Student enlists in National Guard


Breanna Salsmonson, senior, at a stand with two other National Guard members advertising for the National Guard itself.

Jamie Pellikaan, Co-Editor

Shipping off to boot camp?

That is the reality for Senior Breanna Salmonson, who, on July 22, 2016, joined the National Guard.

“I always wanted to join,” Salmonson said. “It helps pay for college and I just wanted to serve the people of the United States.”

Salmonson has wanted to join a branch of the military since she was 10 years old

She finally decided that the National Guard would be the best option for her during the last school year.

“It’s only part time, and I wanted to complete college first before I served full time. The Navy is on a boat and I don’t think I could stay on a boat for that long of a time,” Salmonson said.

Salmonson plans on attending Kansas State University (KSU) during the upcoming fall semester and participating in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). By joining the ROTC, Salmonson will graduate KSU as a second lieutenant in the National Guard.

“As an officer, I’m not a private anymore. At that point, I’m one of the bosses,” Salmonson said.

The ROTC allows participants to take 24 elective hours coinciding with a degree program at a university that will result in graduating as a second lieutentent.

However, Salmonson has been going to training every month for one weekend for the National Guard. They refer to it as drill, and the people who go get paid for attending, but attendance is required.

“We learn about weapons and shooting positions. We have also learned all about medical care, and the phonetic alphabet. There are even army songs that we are supposed to have memorized. Last time I went we learned hand to hand combat, and I learned how to choke someone out,” Salmonson said.

Salmonson hopes she will go to basic training in Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri this summer; however, complications have come up.

Salmonson has a bone spur and a labral tear in her hip.

“I need surgery in my leg, so I had to push back my ship out date for basic training, but I hope to have it all completed by winter time,” Salmonson said.

She still attends her drills, however, as these are required for her to go.

“I just sit there and watch now, which kind of stinks, but at least I’m still there with my friends,” Salmonson said.

Being in the National Guard has allowed Salmonson to feel like she’s doing something worth while.

“I’ve made new close friends and I’ve learned a lot of important things. I enjoy going to training as it’s a good place to burn off some steam and it helps me feel like I’m contributing something instead of just sitting on the couch all day,” Salmonson said.

When Salmonson is done with basic training and college she will be stationed in Topeka.

She hopes to serve for 20 years.