By Mr. Stephen Standifird (Leonard Wood)February 26, 2015
Fort Leonard Wood is a prime recruiting spot for the oldest active-duty infantry regiment in the U.S. Army.
A team of recruiters from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as the Old Guard, were on post Monday and Tuesday to find some unique Soldiers they said only Fort Leonard Wood can provide.
"We want to find entry-level Soldiers who are unfiltered and fresh, so we can properly integrate them into the Old Guard. The only place that we can do that is Fort Leonard Wood," said 1st Sgt. Mark Haliburton, 289th Military Police Company, Old Guard, company first sergeant. "We want to train Soldiers from the beginning to meet Old Guard standards."
Haliburton and the recruiting team met with 50 Soldiers, all who are currently students in military police or motor transportation Advanced Individual Training, instructors or drill sergeants. While entry-level is the best for integration and training for the Old Guard, they still need established Soldiers and noncommissioned officers as well.
The Old Guard serves three primary missions.
They support ceremonial affairs, memorial affairs, and the national defense of the Capitol region.
Most people know about the Old Guard because of the U.S. Army Drill Team, the Fife and Drum Corps, the Presidential Salute Battery, or the Soldiers guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
Master Sgt. Hector Milian, Old Guard, regimental recruiter, said they were here looking to fill specific support needs and can be very selective. Of the 1,800 Soldiers in the Old Guard, only 64 are motor transportation, and 120 are military police.
"We are looking for mature, independent and self-sufficient Soldiers," he said. "The only thing we want to recruit is excellence."
Pvt. Justin Murillo, a motor transportation AIT student, thinks he is just what the recruiters are looking for.
"I feel I am able to meet not only the standard, but exceed it," he said.
For another Soldier, it seemed like the next step in his career progression.
"I've been asked to apply before, because I met all of the qualifications," said Staff Sgt. Angel Marrero, motor transportation instructor. "Senior leaders have been recommending I apply for a while, so maybe this is my calling."
Of the 20 Soldiers who attended the motor transportation brief, Milian said there is a good chance some of these Soldiers will make it. If they do, Haliburton said, it will be nothing like they have experienced before.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime," he said.