My Experience In The Army

Growing up in a small town in north Louisiana, I would have never thought about joining the Army. I was never an ROTC in school, but I did love sports. While attending Jr. High school and high school I played basketball and softball, so I was very athletic. However, when I learned of my mother being a hard-core Marine soldier in her younger days, I was very proud but still did not fathom the idea of me joining any military. I was always in school it seemed year-round to me because my parents always stressed the importance of getting an education. During my high school years, I also would attend classes on the weekend at a local college in my hometown and lived on campus taking the college courses during the summer as well.

Once I graduated from high school, I was entering college as a sophomore instead of a freshman, but I was so burnt out from going to school so much that I ended up dropping out. Well needless to say my parents were upset with me, so I ended up moving to Houston, Texas to live with my older sister and I attended a school for Business Administration that was a one-year course. Graduated from that and was able to come back home with my parents but I knew something was missing, my mother never forced me or my siblings to join the military, but she always would say that it would be a great experience if we did decide to join. After thinking hard about my future, I decided to join the Army and my mother was correct, I had a great experience, met ne brothers and sisters in arms along the way.

I entered the Army with so many mixed emotions asking myself are you sure you really want to do this? What if you can’t pass the test? Will anybody like you, it was just so many thoughts swimming around in my head. Once my Mom dropped me off at the MEPS Station to head out for Basic Training, I knew this was about to become a reality for me, no more calling on my parents for help and that I was literally about to be out of the state away from family for the 1st time in my life. Upon arriving to Fort Jackson, South Carolina to begin my basic training those Drill Sergeants went on us before we could get off the bus. We were told to do 10 push-ups as soon as we got off the bus and then taking to a bay to unload our luggage. They were looking to see what type of running shoe we all had to basically tell us they were no good and we would be issued running shoes so that everyone was uniformity. Six weeks of training which consisted of running, push-ups, sit-ups, gun-ranges, a lot of different field drills etc.

When I took my first Physical Training Test, I thought I was about to die, all those years in PT at school to find out that I have been doing push-ups and sit-ups wrong the whole time. I was so perturbed my first 3 weeks there, I just wanted to cry and go home, I felt that I was not going to make through basic training and be kicked out or not graduate and must repeat the training. The preliminary shock of being alone made me sad, but once we were able to call a loved one, the first person I called was my mom. So, I am on the phone pouring out my heart letting her know this is not for me and she had no sympathy, so told me I better suck it up and get out there and give 110% on every thing we had to learn and she didn’t want to here me sounding like that again and how strong of a person I am. Well needless to say after that heartbreaking phone call I got my act together and it was on from that point with no option to fail. And I graduated from Basic Training.

Next, it was on to Advanced Individual Training (AIT) which ranges from 4 to 52 weeks depending on a soldiers Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). During this school training we learned the skills to perform for our army career field that we had been assigned, we received hands on training and field instructions to make us an expert in our career field. I must tell you this was nothing like being in Basic Training, we still did our morning PT but because this was more of a school setting it was not as stressful and strenuous to complete the task giving. My MOS was a 92A (Automated Logistical Specialist) which in the real world is called Logistics and I have to say I really like the career path that was chosen for me for the Army. I had no problems passing my courses and the field test and I was enjoying myself while learning. Again, I was able to meet new brothers and sisters in arms, the only thing I regret was not able to stay in touch them, because once we graduated, we all went to different duty stations and I was never able to locate any of the friends I had made.

Then, I made it to my duty station in Fort Hood, Texas where I was assigned to 2/227 Aviation Unit and spent the rest of my time there accept for the 6 months I was deployed to Bosnia. The brothers and sisters in arms that I have met here I do still stay in touch with, we have become family and our biggest encouragers for one another. While stationed here I was able to order parts for the UH-60 helicopters and even went on test rides in them, I learned to drive the HUMV and an LMTV and when I would get behind the wheel of either one of those vehicles, I would always get an instant rush. Your duty station is almost like living in the civilian world, you are able to work a 9-5 job and once finished you can go home or to the barracks and relax for the rest of the day doing whatever you wanted to, the difference is we got up every morning doing PT to stay fit and if you were assigned to pull duty then that was your weekend job. Oh, and let me not forget that you still go to the gun-ranges and do field training as well, but it was still a normal life.

What I took from this experience serving in the Army was that my Mom was correct about this being a great experience to have. I learned unification and determination of a solidified unit and the sense of calm that comes with deciding that you will give everything you have and accept whatever comes of it. Being in the Army taught me how to act decisively even with limited information, stay calm under pressure and to invest in relationships for the long term, which is something that I also apply in my everyday life when situations arouse. Enlisting in the United States Army changed my life and gave me the opportunity to change other people’s lives as now I am currently working at the VA Hospital in Houston, Texas helping to serve my fellow brothers and sisters in arms. Serving in the military was not only a great experience but it provided me with enormous benefits, which have impacted my entire life. I am certain had I pursued my college dreams as originally planned my life would be completely different, after all I was able to meet my husband of 18 years in the military and we have produced one handsome son from this beautiful union.

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My Experience In The Army. (2023, Jan 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/my-experience-in-the-army/