Just as a battlefield strategy is carried out with the cooperation of infantry, artillery, air support and other units, the Kansas Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion recently joined forces Oct. 19 with the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery to conduct an enlistment ceremony.
Maj. Matthew Ayres, 1-161st FA administrative officer, administered the Oath of Enlistment to Pvt. Jameson Smith, who enlisted with the unit as a forward observer. Ayres is a former commander of Company B, Recruiting and Retention Battalion.
The ceremony was held against a symbolic and historic backdrop of an M110 howitzer in Hutchinson. This location was chosen due to its significance to the field artillery community and as a symbol of the military heritage of the KSARNG.
“I have always wanted to join the military since I was a kid,” said Smith, “and my dad was in the Kansas Army National Guard so I thought it would be cool to follow in his footsteps. I chose field artillery specifically because I think working with big guns is cool.”
Smith said he hopes to make a career in the Guard.
“I plan to achieve my long-term goals by sticking with the Army National Guard and going to college,” said Smith. “I would like to work as an electrical engineer and continue my career in the Guard.”
Ayres offered some advice to Smith on how to succeed in his chosen career path.
“Being resilient is key and being able to rapidly adapt as the environment around you changes,” said Ayres. “No training weekend is ever the same and they never seem to go as planned.
“Never be complacent and always be willing to accept challenges and responsibility. Always be ready to take charge and lead no matter what your environment is.
“Show up ready to learn and never stop learning,” said Ayres. “Always be engaged and willing to push your limits physically and academically to become the best soldier in the battalion. Have fun and have stories to share and sell the career experience to others.”