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March 23, 2011
Segment I Guest: Jimmy Schumacher, National Guard Recruiter and Army Veteran
Segment II Topic: Lessons Learned by the Actions of the Baby Boomers
We welcomed Jimmy Schumacher to the show! He is currently a National Guard Recruiter in Westminster, MD. He discussed the great benefits and opportunities that the National Guard offers, even if someone has no prior military experience. The National Guard is different than the Reserves because it is not attached to a specific branch of the military (Army Reserves, Navy Reserves, etc.). The National Guard is a state entry. Soldiers of the National Guard serve their home state and can be called to action by the State Governor or US President.
Sgt. Schumacher is a recruiter out of the Henry C. Evans Armory in Westminster. He was born and raised in Carroll County and is on a mission to better the lives of others in his community. There are many different types of people that can benefit from the National Guard. Many of his recruitments are fresh out of high school and looking for ways to attend school and create a job path. But some are in their mid 20’s or 30’s, with Master’s Degrees looking for new training and job skills. Age 35 is the maximum age that you can join the National Guard, the youngest is age 17, with parental consent. Once an individual is 18 years of age, he or she can join on their own.
To join the National Guard, you have to be prepared mentally and physically. You will attend the standard 9 week basic training. You will also have a job pick to chose an area of focus. There are many different jobs and skills that you can acquire. There are Military Police positions, Intelligence and career training for the workforce. The level of training that is available can earn high positions in various types of careers.
A detailed screening is done in order to enlist to make sure the candidate can succeed. A medical screening is done and certain condition can prevent you from eligibility, such as, asthma, serious previous injuries and other health issues. There is also a moral screening. The National Guard does not require a completely clean record, but no felonies are permitted and several types of misdemeanors will disqualify an offender from eligibility. There is also a written test that is administered to test mental capacity and comprehension.
Some of the major benefits of joining the National Guard are the many educational opportunities available. Members of the National Guard automatically receive 50% off tuition costs to State colleges and some private colleges. In addition, the Montgomery Bill kicks in $250+ per credit hour and other assistance, typically a National Guard soldier pays nothing for college. With the monthly drill pay, soldiers are basically paid to attend school while earning their degrees.
Many parent and National Guard hopefuls have the same question. Will I, or my child, be deployed overseas? The answer is uncertain. Many times, the National Guard stays based in your state and/or country. But if your unit is called to action, there is always a possibility of deployment. The skills and training received will extensively prepare a National Guard soldier for this possibility.
Jimmy Schumacher is not only a National Guard recruiter, but he is also a decorated war veteran. After all the important information that he shared about the Guard, we wanted to hear about his experiences in the military. He explained that he started as an active duty Army soldier. After a not-so-impressive high school career, he did various jobs to earn a living. But at age 21, he decided he wanted to do more with his life. Jimmy explained that enlisting was the best thing he has ever done for himself. Not only has he received top-notch education and training, he has acquired 4 military specialty, Top-Secret Security Clearance, several prestigious recognitions and is currently working on his Master’s Degree, at no cost to him. He also explained how the Army allowed him to see the world. He had a tour in Korea, which is where he met his wife of 10 years. The beginning of his Army career took place in a fairly peaceful time in the world. After completing his Army requirements, he joined the National Guard. After the attacks on 9/11, he was deployed to various places in Iraq & Afghanistan for a year. On an anit-terrorism mission, he and his fellow soldiers captured terrorists that and detain in a jail in Baghdad. He explained that some of the terrorists complied when captured, but others were extremely dangerous and their mission was to kill you on the spot.
Sgt. Schumacher explained that although it can be a very scary and dangerous experience, he made many great lifelong friendships and has accomplished a lot because of his decision to enlist. There are a lot of great soldiers and Jimmy feels like the US should be proud of the men that they have protecting us.
Lessons Learned by Actions of the Baby Boomers
- The stock market always fluctuates, there is nothing that is a guarnatee
- Your home equity is NOT a personal ATM
- Youth doesn’t last, but old age is manageable. Move more and eat less!
- Live within your means. Establishing substantial savings and solidifying a financial portfolio is crucial