Today’s post was written by Lt. Col. Wenceslao Angulo, Communications Director, U.S. Army Soldier for Life
Army recruiters interact daily with people of all ages and backgrounds–from high school kids to graduate degree holders. Recruiters meet men and women who want to join to serve their country and become the next generation of America’s Soldiers.
Common characteristics among this diverse population: the desire to receive the intangible skills the Army teaches and the self-fulfillment of serving and giving back.
“Leadership, time management, loyalty: these are invaluable tools to have in your tool-bag that take years in the civilian workforce to gain,” said Master Sgt. Donald Gallagher, an Army recruiter stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. A 16-year-long career under his belt, Gallagher is most passionate about his current job in recruiting, “helping young men and women to set a plan and obtain their dreams.”
For Sgt. 1st Class Mark Brunette, a recruiter in Indianapolis, Indiana, his job is “educating young men and women on the variety of jobs the Army offers.” There are careers from engineering to human resources to food services. “I have the most rewarding job in the world and I am going to get paid for it for the rest of my life,” is what Brunette tells potential new recruits.
All of those intangible, invaluable skills that the Army teaches are what make a Soldier become a Soldier for Life. While military service is temporary and transition is inevitable, it instills values that position Veterans for success as contributors and leaders in their communities. “The Army really sets you up to transition beyond the military,” said Brunette. “I emphasize education—if you use tuition assistance you can get your B.A., or M.A., or even your doctorate without touching your G.I. Bill.”
Soldier for Life is a mindset. From recruitment to retirement or separation, a Soldier for Life serves strong in and out of the Army. “As Soldiers move through their military career, they are put in positions of leadership. They know how to help others reach their goals,” said Gallagher, of Soldiers’ ability to positively impact their Army and civilian communities.
Brunette gives one more piece of advice to applicants. “It’s fine if you don’t think the military is for you, but do something good in your community. Try to be a good citizen. Give back.”