by Jannelle So
This is how the country you serve can serve you back: provide you with skills set that are useful in order to excel in your personal and professional life; put your through college with financial assistance; make excellent health care accessible to you and to your family; give you an edge in the work force; and the list goes on and on.
These benefits were enumerated by Lieutenant Colonel J. Scott Peterson, Commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion in Los Angeles. He should know, as he has been serving for about 20 years now, starting right out of college when he enlisted.
“I joined the Army for a combination of reasons. I was drawn to the discipline, esprit-de-corps, and camaraderie the Army provides. The opportunity for adventure, travel, and new experiences was also central to my decision,” Peterson explained his personal reasons for joining the Army.
“The Army represents a moral, honorable lifestyle, both personal and professional, that I have always wanted to be a part of. “The Army is the ground component of our military. It is the largest service in all of the military,” Peterson added in an interview on Kababayan Today.
Peterson and his staff sought the help of America’s first and only daily talk show for the Filipinos to educate the community about the military; and to hopefully recruit more kababayans.
And for non-U.S. citizen recruits, there’s even another incentive to join – the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program. The Army website explains this as a program that “permits the enlistment of certain legal aliens into the U.S. Army.”
“MAVNI is designed to further strengthen the US Army by infusing greater language and cultural diversity into our ranks. This program includes multiple language categories of which Tagalog is one,” said Peterson, adding that for successful applicants to MAVNI, a path to citizenship is also in the offing, in addition to the many standard benefits the military avails people in the service.
Peterson said that as they seek to hire the best and the brightest to grow the L.A. Battalion, he is intentionally making an effort to reach out to Filipinos based on his favorable experiences concerning the work ethic of kababayans.
“Our Filipino-American soldiers are outstanding, as are all soldiers serving in our Army. I am continuously encouraged at the tremendous levels of patriotism, commitment, and intellect of those we enlist here in Los Angeles,” he said. “Soldiers often have varied motivations on why they enlist, but all share a common desire to honorably serve our country.”
The MAVNI program is ongoing for several languages, except for Korean, Chinese and Hindi categories which are currently closed. For Filipino, applications are still being processed.
For more information, log on to – www.goarmy.com. (Jannelle So)