APRIL 27, 2022 – Graduating high school is a momentous achievement culminating in years of hard work and dedication. It also presents one of the most challenging questions many people will face in their life, “What do I do now?” Many high school students struggle with what they should do next, joining the workforce or going to college. However, there is another option that can incorporate both of those choices. The Army Reserve can open several doors and provide opportunities that might not otherwise be available.
Recently, here at U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens, a local high school senior named Jordan Acquaye reached out because he was deciding what to do next with his life. He was working on a project on his chosen career path with his school. Jordan had several questions about the Army Reserve, and we were happy to bring him in and answer those questions for him. We know that many of today’s youth are unaware of what it means to serve, and we wanted to provide an inside look.
Private First Class Redell Baldwin and Master Sergeant Derick Williams, soldiers from the 804th Medical Brigade, sat down with Jordan to tell him about their personal experiences in the Army Reserve and answer his questions. Sergeant Major Rene Baliscao said he chose these two individuals because he felt it was important to provide the viewpoint of someone with several years of experience as well as someone closer in age to Jordan.
PFC Baldwin and MSG Williams sat down with Joran and shared stories about their time in the Army Reserve and why they joined in the first place. MSG Williams said it set him up for success and allowed him to gain experience in various career fields as well as giving him the opportunity to further his education. MSG Williams is currently working on his master’s degree.
PFC Baldwin agreed that the Army Reserve sets you up for success. “The Army Reserve gives you job experience you wouldn’t normally have right out of high school. The experience I gained from the Army Reserve helped me get the civilian job I have now,” said PFC Baldwin.
Jordan asked the soldiers what someone interested in joining the Army Reserve would need to succeed. “Mental fortitude, being ready for change,” said PFC Baldwin. He went on to say that if you’re willing to go through uncomfortable experiences and be willing to push yourself, then you will make it through all right.
Jordan expressed his desire to go to college and asked the soldiers from the 804th about the different education benefits once he joined the Army Reserve. “The Army pays for most colleges; there are insanely good benefits for college in the military. You can get the G.I. bill, tuition assistance, and reimbursements,” said MSG Williams.
Jordan is interested in becoming an engineer in the Army Reserve and expressed his concern about being selected for that career field. PFC Baldwin explained the different scoring sections of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. He explained that someone interested in a certain Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) could see what score they needed to qualify. They could then have this in mind as they study, increasing their chances of getting the job they want.
The Army Reserve has more than 100 different career paths, allowing recruits the opportunity to enhance their existing skills or learn something new. Talk to a recruiter today to see how the Army Reserve can shape your future.
U.S. Army Garrison Fort Devens provides premier training capabilities and base operations support to the Total Force in New England.
Story by Jazika Levario
Fort Devens Reserve Forces Training Area