Family and friends were on hand as 21 recruits received certificates this afternoon after graduating from the Correction Officer Training Academy.

Sheriff Rob Maciol says the graduates, who hail from Oneida, Herkimer and Madison counties, should be proud of what they've accomplished.

"When someone enters the field of corrections, specifically at the county level, it's a huge commitment and a great career," Maciol said. "The work that they've put in over the past eight or ten weeks with the classroom work, the hands-on work, the physical training... all that stuff."

Deputy Clayton Bramhall instructed the sixteen men and five women during their training, and praised their ability to work together even though they came from different walks of life. The former Marine says each graduate is ready for their new career and has learned a great deal.

"It's nice to see them all come together and gel together," Bramhall said. "This class has come a long way. To see them progress and actually graduate and become a team is a good feeling."

Gino Geruntino, WIBX

But, what do the recruits have to say about their accomplishments?

Meho Music was a little speechless at first, but said he is ready to start working.

"It actually feels very amazing knowing that you went through all the required steps in order to graduate," Music said. "There's actually some tough times that you have to go through in order to complete this program, but when you complete it you feel awesome. You become part of a community and part of a family of law enforcement."

Music also brought his family into the event, allowing his nephew to pin his badge onto his chest. The young boy is also following in his uncle's footsteps, displaying a pint-size version of Music's drill commands.

The biggest award, though, seems to be the opportunities available once the celebration is over. Every graduate will be able to enter the work force immediately.

Here are the 21 graduates:

Joseph Pruckno
Jason Tefft
Ryan Crever
Charles Tancredi
Jason Simone
Lauri Schaaf
Daniel Mahaffy
Christine Saddock
Kimberly Joslin
Caroline Thibault
Jennifer Stoffle
John Curley
Corey Inman
Michael Brodie
Timathy Squire
Brandon Petrie
Scott Sadlowski
Anthony Sterling
Michael Kerr
Thomas Guca
Meho Music