Second Lt. Dainius Jonika graduated Officer Candidate School and earned his commission in the Tennessee Army National Guard at Smyrna’s Volunteer Training Site on Aug. 22.
Second Lt. Jonika is one of two officer candidates to complete the eight-week Accelerated OCS program at Fort McClellan, Al. His commissioning ceremony in Smyrna was alongside 15 other classmates who completed the traditional 18-month course. Officer candidates are tested physically and mentally, while developing and preforming leadership skills in a high-stress environment.
Second Lt. Jonika is now assigned to the Military Intelligence Corps and will serve as a platoon leader with the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment.
“I’m excited for the next chapter in life as a second lieutenant,” said Second Lt. Jonika. “I feel like serving as an officer in the Army is my duty and responsibility to give back to this country.”
Second Lt. Jonika was born in Lithuania and has been a citizen in the United States for the past 20 years.
“For me, being a United States citizen means being a great member in the community, which includes taking advantage of opportunities provided to you, as well as giving back,” said Second Lt. Jonika. “I was able to receive a great education, enjoy and grow in a satisfying career and start a beautiful family.”
He attended the University of Tennessee where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting. He and his wife have been married for 18 years and are new parents to a five-month old son, Theo.