Uncle Sam Takes UP

Military Panel Presentation after ASVAB Garners Great Numbers


Daniella Carrasco

Flying into Minds. Master Sergeant Robinson listens attentively after connecting to the audience by sharing his story and explaining that the military provides a number of opportunities.

Izabel Vazquez, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

October 9, 2019 was a day full of the UP campus putting attention on something other than going to college after high school: shifting gears to shed some light on a future in the military.

During the first block of the day, a number of seniors left their classes and made their way to the MPR to take the ASVAB, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The ASVAB is a multiple choice exam, and it is used to determine qualification for enlistment in the Armed Forces.

While some students may have studied for the ASVAB in order to obtain a higher score for a chance to get their desired military specialty specialty, others decided to take the test just to see how they’d do without any extra preparation. Senior Lisbeth Cerna mentioned, “I took the test today just to see what kind of job I’d be able to get. I don’t have any interest in going into the military, I just wanted to see how I’d do.” 

As he was reflecting on the test, senior Angel Kuo commented: “I don’t think people realize all of the things they don’t know much about because of the limited number of things being taught here.“ referring to the mechanical comprehension part of the test, which he found the most difficult. 

Mrs. Faison, whose husband is in the US Air Force, gave her opinion on the most difficult thing for a student joining the military would be and explained, “being away from home would be the most difficult thing, for sure. Some students are scared about college because they’ll be away from home and in the military, you could be anywhere in the world.” 

Mr. Akana, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, who happened to be a substitute teacher at UP for the day, was inspired by the military talk on campus and shared a few of his thoughts and his experience with the benefits of joining the military. “The military isn’t for everyone, but you don’t have to stay in forever either. Educational benefits are outstanding. Retirement is another great thing. But besides that, the medical benefits are great. I pay $400 a year for full coverage health care. But overall, the best reason to join is because you want to.” 

The ASVAB concluded around 11 AM, during sixth period, but that wasn’t the end of the military related discussions for the day. Right as seventh period began, not only seniors, but all grade levels were invited to attend the Military Panel in the MPR. The Panel was made up of nine men, representing the US Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army and Army National Guard. The MPR was filled with listeners of multiple grades as the men shared their advice, experience, and words of encouragement. 

Master Sergeant Robinson explained to the audience how he first went to college, and then decided to join the Air Force. “Ultimately, it [the military] opens up doors and opportunities. Plan out where you want to be in 5-10 years from now and work for that,” he stated right before passing the microphone down the line. 

Daniella Carrasco
Staff Sergeant Luengas gives information about what being a preventive medicine specialist entails and the places he’s been. “It’s been quite the ride. I’ve lived in Texas and Germany and then I got selected to come back to California.”

Staff Sergeant Luengas spoke of the MOS, military occupational specialty, that he chose and how his experiences in high school impacted him. “My job deals a lot with environmental science,” he started, “somebody has to make sure water quality and air quality are good and that’s what I do.” He later went on to say, “In high school, I took things like chemistry and AP Calculus. I took a lot of science and math classes and those helped me get my job.” 

Despite not being an as commonly discussed option as going to college, joining the military can be a great option for many, and is even more enticing when things like educational benefits and retirement pensions are mentioned. All through the day, the students of UP were able to get information about a less traditional, yet extremely honorable, possibility for their future and may now feel that they have more options than they had previously realized.