Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Chandler High School’s Austin Jennings made the decision to serve his state and his country by enlisting into the Oklahoma Army National Guard. “I decided around junior year of high school to enlist into the National Guard. I always wanted to be in the U.S. Army and felt the National Guard was a good fit,” said Jennings. “My grandfather was in the Guard around the Vietnam War.” The recruiting process is different for everyone. For Jennings, it was challenging but with the help of his recruiter, Jennings was able to complete the process and enter basic combat training after his junior year of high school.
“SGT Anderson made the somewhat difficult process as easy as he possibly could. SGT Anderson is a great recruiter, he changed my life,” said Jennings. “I attended basic training and I honestly miss some parts of it, but I have not attended AIT (Advanced Individual Training).” As a student at Chandler High School, Jennings is a member of the FFA, but currently has no plans to attend college. That could change thanks to the educational benefits the National Guard offers its members. After attending AIT school, Jennings will serve as a 13B, Field Artillery or Army Cannon Crewmember.
“I get a sense of pride and accomplishments knowing I am serving my state and my country,” said Jennings. “I plan on making the Guard a career and retiring from the U.S. Army.” In his free time, Jennings said he enjoys hanging out with his friends. Jennings offers this advice to anyone considering the National Guard or any branch of the military. “Look into it as much as possible. It changed my life, it can change yours,” said Jennings.