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Being a United States Army National Guard soldier means living by the army values that were instilled in you at basic training while maintaining a life as a normal citizen in society. As a soldier myself, I have been exposed to many things during my short tenure in the army. When I first joined the army National Guard, I only joined for the educational benefits that was offered. However, since my completion of initial entry training, I have noticed that I am living a double life; a military life that not many can get to live and a normal civilian life. Upon completing basic and advanced training, the pressure was set early on that I must contribute to society in any positive way outside of my uniform whether it was going to college or joining the work force to bring a steady income to support my family. There must also be a few requirements that I must fulfill during my tenure in the military: attending every drill, being ready to be called upon during a crisis, and while being a beneficial leader in society. There are many other responsibilities in being a guard soldier, however those were the most important.
Throughout a typical contract that one must sign to join the guard, within that contract it is specified in bold print that the individual will agree to attend a monthly drill consisting of two or three days during the first weekend of the month, and 2 weeks in the summer to ensure that the soldier adequately trained. Regardless of what situation, the individual must attend the scheduled drill dates with the unit that the soldier is sent to.
In case that there is an emergency, if the state needs a particular unit to complete its set agenda, the unit will call each individual soldier and inform them for a potential activation/deployment to an area of crisis within the state and abroad. During the events of the St. Louis protest in September of 2017, I can recall my unit in Kansas City being activated twice to help out the local police department in containing and redirecting a crowd of angry citizens to prevent the destruction of state and federal buildings. It was extremely nerve racking due to the fact that I had just arrived at the unit in august fresh out of basic and advanced training.
With being ready to be called upon at any moment in the guard, it is important that the soldier must also make a beneficial citizen in society. Thanks to the National Guard, this proud organization has offered me many benefits that have greatly affected my life. The Guard is currently paying for my schooling and is also offering me a chance to get a job by way of recruitment upon receiving my bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Misssouri. The only thing the guard is asking from me is to remain in good standing with The Guard and my school.
The National Guard is an ideal place for someone who would like to get a good step on life. Without the guard and the experiences that I have gained, I would not be an ideal person that I am today. The army values: loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honesty, Integrity, and personal courage apply to my life greatly. My life in its entirety is based off of those seven principles and I now know my identity in society.
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