Just like most events during this pandemic, the Texas Army National Guard’s recruitment fair is going virtual. Visit our virtual career fair on Thursday, July 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central). With a click from your device you will have the opportunity to speak with recruiters, watch videos, and participate in group chats. Don’t wait! Reserve your spot now!
NEW IBERIA, Louisiana – Army National Guard Specialist (SPC) Connor McGuffee dove headfirst into his military career by completing both the U.S. Army’s Airborne and Ranger schools right after basic training, a feat that took him 13 months to accomplish.
SPC McGuffee, 21, joined the Louisiana Army National Guard so he could earn a degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette before entering the workforce as a full-time Soldier. The Guard offers education benefits to help pay for your tuition and expenses, and, because service is part-time, you can complete your education while you serve.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the Army, but I want to get my degree before I go active,” says SPC McGuffee, 2nd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. “The National Guard just looked like a good option since I could go to a physical school full-time and have my tuition covered while still starting my military career.”
He says he was particularly excited at the chance to attend an elite military training course right out of the gate.
“I jumped at the chance to go to Ranger school when it was offered to me,” says SPC McGuffee. “My dad was a Ranger, and I grew up hearing stories from him about his time in the military.”
During basic training, SPC McGuffee and other top-performing Soldiers were offered the chance to attend the course on the condition they maintain the high standards they exhibited.
“My dad was shocked when I wrote home to tell him I was going to Ranger school,” says SPC McGuffee. “I feel really lucky that I was in the right place at the right time to get that opportunity.”
McGuffee says the course was as tough as one would expect, if not harder for somebody who was still new to the military.
“I had just learned the basic concepts the instructors were trying to teach, so being so new was definitely a challenge,” he says. “The hardest part, though, was just constantly failing at what seemed like everything.”
The new Ranger explains that the course is designed that way. Every situation is set up as nearly impossible to complete without error, and one person can fail because of a shortcoming exhibited by another team member. This builds stress, and eventually, Ranger candidates develop excellent critical thinking and communication skills in situations of high stress and fatigue.
“I got recycled once because I let one of my team members fall asleep,” says SPC McGuffee. “But that taught me one of the best lessons I took away from the course; teamwork and discipline are necessary to succeed, and I think that applies in military and civilian life.”
As far as preparing for Ranger school, SPC McGuffee has some straightforward advice for would-be candidates: Go in with a mantra of knowing you will earn the tab and never give up. He says that although the course was not as physically challenging as he thought it would be, it was extremely difficult, even though he was in peak condition from his high school football career and constant workouts leading up to Ranger school.
“During basic, pretty much all of my downtime was committed to extra exercise to prepare. I was working out twice a day running, lifting weights, and doing bodyweight exercises between basic and Ranger school,” says SPC McGuffee. “It’s a hard course that you definitely need to be mentally and physically ready for before you get there.”
Now that he is home, SPC McGuffee enjoys his free time spending time with his family playing Dungeons and Dragons or MechWarrior.
“Basic training and Ranger school were really challenging, but I loved every moment I was there,” says SPC McGuffee. “Those were some of the best times I’ve had in my life, and I can’t see myself wanting to work outside of the military now.”
With positions in more than 130 career fields ranging from Ground Forces, to Technology and Networking, to Intelligence, and Aviation, you can find your perfect fit with the Army National Guard. Check out the job board for more information on available careers, and contact a local recruiter to learn more.
From an original article by Staff Sgt. Garrett Dipuma, Louisiana National Guard, which appeared in the news section of NationalGuard.mil in February 2020.
ATHENS, Ohio – Army National Guard Second Lieutenant (2LT) Devin King puts on his uniform when on duty with the Ohio Army National Guard’s Battery C, 1st Battalion, 134th Field Artillery Regiment. He wears a different uniform on weekends during college football season, as the long snapper on Ohio University’s team.
2LT King, like many other Ohio National Guard Soldiers, is also a college student.
He enlisted in May 2014 while still a senior at Sheridan High School in Thornville, Ohio, because he planned to go to Ohio University in Athens to wrestle. Without a scholarship, King needed a way to pay the tuition. Enlisting enabled him to do so.
Citizen-Soldiers earn benefits to help pay for education and expenses while serving their country and their community.
“My father recommended looking into the Guard to help pay for school, and I took that opportunity,” says 2LT King. “I also viewed it as a great way to serve my community and country.”
Once at Ohio, he joined the university’s Army ROTC program and was recently commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.
In early 2018, his roommate talked him into trying out for the football team — not much of a stretch since 2LT King played football in high school. His skills impressed the coaches, and he made the team as a walk-on. When an injury sidelined the starting long snapper during the first game of the season, he stepped into the position.
This year, he has the starting job and a full scholarship.
“I remember the week before the first game (last season) thinking, ‘Wow, I’m really playing (NCAA) Division I football,’” he says. “Stepping into that starting role full-time really meant a lot to me. I put in a lot of practice time during the summer, and it really paid off.”
2LT King graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health service administration in December 2018, and he’s on target to earn his master’s in coaching education. Next on his list of goals is to attend the Field Artillery Basic Officer Leader Course and play in the NFL.
Meanwhile, 2LT King continues to balance life as a Soldier and student-athlete, to be the best warrior-athlete he can be for both of his teams.
“I think there are a lot of great lessons and values the military can give you to help prepare you to be a student-athlete,” he says. “Working together as a cohesive team in the military to accomplish a task or mission can be directly carried over to sports, to help lead and bring teammates together to work toward the common goal we have of being conference champions and successful on the national scale.”
2LT King also credits his military experience for giving him the tools to handle time management and prioritize tasks.
His experience may have influenced his younger brother, Chance, who also enlisted. His brother, a Private First Class, earned recognition as a distinguished honor grad after completing basic training. He’s now at Advanced Individual Training to learn skills for his job as a 14G Air Defense Battle Management System Operator.
“Chance thinks very highly of me, as I do of him, and he has the same drive to go above and beyond expectations that are set for him,” says 2LT King. “I couldn’t be more proud of him and the success he has had early in his career.”
2LT King has set an example for his brother as he finds success on the football field, in the classroom, and in the Ohio Army National Guard.
The Army National Guard gives you the opportunity to pursue an education or civilian career while serving part-time in your home State. With positions in more than 130 career fields, ranging from Intelligence to Police and Protection to Munitions, you can find your perfect fit. Check out the job board for more information on available careers, and contact a local recruiter to learn more. From an original article by Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard, which appeared in the news section of NationalGuard.mil on Jan. 1, 2020.