To my family members, fellow comrades, and complete strangers…
I officially swore in to the Minnesota National Guard on May 25, 2017–a date one (of my many) recruiters said I will never forget.
My intent is to use this site as a way to relay my thoughts, experiences, and journey to, frankly, anyone who would like to read. When I decided I wanted to enlist in the military about 6-8 months ago, I began hardcore researching in an attempt to calm my fears and anxieties with regard to what the process would entail. Thoroughly reading (often multiple times) blogs like Aim High Erin and Aunie Sauce provided me with unique perspectives and a good base as to what I was getting myself into. So, in turn, I’m hoping I can offer up an updated version tailored to the National Guard so others thinking about enlisting in the future can use my posts in the same way.
I waited until I had officially sworn in to announce my enlistment to most of my family members and friends. Reading horror stories about MEPS and waivers on the world wide web made me very hesitant to tell everyone immediately, lest I get DQ’ed for having wobbly knees or skinny arms. The last thing I wanted to happen was to announce my intentions before plans being 100% in place and then having to tell people my enlistment was no longer happening. BUT, I made it through paperwork, the ASVAB, MEPS, and am set to leave for basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO on August 7, 2017 followed immediately by Federal OCS at Fort Benning, GA. Providing everything goes as planned, I will be commissioning as a 2LT on January 31, 2018…and I CAN’T WAIT!
As a brief background for those that don’t know me–I am a 25 year old University of Minnesota graduate with a B.S. in Microbiology and Genetics, Cell Biology and Development. I graduated in 2013 and have worked full-time in research at the U of M for the past four years. Over the past year or so, I put together graduate school applications for a very competitive grad program, had a few interviews but was not selected to join their classes. Over those months when I realized grad school may not immediately pan out, I started thinking of other options that I could do with my life in the meantime, and the military has always been a pipe dream of mine–something I wished I could have done but thought it was out of my reach, I was too old, basically any excuse in the book as to why I wanted to do it but why I couldn’t. So here I am now saying…why not now? If I don’t do it now, I won’t ever do it, and it would be one of the few legitimate regrets I know I will have the rest of my life.
Starting now, I will be updating and hoping to recount my journey step by step (from my first phone call with my recruiter to BCT to OCS and later). I’m so excited to share my experiences and hope others enjoy the ride along with me! And someone–ANYONE–when I’m whining about how hard life is six months from now and asking myself why I signed up for this…point me to this post!