Wednesday, 01 July 2020 12:31

OP-ED: Richmond graduates part of Summer Surge of military recruits

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Eight recent graduates are part of the Summer Surge of military recruits. Top: Christian Barrett, Jordan Ballow, Blake Cherry and Karl Dietrich. Bottom row: Huong Kim Phan, Timothy Buie, Zachariah Hamilton and Alyson Walton. Eight recent graduates are part of the Summer Surge of military recruits. Top: Christian Barrett, Jordan Ballow, Blake Cherry and Karl Dietrich. Bottom row: Huong Kim Phan, Timothy Buie, Zachariah Hamilton and Alyson Walton.

From June to September, large caravans of military recruits will migrate to their respective training centers. Even though we are in the midst of a global pandemic, the United States military must continue its mission and training.

Fort Benning, Georgia, Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, Paris Island, South Carolina, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, and Cape May, New Jersey, will be filled to capacity with highly motivated high school graduates.

All new recruits will be screened for COVID-19 and if they test negative, they will begin their transition from civilians to warriors. Their new life will consist of early mornings and late nights. For some, this will be the first time they have left their homes for an extended period of time. Their days will be filled with group classes, administrative tasks and combat training. They will learn that individual performance is important, but teamwork is the best method used to accomplish complex missions.

Everything they do right or wrong will be carefully scrutinized by the watchful eyes of drill instructors.

Drill instructors will be the central figures in their daily lives and will ensure all trainees meet the highest standards before they earn the title of soldier, sailor, Marine, airman or Coast Guardsman.

For most, basic training will last from eight to 12 weeks. For those who chose careers in Combat Arms, jobs such as Infantry, their transformation will last 22 weeks. Regardless of the length of training, it is a tremendous sacrifice for any young adult who volunteers to defend the American way of life.

I hope this article serves as a source of encouragement to those graduates who will soon take part in Summer Surge. Please join me in saluting these brave souls:

Christian A. Barrett

Branch of Service: United States Marine Corps

Career Field: Infantry

Basic Training: Paris Island, S.C.

 

Hometown: Ellerbe

Jordan R. Ballow

Branch of Service: United States Marine Corps

Career Field: Infantry

Basic Training: Paris Island, S.C.

 

Hometown: Rockingham

Timothy J. Buie

Branch of Service: United States Army

Career Field: 13J (Fire Control Specialist)

Basic Training: Fort Sill, Oklahoma

 

Hometown: Rockingham

Blake A. Cherry

Branch of Service: United States Army

Career Field: 13R (Field Artillery Firefinder Radar Operator)

Basic Training: Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri

 

Hometown: Rockingham

Karl H. Dietrich

Branch of Service: United States Army

Career Field: 25C (Radio Operator-Maintainer)

Basic Training: Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri

 

Hometown: Rockingham

Zachariah Hamilton

Branch of Service: United States Army

Career Field: 25N (Nodal Network Systems Operator)

Basic Training: Fort Jackson, S.C.

 

Hometown: Hamlet

Huong Kim Phan

Branch of Service: United States Navy

Career Field: AG (Aerographer’s Mate)

Basic Training: Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois

 

Hometown: Rockingham

Alyson J. Walton

Branch of Service: United States Army

Career Field: 25B (Information Technology Specialist)

Basic Training: Fort Jackson, S.C.

 

Hometown: Rockingham