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Herkimer BOCES students hear about military options
Dec. 4, 2014

U.S. Marines recruiters talk to Herkimer BOCES students
U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Colin Gordon (left) and U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Randall Smith (right) talk to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES students about their military opportunities.


HERKIMER – Students in career and technical education programs at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES recently had the opportunity to hear first-hand about another potential career option: going into the military.

Representatives from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy spoke to both juniors and seniors.

“It’s important for students to be aware of the opportunities available through the military services”, Herkimer BOCES guidance counselor Sally McCann-Kramas said. “Though the ultimate commitment is for the defense of our great country, the services provide a host of opportunities that can enhance the lives of our youth. They are exposed to a broader section of society which helps them take on a more global understanding of our world. They have the opportunity to learn on-the-job training in a variety of career fields. They can pursue higher education from the Post 9-11 G.I. Bill benefit package. It’s a character-building experience to take on a servant’s heart and serve in our military. It helps young people embrace the concept of doing something for the good of the order.”

Recruiters from each of the military branches explained to students the process of enlisting in the military, the various types of jobs available and the benefits of the Post 9/11 G.I.  Education Bill. They also provided insight about some of the difficult challenges of the military way of life such as family separations and long deployments.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Nelson shared with students that he first started college to be a history teacher, then became a Zamboni driver, almost joined the Marine Corps, worked in a grocery store his father opened, became a waiter, worked at Arby’s, almost joined the Marines again and then decided on the Navy, where he is an operations specialist.

It all comes down to one question, he said: “Where do you fit in?”

During recruiting for the Marines, recruiters want to find out your long-term goal and then show you step-by-step how to achieve it, U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Colin Gordon said.

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Randall Smith, stressed that infantry is voluntary only in the Marines. For example, he works in heavy equipment machinery, so wherever he is assigned, he is building things. He reported that he was in charge of his first construction project two years out of high school.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kody Ryan explained in detail all the benefits of joining the Air Force – such as the pay, days off, travel, food and getting your education paid for.

In addition to the Air Force covering the cost of him getting his associate’s degree and now nearly completing his bachelor’s degree, there was another major reason Ryan joined.

“I wanted to serve my country,” he said.

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Trevor Hutchinson told students that for the Army, one can go to a recruiting station, take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test and establish one’s eligibility to enlist, based on the score earned. The candidate can then discuss interests and abilities, select a job and sign a contract to that job.

“We are so big that you have that option,” he said.

Hutchinson was $22,000 in debt from college when he joined the Army, and the Army paid off his college costs. He now has a Business Management degree and is set up to own and operate a business.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Letellier talked about working full-time in a factory and going to college part-time after high school. His dream is to become a Boston police officer, but he couldn’t get the job despite high test scores because veterans were selected first.

That led to him joining the Army, where one can get specialized training in a variety of career fields that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to get elsewhere, he said.

“The Army was a great experience for me,” he said. “It changed my whole life.”


A U.S. Navy recruiter talks to Herkimer BOCES students
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Nelson talks to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES students about their military opportunities.


A U.S. Army recruiter talks to Herkimer BOCES students
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Letellier talks to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES students about their military opportunities.


U.S. Army recruiters talk to Herkimer BOCES students
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Trevor Hutchinson (left) and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Letellier (right) talk to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES students about their military opportunities.


A U.S. Air Force recruiter talks to Herkimer BOCES students
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kody Ryan talks to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES students about their military opportunities.







 
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