Story by Peyton Brasfield

The United States Armed forces is one of the few places where if someone was asked “Why join the army?”, they may provide a very diverse set of answers. To most jobs, the answer would be ‘It’s a stable job’, ‘It pays well’, or ‘It’s just always what I’ve always been good at.’ However the difference in military lies with the people.

People go into the military from all different backgrounds. People choose to go into the military for all sorts of reasons, including junior Jasmine Glaze, who has big plans to join the Air Force after completion of high school. All that’s left after Glaze completes high school is a choice of either MU or the Air force Academy in Colorado.

“If I go to MU…I’m going to do boot camp the summer after senior year,” said Glaze, who also pointed out that she would likely miss her first semester of college because of boot camp. “…If I went to the Air force Academy…it’s a very long process.”

While attending the Air Force academy, Glaze would have to do five years of active duty and a couple years of reserves. The active duty would take place after Glaze graduated the Academy. Glaze has said her main goal is “communications, administration or something like that… those are the fields I’m interested in and I’d like to do something like that for the military.”

Glaze is not currently in ROTC, but plans to take it her senior year in preparation for boot camp.

In regards to the air force academy, there are also some downsides. “My parents are very nervous because it’s in Colorado and it’s a very strict regimen…you can only leave, I believe, 5-7 weeks a year,” Glaze said.

But that doesn’t crush her enthusiasm. “It’s legit…I’d really love to go there.”

But of course, the best place to find military minded students is in West’s ROTC program. There, you can find students that have already made up their minds.

“I have actually already enlisted in the army reserves,” said Junior Jordan Steeby. Steeby has always wanted to join the military and it has always been a big part of his life.

“My dad told me you can enlist with a parent’s permission…my dad was in the marines a while ago, my grandad was in the marines…he was back in Vietnam. My great grandad served in world war two but i’m not sure what branch,” Steeby said.

Militarism runs in the family, and this is the case for a lot of young men and women hoping to enlist. This includes senior Sam Hill, who decided last year that he wanted to enlist in the Marine Corps.

“[My family] has all been in navy. My cousin is in the Navy, and my grandparents met in the navy, but we’ve never had anyone in the Marine Corps yet,” said Hill.  

The appeal of the military may be an area of question for some, but these students believe they have it figured out.

“It’s honestly one of the easiest routes you can probably take…you go in for twenty years, you get retirement benefits, and while you’re in you don’t have to pay for housing, water, electricity, anything like that…and you barely have to pay for your kid’s education because they go on base,” said Hill. This doesn’t include all the benefits that come with having a military ID.

It’s clear that the military is a huge commitment, but for those willing to serve, the perks of the job seem to be beneficial according to the ROTC students.  To those who are looking for direction, the military might just be the best choice for a stable living.