50 cadets earned their badges officially becoming the newest members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP). Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally served as the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church. The 50 new state troopers, also known as Cadet Class 118, took their oaths of office after completing 19 weeks of intense, physical and classroom training. This graduating class will be an asset to the department. The cadets bring with them various backgrounds including previous law enforcement, experience, military and college experience. “Congratulations to the trooper cadets graduating today,” Colonel Tracy Trott said. “In 2016, the Tennessee Highway Patrol was named the top state police agency in the nation by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). This honor exemplifies the dedication and daily work performed by the men and women of the THP. As I have done with previous classes, I challenge this class to continue the outstanding service the citizens of Tennessee deserve.” “Each graduate has earned this incredible honor of being chosen to serve as a Tennessee State Trooper,” Commissioner David W. Purkey said. “As a former trooper, I know the commitment that is expected of our new troopers who are serving our citizens. I congratulate Cadet Class 118 on this great accomplishment.” Trooper Daniel Howard was named the top cadet and presented the “Calvin Jenks Memorial Award for Excellence” for his leadership, work ethic and academics. The award was named in honor of the late Trooper Calvin Jenks who was killed in the line of duty in January 2007. Trooper Lael Justice received a $5,000 scholarship from Bethel University. As part of their community service project, Cadet Class 118 participated in a blood drive with the American Red Cross, a can food drive for Second Harvest Foodbank and a toy drive for Toys for Tots. Cadet Class 118’s motto is “Endure, Persevere and Overcome.” The new graduates begin a field training period lasting 10 weeks.