A Recruiter Who Makes Sense
Weeks passed after I decided the Navy wasn't for me and I continued to try to figure out college financing. I kept looking at scholarships, but none worked out. Then, one day while in the library mooching college internet services, I saw a flier on a bulletin board. It said something like
"Money for College - Part Time Job - Call SFC Edward Tomon"
I took the flier and set up an appointment to meet with the recruiter for the Virginia Army National Guard (VAARNG).
I was late to the appointment, so late that SFC Tomon left and I had to call him to reschedule.
The next meeting was a house call so I'd be more likely to attend. He came in his dress green uniform, sat down and started to ask me questions. He had all of the right answers for me, specifically ones about money for college through four different programs, and extra cash earned from working one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer.
Next, he asked what kind of MOS(Military Occupational Specialty) I would like to pursue. I had no idea what a MOS was, so he explained it's the job or skill you perform in the military. I told him I wanted to be a pilot.
He said there was an aviation unit in Richmond, Va, which is only a 45 min drive from Williamsburg. He then started to ask me some questions about how long I was willing to stay out of school. I gave him the same requirements I had given to the Navy recruiters -- not long.
He informed me becoming a pilot was not the best option for a quick return to school. Flight school takes more than a year. Instead, he suggested that I choose the 12B MOS (Combat Engineer) and then switch my MOS when I had a year to spare if I still wanted to fly. He explained that there was combat engineering unit close to Williamsburg to which other William and Mary students were assigned.
I asked him what a Combat Engineer did. He explained engineers are basically infantry soldiers carrying explosives like C-4, dynamite and TNT to help create and remove obstacles on the battlefield. He added that schooling for the MOS would only last 13 weeks. I could be back in school by the next spring semester.
He packed his things leaving me with some brochures and said he would get in touch with me. I was sold, but remembered the old adage that you should never trust a recruiter. So, I immediately called my father to tell him the news and seek his knowledge on the situation. His advice was to get everything in writing.
In the days following our meeting the recruiter would provide everything I needed in writing, making the VAARNG the best option I would find.
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