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



Alex George Needs A Good Lawyer

Education Report Card Makes Very Little Sense

Roy Exum: The Greatest 4 Minutes


So “NewslessChannel9” fired Alex George for having cancer? She needs a good lawyer to insure she owns Sinclair Broadcasting soon. Paul Burch (click for more)

With each revision of the report card put out by the Tennessee Department of Education, the public receives less and less information relating to the performance of the system. We no longer get ... (click for more)

I would venture to say I know more sports trivia than the next guy. I’ve spent a fun lifetime watching and listening and learning so why is it, on the early eve of my three-score-and-ten, I never ... (click for more)


Opinion

Alex George Needs A Good Lawyer

So “NewslessChannel9” fired Alex George for having cancer? She needs a good lawyer to insure she owns Sinclair Broadcasting soon. Paul Burch (click for more)

Education Report Card Makes Very Little Sense

With each revision of the report card put out by the Tennessee Department of Education, the public receives less and less information relating to the performance of the system. We no longer get results from national achievement tests, or the percentage of teacher absents per school. What we are getting now is a grade of 0-4 on various measuring sticks of school performance. But ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Detective Says He Was Bit, Kicked, Spit On By Rapper During Controversial Arrest; Federal Authorities To Investigate

A county detective said he was bit, kicked and spit on during a controversial arrest of an aspiring rapper on Dec. 3. District Attorney Neal Pinkston, after reviewing video taken by a neighbor on Donaldson Road of the Dec. 3 incident, has referred the investigation to the U.S. Justice Department. Detective Blake Kilpatrick, who has since been placed on desk duty, said he and ... (click for more)

Popular Young Reporter For NewsChannel 9 Terminated By Sinclair As She Battles Cancer

A popular young reporter for NewsChannel 9 has been terminated by Sinclair Broadcasting as she battles cancer. Alex George wrote on her Twitter account on Friday, " Hi all, I want to clarify for those who asked. I want to assure you that treatment is going incredibly well. The decision was not made by me it was @WeAreSinclair . They terminated my contract." The 22-year-old ... (click for more)

Sports

Admiral Schofield Leads Tennessee To 76-73 Upset Of #1 Gonzaga

Admiral Schofield led the once-beaten Tennessee Vols to an upset of top-ranked Gonzaga, 76-73, on Sunday afternoon. In a game played in Phoenix, the Vols led by as many as 9 early, then were in the lead at halftime 34-33. The previously-undefeated Zags built their own lead on the shooting of Zach Norvell Jr., then seemed to have the advantage when Vol star Grant Williams went ... (click for more)

Meme Jackson Has Career Day To Lead #9 Lady Vols Over #12 Texas In Austin

Senior Meme Jackson logged a career-high 33 points to lift the No. 9/9 Lady Vols to an 88-82 victory over No. 12/12 Texas in the Frank Erwin Center on Sunday. Sophomore Evina Westbrook posted 23 points for her third straight 20+ point performance. Cheridene Green was also in double figures for Tennessee (8-0), adding 10 points and six rebounds. Texas (7-2) was led in ... (click for more)