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




No Double Standard

If Kavanaugh's conformation is derailed, we as Americans should demand "equality" under the law and investigate and prosecute every single sexual harassment case that involved any politician.  The law should have no double standard.  Two can play this dangerous game.  Bob Bogart (click for more)

Roy Exum: On Saving A Soul

Not so long ago a top writer for the Washington Post was going through some of President Ronald Reagan’s papers and, among those his wife Nancy cherished, the Post’s Karen Tumulty happened to come across a deeply-moving letter. Four pages and written by his hand, it was a heartfelt message written by the president to his wife Nancy’s father in August of 1982. President Reagan ... (click for more)

Karen Saxton, 64, Killed In Crash On Highway 58 Saturday Afternoon

One person was killed in a crash on Highway 58 on Saturday afternoon. The victim was identified as Karen Saxton, 64. Chattanooga Police responded at 5:15 p.m. to the wreck in the 5900 block of Highway 58.  Upon arrival officers located a vehicle driven by 21-year-old Allen Dickerson in the northbound lane and the Saxton vehicle in the southbound lane. Police said ... (click for more)

Juvenile Shot On East 14th Street On Friday

A juvenile was shot Friday evening on East 14th Street. The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 6:45 p.m. to a person shot in the 2000 block of East 14th Street. Upon arrival, officers located a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Hamilton County EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to a local hospital. Members of the Violent ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Holds On To Beat Samford, 27-20

The Samford Bulldogs may have won the battle, but the Chattanooga Mocs won the war. Facing each other in a key Southern Conference football battle at Finley Stadium Saturday night, the Mocs had their hands full, but were able to pull out an important victory by a final score of 27-20 before 10,469 fans. The Bulldogs entered the game on a two-game losing streak, but were leading ... (click for more)

No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs Battles Missouri For A Tough 43-29 Victory Saturday

COLUMBIA, Mo. —   There's more than one way to win a game, more than one way to score, more than one way to, in Georgia football coach  Kirby Smart 's oft-repeated words, attack the day. The No. 2-ranked Bulldogs got out of Columbia, Mo., with a win Saturday  before 58,284 at Faurot Field  in large part because of how they attacked the ball. ... (click for more)