Former Staff Sgt. Luis Tejada promoted by direct commission

Former Staff Sgt. Luis Tejada, left, is congratulated on his promotion to 2nd Lieutenant by Col. Michael Coss during ceremonies Wednesday at the 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry Regiment barracks on Sand Hill at Fort Benning, Georgia. The 33-year old drill sergeant, who was born in Guatemala and is a single father with two children, was promoted by direct commission into the Medical Service Corps., bypassing Officers Candidate School. In 24 years of military, Coss said, this is the first time that he has pinned bars on an officer who was promoted by direct commission, and the first time that he has witnessed it. "It's that rare," Coss said. Tejada will be assigned to the 16th Medical Logistics Battalion in Korea as a clinical laboratory officer.