Called to serve

A military is authorized by a greater power to use force with weapons to defend its country by destroying threats. Every year, recruiters come to the Owatonna High School to encourage students to join the Military.

Rainer Rodenkirchen is a senior who was recruited to the Marines. When asked why he decided to join, he said, “My parents were both in the Marine Corps, so I’ve known ever since I was a youngin’ that I wanted to join.” The recruiting process is something to remember. To start off this adventure, one must first speak to a recruiter. The individual will then be given the recruiter’s number. When the student calls the recruiter, they will set up a meeting. Every person that decides to join the Military gets sent to go through a series of tests and paperwork that they must do before they can advance on. The tests that the recruits must go through are called MEPS, which stands for Medical Examination Processing. MEPS is a series of tests that test physical ability. Some of these tests include drawing blood, testing vision and testing hearing. After the medical examinations, the recruits must also take a military placement test. After the placement test, the recruits will do a series of movement tests to test how well the individual’s body and joints move. Once those tests are done, the recruits will receive a physical. After all of the medical tests, the adventure continues. The recruits get all dressed up and then the recruiters will take a photo of each recruit, as well as take their finger prints. The recruits will then have more papers to sign and have another interview with a recruiter, talking about their parents and drug usage. After all of that, the adventure finally comes to an end and the recruits get sworn in. This happens in a room with the flags from every Military branch. At the head of the room stands a podium and a recruiter. The recruiter will explain what the recruits must repeat and then it is official. The recruits are sworn into their branches.

The branches of the military had a fantastic recruitment process for 2013. According to the United States Department of Defense, the Army had a total of 11,685 recruits with a goal of 11,550. The Marines had a total of 4,293 recruits with a goal of 4,307. The Navy had a total of 5,299 recruits with a goal of 5,299. The Air Force had a total of 4,452 with a goal of 4,452. Senior Shadie Brooks joined the Navy this year. When asked why she decided to join, she said, “My future’s coming up. I’m going to graduate this spring, and I had absolutely no idea what to do with my life. I knew if I went to college, I would be in debt for the rest of my life. I was kind of stressing out about it. Then, the recruiter, here in town, called me and told me about it. I was like you know what, it’s a sign, I’m going to join the Navy.” If interested in joining the military, stop down by the Career Center and ask about when the recruiters will be at the Owatonna High School.