Hillsboro High School Guidance Counselor Jessica Rhoades said that college and athletic signings seem to get all the attention, with students planning a military career sometimes being overlooked. But Friday’s military swearing-in ceremony for four high school students put them front and center in the spotlight.
Military recruits Zane Adams, Cory Mahan, Regan Claycomb and Cameron Moots stood at attention before raising their right hands and swearing allegiance to their country, flag and those in command over them, and upon graduation, contemplated the trials of basic training they will soon face in their respective branch of service.
Second Lt. Alex Butler of the Army Reserve administered the oath of enlistment and remembered standing in the same shoes as the four enlistees last year, spending six months at Ft. Benning, Ga. doing basic training and officer candidate school, earning his commission in October 2018.
“Since an officer has to administer the oath, the local Army recruiting station invited me to come over today to take part in the job fair and to perform this function, which is an honor,” Butler said. “It is a big step, a big decision, and not like what exists in the civilian world. When you raise your right hand, take the oath and sign on the dotted line, you’re making a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
Of the reasons given for entering military service, family influence and using their time in the service to get a college education were the ones most mentioned.
Seniors Zane Adams and Cory Mahan both enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, Regen Claycomb will be joining the U.S. Army, with Cameron Moots choosing to serve in the U.S. Air Force.
Adams is the son of Katie Adams with an MOS (military occupational specialty code) being in avionics. He said joined because his father was a Marine, and that “it felt like a good option for my future in that my college and health care is all paid for, and I think it’s a good route for anybody.”
The son of Ted and Lisa Mahan, Cory Mahan’s military job description is that of open enlistment, trusting that the Marine Corps will place him in a position they feel he’s most qualified for.
He said that he’s all prepared for Marine boot camp and wants to see the world, serve his country and to further his education.
Regan Claycomb, a senior and the daughter of Andrea and Mitch Claycomb, chose the Army for service to her country and to further her education, with a job classification of “13 Romeo,” which is field artillery firefinder radar operator. She will report for basic training on July 9.
Senior Cameron Moots, the son of Angie and Jon Moots, will enter the U.S. Air Force. Upon completion of eight and a half weeks of basic training, he will become an aircraft load master with the responsibility of the safe loading, transport and unloading of aerial cargo.
He cited family influence, a desire to serve his country and the college benefits as reasons for enlisting.
Another student planning on entering military service next year is junior Abby Roades, who will be joining the Army Reserve. The daughter of Brandy and Tony Roades isn’t formally enlisted yet, but wants to enter the medical field and use her Army training as a springboard to college and a career in medicine.
In addition to swearing in Hillsboro High School’s latest members of the armed services, banners and placards were visible during the ceremony proclaiming HHS as a “Purple Star School” this year by the Ohio Department of Education.
Rhoades said the Purple Star award was designed for schools that help cushion transition issues caused by having a parent or family member that is currently in the military, and for her, it hits close to home.
“My dad is a Vietnam veteran and my mom went to 12 schools while traveling around to various military bases since her father was in the military, too,” she said. “That is why I applied for the Purple Star Award and can’t believe we got it. The Purple Star Award is given to schools that have shown outstanding commitment to serve military students and families, and I’m proud that our school has joined those ranks.”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.