CLINTON — Pvt2. Leddia M. Tallman, of Keokuk, was part of approximately 40 Iowa Army National Guard Soldiers recently recognized during a patching ceremony held at the Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center in Johnston.
This ceremony represents a time-honored tradition, where Iowa Citizen-Soldiers officially receive the left-shoulder military patch representing their unit of assignment in the Iowa Army National Guard.
It also marks completion of the Iowa National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program, a preparatory training program that provides new recruits the education and skills needed to excel during their Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (military school).
These soldiers represent today’s Iowa Army National Guard, which consists of 7,000 citizen-soldiers based in more than 40 communities across the state. Tallman, a 2015 graduate of Keokuk High School and current student at the University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, now becomes an Automated Logistical Specialist with Detachment 1, 1034th Composite Supply Company, of Clinton.
Automated logistical specialists are primarily responsible for supervising and performing management or warehouse functions in order to maintain equipment records and parts.
“I joined the military for various reasons,” Tallman said. “One of the main reasons I joined was because my father had told me the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program at my university would provide me with endless benefits and place me towards the top of my graduating class at my university.”
After Tallman’s father passed away last fall, she said she has tried to accomplish everything he would have wanted her to do.
By completing Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, Tallman is now eligible for the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant, a state-funded tuition assistance program for Iowa National Guard members who attend Iowa community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private. Under this program, Iowa National Guard members will receive tuition payment up to 100 percent of the State Regents’ rate, an amount up to $7,108 per academic year.
Tallman is also eligible for the Reserve Component GI Bill, which pays a soldier $600 per month while attending college, technical or vocational trade schools. And she’ll also receive monthly drill pay and 15 days of paid duty each year for annual training.
Go to www.iowanationalguard.com and click on the Recruiting tab for more information.