Texas Army National Guard Members Speak to Law Classes

Sergeant+Gist+and+Specialist+Browning+pose+for+a+picture+after+speaking+to+the+Law+II+classes.+They+are+members+of+the+Texas+Army+National+Guard.

Paige Ridge

Sergeant Gist and Specialist Browning pose for a picture after speaking to the Law II classes. They are members of the Texas Army National Guard.

Colleen Starkey, Editor-In-Chief

Two members of the Texas Army National Guard came Tuesday to speak to the students taking Law II this year. The class is only open to juniors and seniors, and the Guardsmen discussed the benefits of entering a branch of the armed forces in hopes of recruiting students to join the military.

“I really enjoyed how [the National Guard] explained [everything],” law teacher Paige Ridge said. “I could see my kids with the lights coming on in their heads.”

The Guard only requires some basic training in the summertime and one weekend for drills each month. They also help pay for students’ educations, such as for college in order to get degrees or certifications for other careers.

“They see the military as an opportunity to get a job skill while also getting paid to be able to get their education,” Ridge said. “[I] could see [the students] actually seeing like ‘Oh, I can make money off this. I can get paid for school while I’m even in high school.’ ”

Students must be 17 years old before they commit to the National Guard. They are paid each month they are committed to it.

“[My favorite part] was all the benefits they told us about, and how they actually showed us real-life examples,” junior Jonathan Poole said. “[They showed] how a future would look and how the National Guard can help you out in certain areas. It really opens [things] up because I know if I need help I can go to the National Guard. They’ll help, and [I] can get the experience [I] need too.”

Each year, Ridge has recruiters from each military branch come speak to her classes in order for her students to have a full scope of knowledge.

“I have a lot of students that don’t exactly know what their plan is for after graduation,” Ridge said. “A lot of students want to go to school but are finally realizing how expensive it is, and not having the resources to do that, they see the military as an opportunity to get a job skill while also getting paid to be able to get their education.”

Along with the two national guard members, senior Rickie Gilley, a private, has already enrolled and completed the basic training requirements. He spoke to the classes as well.

“There’s three different levels of experiences here that shows students where they are at and where they could be in a few years if they want to make a military career of it,” Ridge said. “We will definitely have them back.”