Army’s 243rd Birthday Serves As Reminder To Encourage Youth To Consider Service

Friday, June 8, 2018

On this very day 243 years ago, the United States Army was born. Our nation was built on the backs of soldiers who fought for freedom, and for centuries, soldiers have continued to defend those freedoms.

For the last four decades, the soldiers raising their right hands for the American way of life have volunteered to do so. The all-volunteer force has transformed the way we work toward peace and stability as a nation. It has also overhauled the level of quality we require.

There is a reason the U.S. Army is one of the most respected organizations in the world – its people. Our U.S. Army is filled with fully qualified, trained and educated individuals who have a desire to serve.  

Unfortunately, we are challenged with finding enough young Americans who meet our cognitive, physical and moral requirements and also want to serve. 

As the commander of the US Army Recruiting Company in Chattanooga, I see amazing young people in our region of southeastern Tennessee and northwest Georgia wanting to dedicate time in service to our nation. Sadly, I also see how societal issues impact the ability of so many to even meet the qualifications to serve. 

More than 70 percent of young people do not meet the requirements because of obesity, mental and physical health problems, drugs, law violations and aptitude. 

I also see a major problem with public perception, and it will impact the future of our nation’s Army if we don’t work together as a community to fix it. 

About 50 percent of today’s youth admit they know little to nothing about the U.S. military. Many can’t even name all the services. If they don’t understand the caliber of our soldiers or the educational and career opportunities available to them, they will never consider service as an option. We are depriving young Americans of an opportunity to mature, develop strong decision-making abilities, and gain skills that will help them throughout their lives.  

They don’t know their Army will pay for their education and offers housing allowances, health care, retirement, family support and many other benefits well beyond what normally is found in the private sector.

They don’t know nearly every career available in the private sector is also available in the U.S. Army. 

Not everyone can or should choose the Army as a career path; however, young people deserve a chance to make an informed decision about their future. They deserve to understand every path – work, technical education, community colleges, universities, and yes, the military, too – so they can find the one that best suits their future goals.

It is a fact that veterans are more likely to vote, volunteer and be involved in their communities. Student veterans are more likely to graduate, earn higher GPAs, and select more academically rigorous degrees. Veterans also make more money than their non-veteran counterparts at the same educational level. Why wouldn’t we want to encourage youth to grow through service and become the leaders our nation needs?

I challenge community leaders, educators and parents throughout the Chattanooga region to learn more about your Army. Don’t make assumptions or allow misconceptions about service or the quality of our soldiers to spread. Take the time to get to know the soldiers and veterans in your community -- learn about what they do and how their service has impacted their lives. I think you will be very surprised with what you find.  

To have the best soldiers serving our nation as engineers, logisticians, nurses, human resources specialists and so much more, our Army needs your support to educate and encourage youth to learn about military service and consider it as a career option.  

We need you to be ambassadors of the all-volunteer force to help continue the legacy of the soldiers who have fought for our way of life for the last 243 years. Help celebrate this year’s Army birthday by connecting with local soldiers and veterans to learn more about what he Army has to offer youth in our community.

Capt. David B. Closen Jr. 
Commander, US Army Recruiting Company, Chattanooga




Civil War II

These same people have been around with us for a very long time. See Ecclesiastes Chapter 10 Verse 2. " The wise man's understanding turns him to his right; the fool's understanding turns him to the left. Thus says the Lord." The rest of the chapter is also worth reading. Democrats, Liberals, Progressives are all the same, the only thing they want is power over people since they ... (click for more)

Transparency Needed In County Government

On Aug. 29 of last year, Jim Coppinger convened a press conference on the courthouse steps to announce that he was raising property taxes. The mayor and commission gave no notice; the deal was already done. Seven days later County Commission passed the tax hike on its first reading. Citizens were never invited to comment on the matter. Is this any way to run Hamilton County ... (click for more)

Red Bank Finalizes 20-Cent Property Tax Increase

The Red Bank commissioners voted Tuesday night to adopt the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget that includes a property tax increase. Mayor John Roberts said that along with the increase in both commercial and residential development, comes increased traffic. Infrastructure has not kept up with the growth, including the secondary roads. The cost of paving these roads is $1 million. Money ... (click for more)

Riverton Development Spurs Talk Of Riverwalk Along The Northshore

Development of the former BlueCross property at Lupton City is spurring talk of a Riverwalk on the Northshore. The City Council discussed the topic on Tuesday night in giving final approval for a Planned Unit Development for Riverton on 210 acres. Officials said there are no specific plans for a Northshore Riverwalk, but several groups are actively working to make a connection ... (click for more)

Fairyland Swimmers Upset Country Club

The Fairyland Flash had their best swim meet of the season at home Tuesday night when they beat the Country Club Wavemakers by a single point, handing the visitors their first loss of the season after four straight wins. Country Club had prevailed by a lopsided 466-322 margin just last Thursday, but the Flash was more than ready for the competition the second time around. ... (click for more)

The Ups-And-Downs Of Life In The Minor Leagues

Life as a minor league player can be tough. Few players ever get to live out their dream as a regular player at the big league level. For every player who realizes their dream, another player is forced to be released or find another organization to keep his dream alive. Recently the Lookouts have lost T.J.White, one of the most popular players in recent years. Word has come ... (click for more)