GV BOCES students visited by National Guard reps and their 'up-armored' Humvee
Submitted photos and press release:
On Monday, March 8th, Staff Sgt. Haven Armstrong and Staff Sgt. Joeseph Coburn, representing the National Guard recruiting office, brought a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle -- an up-armored military Humvee -- to the Auto Body class at Genesee Valley BOCES in Batavia.
This event was intended to inform students about the different careers that the National Guard has to offer within the fields of mechanics and engineering, as well as inform them about the college benefits offered in the National Guard.
“Staff Sgt. Armstrong and I do events like these at schools throughout the GLOW region," Coburn said. "Often times we try to find high school juniors and seniors that are interested in the trades, and inform them about the benefits of being in a trade in the National Guard.
"Normally the goal is to match up people who are already heading down a career path with a military occupational specialty like we did here with Mr. (Jeff) Fronk's Auto Class and bringing one of our vehicles and myself who was a mechanic for the military.
"Many people think that everyone in the military is signing up to grab a weapon and fight on the frontlines and although sometimes that is true, that is almost more of an exception than a rule. Most of our career field’s deal with things like engineering, mechanics, logistics or medical and the National Guard offers sought after training in all of these fields.
"Personally, as a military trained mechanic, I got hired over individuals with more work experience and degrees because I had military experience on my resume. Once an employer sees that, they know the individual is going to show up ready to work hard and be a professional. This is very much the message that we try to portray to these young adults.
"A lot of people are also confused about the college benefits we have. For instance the National Guard will pay for someone to go to a state school for free and possibly even give them a housing allowance (this is how I got my bachelor's at zero cost to me). This is why it’s so crucial we talk to people at the high school age so they have all the info before making major life decisions.
"The students also really seem to respond positively when we show up with something cool like a military HMMWV. Mr. Fronk's class in particular was very excited to be able to get their hands on something most only see in movies and they had a lot of awesome questions. Over all I would say this event was a major success with almost half of the class requesting information about how they can learn more about joining the National Guard.”