From Student to Soldier

As Steven Field sat in his senior English class watching a video about soldiers heading out from the Bangor airport to war, his own journey in just eight months was on his mind. He tears up thinking about it, but tries to focus on class. In the end his emotions win. He is scared that one day that could be him. Scared that maybe one day he won’t come back.

“It inspired me to wanna be that kind of person who even though my life may not be perfect,  still takes time out of my day to make other peoples lives better. I want to be remembered for the good that I was instead of being remembered by the good person I was not,” said Field.

Everyone has a dream. Whether they follow it or not depends on whether they have the courage to take that first step. Some dreams are more extreme than others.  Every year, there are a handful of seniors who have always dreamed of joining the military. And that path to making that dream come true means taking a number of steps in their final year in high school or even their junior year.

The first step everyone has to take is to make sure that they meet the height and weight standards. Once they make sure that is all set the recruiter will set up  a date for you to go and take your ASVAB. Your ASVAB score determines what jobs you are qualified for.

After you take your ASVAB you will also get physically tested to make sure you are in shape for the job and can pass the standards. The standards for the army are different depending on your age and gender. Men have to be able to do 13 push ups, 17 sit ups and run their mile in 8:30. Females have to do 3 push ups, 17 sit ups and run their mile in 10:30. This is just in order to go to basic training. To graduate basic the standards end up changing from one minute to two minutes and from one mile to two miles.

Most people you will talk to say their main reason for enlisting is because they had family members before them in the military.

“What makes me want to join is the fact that my father and my uncle were both in the military. My dad was in the Army for 14 years and a my uncle was in the Marines,”

 states  senior  Greg Prokey.

According to the United States Department of labor, the U.S Army has the most total number of enlisted Personnel than any other military branch.

Saco Recruiter Sergeant Barclay has been in the army for 10 years and has been recruiting for two years.

He said, “I can tell that the standards of enlistment have gotten more strict.  The army addresses every medical condition and law violation that an applicant may have.”

One of the most recent changes for the army is the tattoo policy. If you have tattoos below your elbows and knees you have to be able to cover them with a 5 inch diameter circle.  And you cannot have more than four.

Also according to Sergeant Barclay people can not enlist if they are on ADD or ADHD medication.

“It’s ok if you have taken them, but you have to be off of the medications for one year and have to be able to demonstrate passing academic performance in High school,  college, tech school,” he states.

The reason for this is because you will not be able to take those medications in the middle of combat zones, so if you can not operate without them, then you may not enlist.

The biggest obstacle for those who want to enlist is a police record. The biggest disqualifying offense is possession of illegal drugs. Also if you do not graduate from high school and you get your GED you cannot enlist into active duty army, but only the army reserves.

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