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Military Careers

Wyatt Ahlbrand
Reed Lomax

Many high school students graduate high school and feel lost or overwhelmed by what to do with their lives as adults. More than 150,000 graduating seniors choose to follow the path of the military each year, and some even get involved before graduation in related programs for the youth. The military is a difficult career path that is very vital to society and offers many positive benefits to those involved. 

The U.S. military has many related youth programs to help young adults find their purpose or passion. These have a variety of settings, goals, and approaches to instilling strong values and positive attitudes in the next generation of society. Some youth military programs in California include the Oakland Military Institute, the California Cadet Corps, and the Grizzly Youth Academy. Grizzly Youth Academy is a National Guard program located in San Luis Obispo and focuses on students who have dropped out of high school or are currently struggling academically. Reed Lomax is a Willow Glen High School alumnus who graduated in 2023. He was a member of the Grizzly Youth Academy from August to December of 2021 and shared his experiences and thoughts on the program. He acknowledged that the beginning of camp was extremely difficult, having to adjust from the freedom of distance learning to the strict regimen of the program, but it became a way of life shortly after. Reed described the entire experience as a positive event in his life, as it taught him discipline and consistency, two traits that have shaped who he is today. 

The structured lifestyle that is required to participate in a youth academy or the U.S. military is something that changes a person and puts them in a position to succeed. Nearly 8,000 Grizzly graduates joined the military, while tens of thousands of others have continued their education and set their lives on the right track. While joining the military is not for everyone, it offers many benefits, such as future career training, college credits, and leadership skills. The only requirement to join is a high school diploma, and it can be a great option for young adults looking for direction in their life. The Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard are all options that can provide a military lifestyle or civilian career advantages. It is not an easy job, but anyone can do it if they build the discipline and focus for it.

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