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Students Choose Military Career After High School

Keely Groholski, Writer

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The U.S. military force has been fighting for Americans’ freedom and safety ever since the country was founded. We have been told ever since we were kids that the military keeps us safe and protects the country with challenges that come our way.

However, some people might not be ready for the challenges that the military might bring. High school students were interviewed to see if Homestead High School is suitable enough to be recruited into our armed services.

Most high school students enlisting are following their families’ example.

“It’s what a lot of my family members did and it’s the branch that pulls me the most,” Hudson Ripke (11) said.

Most people also want the benefits that come with the military.

“I want a military discount for college,” Zachery Schuster (11) said.    

The military provides up to 4,500 dollars for 36 months that goes toward a veteran’s education plan if they plan to go to college after the military. Additionally, students have additional reasons for joining the military.

“[I want to join the military for] discipline and I was looking to be a cryptologist so a little bit of communications background,” Schuster said.

Furthermore, the Air Force is a subdivision that was made in 1920, but not recognized until 1947 as an official military branch. It has over 300,000 recruits researching air, space, and even cyberspace.

“Me and my friend wanted to join the military and we thought that the Air Force would be a good fit for us,” Haden Bose (11) said. “I want to learn a skill or trade, so I could be an aircraft mechanic or something like that.”

Most of his family members have been in the military such as “all of the guys in my dad’s side of the family have been in the military.”

Army National Guard is a force that helps the country and community. They battle overseas and domestically. Yana Weir aspires to be part of that force.

“I was originally debating between Air Force and Army National Guard, while Air Force is mostly technological, the Army is a good balance of physical challenge and technology,” Yana Weir (11) said. “I have some family members in the Air Force, but none of them are in the National Guard.”

She plans to learn work ethic through basic training and advanced individual training, and also hopes to make some lifelong friends.

“I think training will be an experience, like something I look forward to but know it will be hard,” Weir said.

She will be serving one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer and hopes that will be something that she looks forward to different from any job she’s had. The army is a physically and mentally challenging place that is not just for running around and shooting guns.

“I know personally, I was not really educated about the military at all,” Weir said. “I thought the military and the army were the same things.”

Even some family has experienced that some younger students are not mentally ready for the military.

“My dad was in the military,” Bose said. “He was a drill sergeant and said a lot of the recruiters like to lie just to get you in.  So you have to prepare for anything in the military.”

A child’s perspective of the military is different from a military veteran like Dr. Ringquist. Dr. Ringquist volunteered as an army officer in 2010, Afghanistan. He was a U.S. Navy Medical Officer and took care of injured Marines and local Afghan people.

“I actually enjoyed the challenge. Classes were sometimes dull, but necessary.  The physical education training was led by a U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant, and while exercising it was a thrill to realize I was really in the military,” Dr. Ringquist said.

Dr. Ringquist’s perspective on war and the military, in general, has changed after his experience on the battlefield.

“The people who do the actual fighting, who are dirty and tired, in the tiny camps and armored vehicles, are extremely skilled, motivated, and professional. I still have very mixed feelings and opinions about the war and what the U.S.A. and our allies are buying with so many ruined lives.” Dr. Ringquist said.

Military Times- Leonard Wong, a retired lieutenant, and professor of military strategy said, “The next generation has not matured into what it is. The generation is defined by what happens as they grow up, and I’m not sure history has sorted itself out yet.”

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