Crowd cheers mass Army Guard enlistment at D-Backs game

Crowd cheers mass Army Guard enlistment at D-Backs game

During a pregame ceremony, Army Brig. Gen. John Burk administers the oath of enlistment to 20 Arizona Army National Guard Soldiers in front of the home crowd at Chase Field Aug. 23. (National Guard Photo by Spc. Wes Parrell)

PHOENIX – Arizona Diamondbacks fans applauded 20 Citizen-Soldiers as they took their oath of enlistment before a game at Chase Field here Aug. 23.

The oath is each Soldier’s declaration to support and defend the Constitutions of the United States and the state of Arizona, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. When a Soldier first enlists, or later re-enlists, in the National Guard they sign a formal enlistment contract and recite the oath as administered by an officer.

“The ceremony today, in front of the home crowd at Chase Field, really brings the Arizona Army National Guard in front of the citizens of Arizona,” said Army Lt. Col. Michael Warren, commander of the Arizona Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion. “Seeing these Soldiers take the oath of enlistment may inspire others to see what the Arizona Army National Guard can do for them.”

Upon completion of the enlistment process Guard members begin their training in the Recruit Sustainment Program where they learn about Army Guard missions and military basics such as customs and courtesies.  The new recruits soon report to Basic Combat Training, or “Boot Camp,” to continue the transformation into becoming Soldiers.

After basic training they learn a trade through one or more military occupational specialty schools. After graduation Guard members return to Arizona to serve one weekend per month and two weeks a year as Citizen-Soldiers.

Spc. Jackie Kenney, one of the 20 new Soldiers, enlisted in the Arizona National Guard to be a musician in the 108th Army Band.

“I have always wanted to serve my country and the state of Arizona,” said Kenney, who has played the trumpet for over 11 years. “The Arizona Army National Guard gave me a way to pursue my passion for music, further my education, and serve in my community.”

The oath of enlistment was established during the Revolutionary War, June 14, 1775, as part of the act that created the Continental Army.

For more information about becoming a member of the Arizona Army National Guard contact the Recruiting and Retention Battalion at (602) 267-2700.