Students look toward future in military


Madlynn Morris

Seniors Caleb Miller and Kyle Erickson hang out on the bus during a JROTC field trip in the fall. Miller is enlisting into the Navy and Erickson is enlisting in the Army.

Daniel Spear, Staff Writer

While JROTC’s motto is to “develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community,” very few of the students actually join the military after high school.

“So it may be surprising to most that the people in ROTC aren’t necessarily here with a purpose to join the military,” LtCol T. Donovan Kanak said. “And in fact, nationwide, only about 2% of those that are in Junior ROTC ever actually join the military. So it’s not that many.”

This year’s group of seniors does have a few students going straight into the military including Kyle Erickson, Caleb Miller and Mia Pruneda.

“I chose to enlist in the Army because I hope to be able to become a Green Beret,” Erickson said.

Every year across the country, students enlist in the military for many reasons whether it’s because of a sense of patriotism or to help pay for college or because of family. According to the U.S. Army, 79 percent of recruits have relatives who have served. 

The process can start when a teen turns 18 and visits a recruiting center. 

After finding out if they qualify for the Army, recruits take the ASVAB, a standardized test designed to reveal strengths in science, math and language. Senior Ashleigh Wilson did research and went through the process of joining the military before finding out she did not qualify.

“I went to the recruiting station a lot and prepared mostly mentally, because there’s a test you have to take called the ASVAB, and you have to score really high on that to get a good job,” Wilson said. “But physically-wise, after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the recruiting station, you go for PT – which is physical training for about two hours.”

Military contracts typically last for four years but can be extended.

“It will pay for my college online, alongside the benefits,” said Pruneda, who has enlisted in the Army. “I will get health care, dental care. I will also get training in a field that I want to work in.”