Army’s 243rd Birthday Serves As Reminder To Encourage Youth To Consider Service

Friday, June 8, 2018

On this very day 243 years ago, the United States Army was born. Our nation was built on the backs of soldiers who fought for freedom, and for centuries, soldiers have continued to defend those freedoms.

For the last four decades, the soldiers raising their right hands for the American way of life have volunteered to do so. The all-volunteer force has transformed the way we work toward peace and stability as a nation. It has also overhauled the level of quality we require.

There is a reason the U.S. Army is one of the most respected organizations in the world – its people. Our U.S. Army is filled with fully qualified, trained and educated individuals who have a desire to serve.  

Unfortunately, we are challenged with finding enough young Americans who meet our cognitive, physical and moral requirements and also want to serve. 

As the commander of the US Army Recruiting Company in Chattanooga, I see amazing young people in our region of southeastern Tennessee and northwest Georgia wanting to dedicate time in service to our nation. Sadly, I also see how societal issues impact the ability of so many to even meet the qualifications to serve. 

More than 70 percent of young people do not meet the requirements because of obesity, mental and physical health problems, drugs, law violations and aptitude. 

I also see a major problem with public perception, and it will impact the future of our nation’s Army if we don’t work together as a community to fix it. 

About 50 percent of today’s youth admit they know little to nothing about the U.S. military. Many can’t even name all the services. If they don’t understand the caliber of our soldiers or the educational and career opportunities available to them, they will never consider service as an option. We are depriving young Americans of an opportunity to mature, develop strong decision-making abilities, and gain skills that will help them throughout their lives.  

They don’t know their Army will pay for their education and offers housing allowances, health care, retirement, family support and many other benefits well beyond what normally is found in the private sector.

They don’t know nearly every career available in the private sector is also available in the U.S. Army. 

Not everyone can or should choose the Army as a career path; however, young people deserve a chance to make an informed decision about their future. They deserve to understand every path – work, technical education, community colleges, universities, and yes, the military, too – so they can find the one that best suits their future goals.

It is a fact that veterans are more likely to vote, volunteer and be involved in their communities. Student veterans are more likely to graduate, earn higher GPAs, and select more academically rigorous degrees. Veterans also make more money than their non-veteran counterparts at the same educational level. Why wouldn’t we want to encourage youth to grow through service and become the leaders our nation needs?

I challenge community leaders, educators and parents throughout the Chattanooga region to learn more about your Army. Don’t make assumptions or allow misconceptions about service or the quality of our soldiers to spread. Take the time to get to know the soldiers and veterans in your community -- learn about what they do and how their service has impacted their lives. I think you will be very surprised with what you find.  

To have the best soldiers serving our nation as engineers, logisticians, nurses, human resources specialists and so much more, our Army needs your support to educate and encourage youth to learn about military service and consider it as a career option.  

We need you to be ambassadors of the all-volunteer force to help continue the legacy of the soldiers who have fought for our way of life for the last 243 years. Help celebrate this year’s Army birthday by connecting with local soldiers and veterans to learn more about what he Army has to offer youth in our community.

Capt. David B. Closen Jr. 
Commander, US Army Recruiting Company, Chattanooga




You Reap What You Sow

“Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” - Donald J. Trump (March 2, 2018) The United States has imposed tariffs on its economic allies. Canada, Mexico, and the European Union all became subject to trade penalties of 25 percent on steel, and 10 percent on aluminum starting June 1. This was done at the behest of President Trump. Our allies have retaliated. The EU has begun ... (click for more)

Will God Still Bless America?

Our homeland is in peril Dire straits no doubt Contempt for each other Voiced in scornful shout  We must desire to reconcile Our differences posthaste Beg the Lord for one last chance To earn his saving grace  We need to bind our wounds and heal Before the end is neigh How many tears must we spill Before our soul runs dry?  Heavenly Father, ... (click for more)

Funeral Service For John P. Franklin Will Be Friday; Public Memorial Service Is Thursday Night

Funeral services will be Friday for John P. Franklin, Chattanooga's first elected black official in the post Jim Crow era. Mr. Franklin died Thursday at the age of 96. He will lie in state in the chapel of John P. Franklin Funeral Home from noon until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday,. Public viewing will resume at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Olivet Baptist Church, and a ... (click for more)

Woman, 20, Killed While Trying To Cross Highway 153 Early Sunday Morning

A woman, 20, was killed early Sunday morning while trying to cross Highway 153. The victim was identified as Ansleigh Kaylyn Harrison. At approximately 1:28 a.m. , Chattanooga Police officers responded to a pedestrian struck at 5256 Highway 153. A Toyota Sequoia driven by 31-year-old Asher Powers was traveling north on Highway 153 in the inside lane. The pedestrian ... (click for more)

Chris Douglas Wins Waterfront Triathlon Sunday

More than a thousand trim and fit men and women gathered at Ross’s Landing Sunday morning for the annual Waterfront Triathlon with McKenzie’s Kirsten Sass the only one of four defending champs to successfully defend her title. There were two races held on Sunday, including a sprint event that included a 400-meter swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 5K run.   The longer intermediate ... (click for more)

UT Athletics Department To Host Tribute To John Ward On Wednesday

  The University of Tennessee Athletics Department and The Vol Network are hosting a Tribute to "The Voice" event honoring John Ward on Wednesday, June 27, starting at 6 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena. The legendary broadcasting and marketing icon passed away this week following a lengthy illness. He was 88. Wednesday's event will take on a celebratory ... (click for more)