High School West provides a plethora of opportunities for students to explore different paths upon which they may take their future, through offering innumerable fascinating electives, AP courses, extracurriculars, and the Senior Experience program.
Nonetheless, making such a pivotal decision can be intimidating, to say the very least. Thusly, a new initiative has began in our school that is motivating students to consider an honorable future of service in the armed forces. During lunch periods, U.S. Marines have seen been in the cafeteria, ready to explain to any and all students about the prospect of a future in the armed forces. The results are already evident, with two of last year’s graduate class -Ryan Burns and Brian Kim- currently attending Marines boot camp. Following them are number of current seniors expressing interest in pursuing the same path.
Throw away any preconceived notion of the archetypal member of the U.S. Army. Not only is it home to men and women of all status, ethnicity, and background, but it provides more opportunities than a life of combat. Through the U.S. Army, students can earn scholarships and receive an education. Those interested in a future of law can join the JAG Corps, where they will be able to enroll in law school, obtain a degree, and eventually establish themselves with the title of “officer.” Furthermore, with enlistment as a soldier, ample opportunity is provided to receive scholarships and to fashion a bright future.
A future of service is widely considered among the student body here at Hills West. Harris Wilner, senior, says that he was drawn to the army because of their role as protectors. “I’ve always loved protecting people, “ said Wilner. “I knew that this is what I wanted to do.” This yearning to safeguard society has been the catalyst for many to join the armed forces. With an ubiquitous air of unrest present in today’s modern society, the domestic safety is of utmost concern. It is perhaps more important than ever to defend our country, and this is inspiring many to enlist in the armed forces as well. Career Counselor, Staff Sergeant Moyer (one of the Marines who has spent time recruiting in our school), describes this as the impetus behind him joining. “I first realized that I wanted to be a in the military when I was in 9th Grade. I was in social studies class when they came over the loudspeaker and announced that the Twin Towers were hit,” He told. “I knew then that I wanted to serve my country.”
As compelling as a future in the U.S. Army, Seals, or Marines may be, it is not one for the weak of heart. Sergeant Moyer explained, “The biggest challenge that I’ve faced in the Marines so far was learning how to be humble and take orders when I initially joined. I was always a stubborn, hard headed person and learning how to take a step back, put my ego aside, and get the job done was certainly difficult. However, once I started earning rank, responsibility and the respect of my peers, it all made sense.” This is of much stronger gravity than butting heads with any teacher, parent, or coach back in high school. The armed forces of the United States of America are, for lack of a better term, the big leagues. It is being a part of something that, as the Sergeant described, is bigger than oneself. It is the defense of the United States, and the beautiful people who make her what she is today; but it is more than putting your life on the line. “Whether you never thought about being the military before, or you grew up wearing a camouflage onesie to bed,” explains Sergeant Moyer, “The Marines truly has something for everyone, in every career path… There are a lot of misconceptions out there!”