Entering the military, a growing post-high school option

Hope Haukom, Social Media Reporter

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After high school a lot of kids go on to either college or a job. A few brave ones, join the military. Enlisting in the military is more than just serving for the country, it will provide those who serve with memories, knowledge, and cultural experiences that will last a lifetime.

Once enlisted, most students go onto basic training or programs to start out. The branches in the military include the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Army, any of which would be a good option for a newbie. The military accepts 17 year olds with parental consent, but one would also have to have graduated. Once enlisted, the next step is basic training which focuses on preparing the service member physically, mentally and emotionally for what could happen during the duration of their tour.

There’s not one sole reason on why I enlisted. I mean the benefits of joining are endless such as free health care, college, discounts on practically everything, and a free fire science degree and so much more money benefits.”

— Bryce Tanski

Students often join the military for various reasons. One that is mainly recognized by many, is the money benefits often granted. A soldier and their family are entitled to free healthcare as long as they are enlisted and just by signing up, you get an enlistment bonus. A lot of people turn down the thought of joining because they do not want to leave their family and friends. As a military member, you are given 30 days of paid vacation per year. Not only are you given money benefits, but education as well. People often are able to get tuition assistance or even education on duty. The benefits are endless and rewarding.

Stillwater Alumni Bryce Tanski is the sixth generation of his family to join the Air Force.

“There’s not one sole reason on why I enlisted. I mean the benefits of joining are endless such as free health care, college, discounts on practically everything, and a free fire science degree and so much more money benefits,” Tanksi said.

Enlisting is not a half foot in type of thing, the National Guard is a great program if someone is not fully committed into over an eight hour day job in the military and being away from home. The Guard is where one can be actively living their civilian life at home, but can be called into a full time military duty. Another option is offered at colleges called ROTC, Reserve Officer Training Corps, a training program that is an elective along with required college courses. It is a class that teaches leadership skills and tools to help you in the future once you graduate to enlist into the military.

Senior Kristin Nielsen is the daughter of a colleague who taught a Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Minnesota.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the military, but I didn’t want to just enlist I still wanted to go to college, so this was a good middle ground,” Nielsen said.

The patriotic feeling and the pride in serving the best country in the world is irreplaceable. The feeling one gets when being enlisted in the military can not be compared to any other career. A service member grows more disciplined and gains leadership skills that are priceless. Anyone and everyone is given a chance of learning cultural knowledge that can’t be obtained just by reading a textbook.

Junior Patrick Wilkie wants to make a career out of being in the Marines. Taking after his grandpa, he is going to enlist once he turns seventeen.

“A positive is you always stay a marine. When you become a Marine, you stay a Marine,” Wilkie said.

“Our job day in and day out is stressful and hard on families but has such amazing rewards. More than just money but as well as personal development,” Tanski said.