood Yates, commander of the 4th Brigade, addressed the graduates.

“I look upon your faces and I remember the day that I signed up,” he said.  “I encourage ya’ll to always put your fellow soldiers ahead. Always look out for your fellow man.”

The RTI is new t0 the GSDF and soldiers from the RTI will serve in 3rd and 4th Brigades. The IET is required in order to become a soldier with the GSDF and provides both physical and mental training. For more information on becoming a soldier with the GSDF log on to You can also contact 3rd Brigade Commander Col. Ken Kirk at (678)360-2388.