National Guard presents 'Guard for a day' event
There is a great variety of jobs opening right now with the Alaska National Guard, including a program called, "street to seat," for people and students as young as 18-years-old to become a Blackhawk helicopter pilot.
"We provide training in many different career fields," U.S. Army Sargent 1st Class Justin Mullenix said. "We have 75 jobs or more within the Army National Guard, that people are trained to do from scratch, so no experience needed. In addition to being able to carry those skills into the civilian field, we provide a lot of benefits while serving and after service is complete."
Some of the benefits include college benefits which include federal and state benefits, retirement benefits, along with medical benefits while serving with the National Guard at a very reduced cost.
The event was an opportunity for the National Guard to showcase all it has to offer and to get high school students, members of the ROTC and the community excited about all the possibilities of the National Guard.
"We have station including the biathalon team," Mullenix said. "The infantry has also set up a little obstacle course with night vision goggles for people to experience what it looks like and feels like through our night vision capabilities. We have MPs with checkpoint operations, our ground missile defense unit is also here showcasing their capabilities and unit from Fort Greely."
People in attendance were also bused from the armory to Hangar 4 to take part in a virtual system and actual helicopters where they can sit and explore what it's like to be a pilot.
The experience helped Bartlett High School sophomore Iolana Haines carve out his path to his future.
"I want to play football after school and serve in the Army," Haines said. "I found out that by serving in the National Guard I can still play while having some income coming in at the same time. After seeing what I saw today, I was thinking it'd like to be a crew chief for a Blackhawk and then work my way over to an MP because eventually, I want to become an Alaska State Trooper."
The event was such a success the National Guard is planning on holding another event like this outside the gates so more people can attend.
For more information on the Alaska National Guard, visit their website.
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