By Sgt. Joline Ngo, 95th Training Division Public Affairs NCOIC
OKLAHOMA CITY – For those who serve, the military has its rewards. Many of our young men and women are looking for a chance to serve their country, their community, and their family. They want a job that’s meaningful and useful. They look at their friends and classmates going on to college, getting jobs or simply struggling through life without purpose or direction—and they want something bigger for themselves.
These days, it seems like so many people are just looking for an opportunity to make a difference in the world—and that is how some people become inspired to join the United States military.
Col. Janene Marshall Gatling, the Chief of Staff of the 95th Training Division, had the privilege of assisting first time military members give their Oath of Office at the Dodgers minor league baseball game at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
“I started out by welcoming them to the Seven Percent Club. I explained that there are about seven percent of the U.S. population that are serving, and have served in the military,” said Marshall Gatling. “You are part of an elite group of individuals who want to make a difference.”
She said it was an honor to speak to these service members in front of their friends and family and was grateful to experience this huge milestone of theirs.
You can find some of your best friends by looking outside of your comfort zone and seeking people with whom you can celebrate your differences. There’s a good chance that you won’t get along with everyone, but those you do, will become lifelong friends. After all, it is the very nature of friendship to be selective.
“I did tell them, you will get to meet individuals from across the U.S. that will be your forever friend and who you will make great memories with,” said Marshall Gatling.
She said she wanted to send a message to the parents and families of these first time service members—that they take care of each other. She wanted them to feel envious that they never served or had fond memories of when they did serve.
While in the service, you learn important skills and build credibility. You learn to lead and follow. You learn to take care of yourself and others. You learn to be responsible, accountable and a professional. You learn how to be an adult, how to serve your country, as well as your fellow service members. If you do not already know what you want when you enter the military, you will figure it out while serving.
“Don’t listen to the naysayers talk about your commitment. You can do this—it is in your heart,” said Marshall Gatling.
She ensured these servicemembers knew that those who supported them are very proud of them.