Two military officers to be inducted into hall of fame as candidates graduate

Col. David Leger (left) Col. David Nickum (right)
Col. David Leger (left) Col. David Nickum (right)(Kansas Army National Guard)
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 8:44 AM CDT
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SALINA, Kan. (WIBW) - Two officers will be inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame - one posthumously - during the 66th class of Officer Candidate School graduation.

The Kansas National Guard says its 235th Regiment will host a graduation ceremony for Officer Candidate School - Class 66, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Kansas Highway Patrol Academy, 2019 E Iron Ave. in Salina.

Along with the ceremony, the Guard noted that retired Col. David G. Nickum and retired Col. David A. Leger will be inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame. It said Leger will be inducted posthumously.

The Guard indicated that Nickum enlisted in the Kansas Army National in Dec. 1956 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1962 in the Kansas National Guard Officer Candidate School - Class 6. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and a master’s in Business Management and Information Systems Management.

The Guard said Nickum’s military education includes Transportation Officers Basic Course, Army Rotary Wing Aviators Course, Armor Officer’s Advanced Course, Command and General Staff Officers College, Army Logistics Executive Development Course, and a professional certificate in Maintenance Management Information from the Army Management Staff College.

According to the Guard, Nickum served as an enlisted musician in its 42nd Army Band, where he later became the full-time administrative/supply technician and the unit armorer and bus driver. After his commission and completing the Transportation and Rotary Wing training, he became a platoon leader in the 137th Transportation Company, Light helicopter, and later as an aero scout platoon leader, 169th Aviation Company.

The Guard indicated that Nickum was activated with the 69th Separate Infantry Brigade in May 1968. While on active duty, it said he was assigned to the First Air Cavalry Division in the Republic of Vietnam, 15th Transportation Corps Aviation Maintenance Battalion as the assistant intelligence and operations officer - and later became the battalion Headquarters Company commander.

After release from active duty, the Guard said Nickum transferred to the 326th Area Support Group, U.S. Army Reserve, as the staff aviation maintenance officer. During that assignment, it said he was chosen for the group’s Active Guard-Reserve security, plans and operation officer. He was later assigned to Headquarters, Sixth U.S. Army deputy chief of logistics as the aviation and watercraft maintenance officer - with additional duty as liaison officer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region 9.

The Guard noted that Nickum’s final assignment was to Headquarters, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va., as deputy chief of staff of Personnel Administration and Logistic as chief of Mobilization, Personnel and Logistic Plans. His team developed and implemented Continental Replacement Stations at six active Army mobilization and training locations in the U.S.

Nickum’s awards include Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leave clusters, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal-two awards, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm device, and the Army Aviator Badge.

The Guard said the other inductee, Leger, attended Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Flight Training at Fort Rucker, Ala. in 1981 and was assigned to Company B, 2nd Aviation Battalion, Camp Casey, in South Korea. He finished his active duty in the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry at Fort Riley and in 1987, went to work full time for the Guard at Army Aviation Support Facility #2 in Salina.

In 1988, the Guard indicated that Leger commissioned as a second lieutenant after he completed Kansas Army National Guard Officer Candidate School - Class 32. His career assignments included aviation unit maintenance platoon leader, commander of Company D, 135th Aviation; commander of Company D, 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation Regiment; 1 - 108th Aviation logistic officer, 35th Division aviation officer; 1-108 Aviation battalion executive officer; 1-108 Aviation Battalion commander and commander of AASF#2. In the last 11 years of his career, he led the state’s aviation s the state army aviation officer representing Kansas nationally and gaining respect from peers and leaders.

The Guard noted that Leger participated in Operation New Horizons as the aviation officer in charge to Belize in 2001 and to Panama in 2005. In 2003, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as the executive officer of the 1-108th Aviation. In 2012, he commanded the 1-108th Aviation Battalion on deployment to Kuwait, the team successfully provided critical aviation support to theU.S. regrade from Iraq.

The Guard also said Leger completed military education courses - including the Aviation Maintenance Officer Course and Command and General Staff College. He also completed two baccalaureate degrees, the latest in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University.

Leger’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Armed Force Expeditionary Medal, NATO Medal (Bosnia-Herzegovina) and the Master Army Aviator Badge.

The Guard said Leger passed away on Sept. 8, 2021.

The Guard indicated that the 2022 OCS graduates are as follows:

  • Ishwar Dutt, of Lawrence
  • Marcello Esposti, of Wichita
  • Angelic Giesbricht, of Pleasant Hill, Mo.
  • Godlove Koleihn, of Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Giovanni Popoca, of Lansing
  • Joseph Nail, of Dodge City
  • Oscar Repreza, of Wichita
  • Brandon Wagner, of Augusta

“Growing up in a military family, I know the importance of service, integrity, and accountability. I commend your dedication and service,” Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said. “Congratulations to Class 66 of the Kansas National Guard Officer Candidate School -- and a special congratulations to retired Colonel David Nickum and the late retired Colonel David Leger on their induction into the school’s Hall of Fame.”

For more information about the Kansas National Guard, click HERE.

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