A Look into the Future of Students Joining the Military

Hailey Pullo, Staff Writer

Nearly every student has heard that all familiar question of “Where do you see yourself in five years?” For most students the answer is difficult, some might be fresh out of college looking for a job, and others might be starting some form of graduate school. However, for those students who are entering the military, their answers aren’t as simple. 

Senior Bailey West enlisted in the United States Air Force to pursue her dream of joining the military. West has big plans for her service and in five years, she hopes to be stationed in either Germany or Italy as a staff sergeant. Under her contract as a translator she hopes that in five years she’ll be out of the barracks, and have some room to herself. West also hopes that in five years she’ll have gained a sense of accomplishment from her service. 

Courtesy of Bailey West Senior Bailey West stands proud with an American flag.

She plans on attending college both during and after her service, hoping to earn her master’s degree in French and any specific language needed for her military occupational specialty. 

“I’m in the less than 1% who qualified to serve, and I’m hoping I’ll be proud of it at the end.” West said. She hopes that her Air Force career will create memories for her in basic training, and deployments, as well as giving her the opportunity to see parts of the world most civilians don’t.

Courtesy of Bailey West West is looking forward to the new experiences that her career in the military will bring.

Like West, senior Colin Sager is also joining the military. Sager, who is joining the Army says that he’s joining the military because from a young age it has always appealed to him, and he feels a sense of duty to serve his country. 

Sager debated between joining the military and studying emergency medicine. Ultimately Sager decided on enrollment in the Army. However, he was still able to accomplish his goal of studying medicine through dual enrollment at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Although Sager hasn’t had any direct family members serve since World War II, he is still pursuing a career in the military, with the hopes that he will gain new skills. 

“I am looking forward to the new experiences and change of lifestyle the army will provide.” Sager said. 

Sager, who is entering the Army as an infantryman, believes that in five years he will still be in the military, most likely stationed overseas. After serving as an infantryman, Sager will move on to the Army Rangers, a special operations force. 

Senior Logan Hemstreet is also one of the few students joining the military, and like West he plans on attending college as well. He aims to attend Western Michigan University for four years after his basic training, and advanced individual training. During his time at Western, he plans on joining the ROTC program. Hemstreet, who’s first choice was serving his country, is glad that he is able to study at university, despite the fact that he is also joining the military. 

“I was able to combine both so I could get the best of both worlds,” Hemstreet said. 

In five years Hemstreet sees himself finished with his college education. He hopes that he will be beginning his career in the active military, fulfilling his goal of serving the country. He looks forward to finishing his college education and making the most of his career in the military. 

While most high school graduates plan on attending some form of university, there are still some students who choose a more unique path. Five years is a fairly long time and it looks different for everyone, but for those few students who pursue a military career, there is a very specific goal in mind.