Addressing the “future soldiers of the Brownwood Army Recruiting Station” Wednesday at the Central Texas Veterans Memorial, Army recruiter Sgt. Jonathan Banuelos told 15 graduating seniors who are bound for the Army — and a 16th young man from Zephyr who is will attend Officer Candidate School — to remember their warrior ethos.
Banuelos was one of four representatives of Army recruiting stations at a brief ceremony attended by family members and other guests. The soldiers presented the 15 graduating seniors — who have completed the enlistment process and will be reporting soon to Army boot camps — with certificates of congressional recognition from U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway’s office. The soldiers also presented Dillon Williams, a Tarleton State University ROTC graduate from Zephyr, with a certificate of appreciation from Conaway’s office.
Capt. Phillip Lyman, commander of the Waco Recruiting Company, led the young men through ceremonial oaths of enlistment. The future soldiers had recited the oaths earlier at an induction center.
“Of the 33 million Americans from the ages of 17 to 24, you are among the elite 1 percent who have the extraordinary combination of intellect, physical fitness and commitment to service that qualifies you to join the greatest fight force in human history: the U.S. military,” Banuelos told the young men.
The future soldiers will “stand ready to deploy, engage and story the enemies of the United States of America in close combat,” Banuelos said.
They have the values that represent the Army including loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor and integrity, Banuelos said.
“You are an American soldier, a warrior and a member of a team,” Banuelos said. “Never forget your warrior ethos: I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. Remember you are the future of this great nation. You are the shepherd that keeps the wolf at bay.”
The graduating seniors who are enlisting in the Army are: Seth Anderson, Bangs High School, infantrymen; Aaron Manchaca, Brownwood High School, combat engineer; Alexander Flores, Brownwood High School, infantrymen; Aliyah Galvan, Bangs High School, small arms repairer; Fidel Castaneda, Bangs High School, striker mechanic; Michael Francois, Bangs High School, combat engineer; Kimberly Robinson, Bangs High School, wheeled vehicle mechanic; Ashley Gruben, Bangs High School, combat medic; Corbin Massey, Bangs High School, signal support systems specialist; Christian Banda, Brady High School, military police; Madison Diaz, Santa Anna High School, patriot fire control; Jessie Befell, Coleman High School, Medical laboratory specialist; Even Bedell, Coleman High School, wheeled vehicle mechanic; Damien Crosby, Coleman High School, patriot launch station maintainer.