The countdown is on for the seniors at Osage High School.
With fewer than 30 days remaining, one full month left and a few weeks to go, seniors are anxiously waiting for the last day of school to arrive. Most plan to go to college while many choose to go straight into the workforce.
Senior Wesley Smith falls into the category of the select few deciding to go into the military.
“I chose the military because the benefits were exactly what I wanted and the skills I’ll gain will be great,” Smith said. He enlisted in the National Guard on March 11. Smith said he is excited for the opportunities the National Guard provides.
Recruiters from all different branches come visit the high school often.
Smith heard about the benefits and was curious to find out more details about the National Guard. The first step Smith took to join the Guard was meeting with the National Guard recruiter Luke Scheer to collect his information. Smith said the benefits of the National Guard almost sound too good to be true, but that is what caught his interest.
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The National Guard provides free college tuition and with the job Smith is pursuing, he receives a $20,000 signing bonus. He will receive an extra $350 on top of the GI bill for a kick starter.
Smith plans to specialize in infantry for the National Guard. He will be on the ground forces. Smith’s specific job title is a javelin gunner, so he will specialize in shooting anti-tank missiles.
Like any military branch, there are certain requirements recruits have to meet in order to join National Guard, including specific physical requirements. The physical requirements are push-ups, sit ups and run the mile in a certain amount of time.
Smith will be on duty for six years and off duty for two years. He will ship to basic on August 19.
Smith recommends the National Guard to any high school student who wants to get a head start in college and life. “It gives you a head start to your life and eliminates a lot of stresses along the way,” Smith said.