Congratulations go out to 53 RRAD apprentice graduates who received their diplomas during a ceremony Thursday, October 2 at the ALLC Auditorium. Graduates, family, co-workers and friends listened as Deputy Commander Paul Addington applauded the accomplishments of the honorees.

"You represent 60 percent of your apprentice class so you have already made great accomplishments by completing this program," said Deputy Commander Paul Addington. "You have already seen many changes at Red River and you are an important part of those changes."

Director for Maintenance, Production, Mike Lockard also addressed the class.
"After four years of hard work, you should be very excited. The program isn't easy but gives you the opportunity to make a great impact on what we do," said Lockard.

All of the apprentices work and trained in the Maintenance Directorate. Their curriculum included no less than 8320 hours of formal classroom training and on-the-job training at the depot. Throughout the four-year program, each student was required to maintain passing grades and carry a specific course load depending on the skills training for.

Some of the skills the program supports are Weapons Systems Mechanic, Electronic Integrated Systems Mechanic, Machinist, Heavy Mobile Equipment Metal Mechanic, Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic and Pneudraulic Systems Mechanic.

In finishing his remarks to the graduates, Addington delivered a challenge.
"I challenge you to not be satisfied---look for ways everyday to improve the processes. You are encouraged to make things better. The only limitation you have is you. We are all here to help you,' said Addington.

Red River has maintained Department of Labor registered apprentice programs for numerous years. Over the years the depot has seen former apprentices far exceed target grades by becoming supervisors, managers, directors and deputy commander.

In delivering the closing remarks, Director for Maintenance, Logistics, Patton Tidwell said, "Today strengthens our commitment to providing the best trained employees to remanufacture the Army's equipment for our soldiers. It furthers our efforts toward revitalizing our award-winning workforce to meet the future demands of the Department of Defense and displays the resolve of you graduates to improve yourselves and to fulfill your career potential."