Senior decides to join National Guard

Ryan Lee will attend basic training in June


Grace Farley

Photo illustration

Abby Intveld

What made you want to join the National Guard?

There were a lot of different reasons behind joining. The adventure of the National Guard experience is a huge reason, and it will also help pay for college, which is a big factor. There’s a bunch of different reasons.

Did anyone influence your decision to join?

I know some people who are in the National Guard and the military that have had good experiences, and some who have had bad experiences, but mostly good. Talking (to them) allowed me to make a balanced, educated decision.

How long have you wanted to join the National Guard?

I knew I wanted to join the National Guard since two years ago. I was always interested, and then it just became more real so I decided to just ‘screw it’ and do it.

What was the process like?

It was the weirdest job interview ever. It’s interesting because you sit down and talk to the recruiter for a while and then you go to the military processing station, and they basically gave you any medical test you could think of. After that you pick a job, assuming you’ve passed the background test.

What job did you choose?

Fire Support Specialist.

What does that job entail?

A lot of what I will be doing is planning fire missions and working with field artillery, air strikes and other things that deal with threats.

What does it mean to you to be in the National Guard?

It’s a way for me to serve my home and my community.

How do you feel about being in the National Guard?

I’m really excited. It’s definitely going to be one heck of a summer with basic training and everything.

How  do your family and friends feel about you joining?

They have been extremely supportive whether they feel comfortable or not with the idea, which has been more than I could ever ask for.

How did you feel when you officially were part of the National Guard at the ceremony?

At the ceremony I was just really excited for what’s to come and looking forward to everything. I was so tired after the long day of testing, so it was nice to have it all done with.

What are you doing to prepare for basic training?

I have been doing a lot of push ups and mental prep before I go. I will also have some time drilling with the National Guard in the Recruit Sustainment program, which will be really useful.

When do you start training?

My basic training is for 10 weeks at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I ship out June 18 through Aug. 21.