Army ROTC Cadet Zachary J. Whatley has graduated from the U.S. Army Air Assault School at West Point, N.Y., and earned the honor of wearing the Air Assault Badge.

The 10-day course of instruction focuses on combat assault operations. The physically and mentally demanding training includes a nine-station obstacle course, a two-mile run in Army boots, and phases in combat assault operations, sling-load rigging and inspection of prepared lift loads, and tower and helicopter rappelling fast rope operations.

Students must complete a 12-mile foot march in three hours or less wearing the prescribed uniform with weapon, equipment and a 30-pound backpack.

Whatley is a student at Northeastern State University, Tahlequah, Okla.

He is the son of James and Karianne Whatley of Hope Mills, N.C.

Whatley graduated in 2009 from Ellison High School.

Quinton A. Russ has been promoted to the rank of technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.

Russ is an aerial combat photographer assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.

He has served in the military for 14 years.

He is the son of Granderson and Ethel Russ of Harker Heights.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan Calo received an associate in applied science degree from the Community College of the Air Force.

The worldwide college is headquartered at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

Enlisted members are automatically enrolled and begin earning college credit during basic military training.

Calo is a military working dog handler assigned to the 628th Air Base Wing at Joint Base, S.C.

The staff sergeant has served in the military for four years.

He is the son of Susan Castleberry of Killeen.

Army Pfc. Hunter Byington has graduated from the Fire Support Specialist Advanced Individual Training course at Fort Sill, Okla.

The field artillery specialists serve in intelligence activities including target processing in field artillery, cannon battalions, division artillery, artillery and maneuver brigade and headquarters and fire support elements.

Byington is the son of James and Anissa Byington of Killeen.

His wife, Lacee, is the daughter of Clay Backus of Clemmons, N.C., and Linda Backus of Kingsport, Tenn.

Byington is a 2009 graduate of Harker Heights High School.

Nikeith C. Wallace recently enlisted in the U.S. Navy under the Delayed Entry Program at Navy Recruiting District, Raleigh, N. C.

The program allows recruits to enter the Navy and take up to one year to complete prior commitments such as high school. Using recruiters as mentors, this program helps recruits ease into the transition from civilian to military life.

Wallace will report for active duty to undergo basic training at the Navy’s Recruit Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill.

Wallace, a 1993 graduate of Lampasas High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1997 from Tarleton State University, Stephenville.

He is the son of Midori I. and Richard A. Wallace of Copperas Cove.

Army Reserve Pvt. Thomas L. Roman has graduated from nine weeks of basic combat training at Fort Jackson, S.C.

Roman is the son of Jen Roman of Temple.

He is a 2010 graduate of Academy High School, Little River Academy.

Army Pvt. Jay W. Klement has graduated from nine weeks of basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Ga.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map

Klement is the son of Jay Klement of Fort Hood.

He is a 2011 graduate of South Sound High School, Lacey, Wash.

In the service is compiled from Hometown news releases received from the Armed Forces. For more information, email

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