Enlisted senior sets his heart on the Army


Morgan Barr, Reporter

Walking through the hallways at Big Spring, students do not regularly encounter great danger, or deadly situations. American soldiers however, encounters both on a daily basis. Risking their lives for our freedom, they do everything they can to protect our country.

Up and at it before the sun rises, the newest crop of Army recruits is in motion for a long day of training. According to the United States Army website, in the 9 week basic training program, recruits go through three phases: red, the beginning stage is ensuring the recruits are physically and mentally prepared before starting Combat training. The White phase involves teaching recruits tactical and combat training, as well as marksmanship and situational training exercises. In the final phase, the Blue phase, recruits are put to the test in the Night Infiltration Course, and go through U.S. Weapons training.

Among this crop of newly enlisted recruits, is senior, Austin Brownawell. Brownawell recently enlisted in the United States Army. “I’ll start as an E1 private, but it’s not ranked since I haven’t gone through basic yet. When I go through basic, I will be a regular E2 private.” Brownawell has been preparing for this moment for almost his entire life. “I’ve wanted to go into the Army since I was six, 11 years. It’s just always been what I wanted to do, because it’s hands on and because of the pride involved.”

Brownawell plans to do active duty, and has already started preparing for Basic Training. “I have PT every Thursday, and I go to the gym 4 to 5 times a week, and I run a mile every day, I used to hate running, but now I don’t mind it because I do it so often.” He will endure not only regular basic training, but also AIT (Advanced Infantry Training) to prepare him for overseas duty. “I leave June 20, and I will be gone for basic training for 9 weeks, and then I will be going for AIT for 5 weeks.” Brownawell said. “I want to do overseas active duty, there’s no point in being in infantry if I don’t. I want to retire when I’m 38 at the least, and go into the reserves. Whatever the highest rank I can get is what I want to reach [in the Army].”

Brownawell officially enlisted on Feb. 9. All recruits go through MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station), this is where recruits choose their jobs, and swear in. The whole process can take up to 2 days. “It’s a lot of paperwork, medical records, you have to get your urine tested, do blood work, there’s eye and hearing tests, a physical and a breathalyzer test. When you enlist, you have to do all this stuff in one day, and stay overnight in a hotel.” said Brownawell.

“In between Infantry and AIT I might have a leave, but during basic I have no leave, but I can receive letters and calls from home.” Brownawell said. Because of this, Brownawell plans to make the most of the few short months he has before he deploys for basic training. “I going to have a lot of get togethers, and I’m having a family party and a going away party. I’m trying to see everyone before I go.” said Brownawell. Making memories before he leaves is something that is very important to him.

Brownawell knows what he wants to do, what it takes to enlist, and he understands what he is going in to. He recommends that anyone thinking about the Army should be strong in why they want to join. “Know what you want to do before you enlist, and make sure you can get what you want. I got what I want.”