Student receives high honor

Cathryn Cearing and Cat Cearing

Some students can pride themselves on achieving the honor roll in school; they memorize flashcards, fill out worksheets and listen to lectures. Brandon Cole (12), on the other hand, reached the top five percent and graduated with honors for an entirely different education: Basic Training for the U.S. Army.

“[The Honor Grad title is given] with everything in mind. I would have to be the top in every subject. My qualifications, my weapons score, how I did with land navigation, all of that was put together, and it was whoever got the best score overall. Then we did a part where we had to sit in front of our first sergeant and our commander and they drilled me on military history and the topics I had to know, ” Cole said.

Most individuals interested in joining the service wait until they graduate high school, whether it be because of the commitment it requires or the time it takes up. In Cole’s case, he didn’t hesitate to sign up.

“I always wanted to go [into the Service]. The day I was able to go, I went on my birthday [to sign up]. I have family in the military, so it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Cole said.

The 10-week program presents the opportunity to learn an array of different abilities needed for field combat.

“It was a lot of training. We learned how to shoot qualified, real weapons, combatives, land navigation, first aid, lifesaving, detail protection–a lot of different skills.” Cole said.

Basic training, however, is just that: the basics. With the momentum Cole has now, there are no plans for stopping.

“This summer I leave for AIT, which is Advanced Individual Training to get my actual MOS [Military Occupational Specialty]. I’m going to be a 31B military police, so I’m going to learn more MP [military police] skills,” Cole said.