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Minnesota National Guard
Silver Star NCO receives direct commission

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn " 2nd Lt Chad Malmberg, a Minnesota National Guard Soldier and Silver Star recipient, received a direct commission from staff sgt to 2nd lt on Sunday at the Northeast Minneapolis Training and Community Center

He was awarded the Silver Star for acts of gallantry on Jan 27, 2007 while serving in Iraq with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry He was the first Minnesota National Guard Soldier since World War II to be given such an honor The Silver Star is the fourth highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States

"This is a huge, historic day for 2nd Lt Malmberg and the Minnesota National Guard, if anybody is deserving out of our ranks for becoming a direct commission, it's certainly 2nd Lt Malmberg," said Col Kevin Gerdes, Commander, 84th Troop Command, Minnesota National Guard

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Gerdes said Malmberg had the experience to bypass Officer Candidate School and Reserve Officer Training Corps, the usual courses a Soldier must take to become an officer, and instead receive a rare honor and be directly commissioned, allowing Malmberg to bypass normally required training

"Whenever we send young Soldiers through officer training courses, they are exposed to some of the things that 2nd Lt Malmberg was exposed to in combat, as a squad leader, as an NCO, so those experiences were real and not just in a training environment," said Gerdes

Malmberg was honored to have received a direct commission, "This is something that never in my wildest dreams I would have ever imagined," said Malmberg, "this is a huge step in my career"

His uncle, Pat Truchinski, a Vietnam veteran as a Navy Corpsman, pinned Malmberg with his new rank, which signified Malmberg's transition from the enlisted ranks to the officer ranks

"This is very cool, I've only known one other person direct commissioned in my life," said Truchinski, "it is a big asset having Chad (become an officer)"

It was a big week for Malmberg said his father Charlie Malmberg, "I know this a big deal, he's kind of my hero "¦ as a retired Saint Paul policeman, I'm also really happy he got his [policeman's] badge on Friday"

Malmberg, a Minnesota State-Mankato law enforcement graduate, will be getting settled into his new job as a Saint Paul policeman before going to Fort Benning, Ga for Infantry Basic Officer Leadership Course in fall 2010 Malmberg joins B Company, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry in Crookston, Minn as an infantry platoon leader

"Hopefully I can take the knowledge I've developed over my career and combine that with the added responsibilities as an officer and really make a big impact and do some good things," said Malmberg

By Spc Miles Eakins
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
Jan 10, 2010

Silver Star winner, alumnus sworn in as St. Paul police officer- http://www.minnesotanationalguard.org/press_room/e-zine/articles/index.php?item=2339

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