HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Surrounded by a crowd of nearly 2,000 cheering Chargers basketball fans, six future Soldiers took their oath of enlistment, Jan. 21, during the University of Alabama in Huntsville Military Appreciation Night.
The six raised their right hands in the center of Kelly Court, repeating the oath, administered by Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command.
“These six men and women represent the future of our Army,” Karbler said. “They’re going to jobs like infantry, helicopter repair, medic, vehicle maintainer, and chemical biological, nuclear.”
With more than 200 ways to serve as a Soldier including careers in science, space, cybersecurity, combat forces, and law, Karbler said these future Soldiers are taking full advantage of what the Army has to offer.
“It gives me great pleasure to bring them into the Army,” he said.
The enlistment ceremony took place at halftime in a game where the UAH Chargers were battling Gulf South Conference rivals, the West Alabama Tigers.
Although the Chargers ultimately fell to the Tigers 72-57, the loss could not dampen the recruits’ excitement.
“The ceremony was really good, and I’m glad our families were able to see it,” said future Soldier McKenna Griffith.
Griffith, a senior at Priceville High School, said her father served in the military and she has wanted to join since the seventh grade.
“I always wanted to do something in the medical field, but the military has always attracted me, too,” she said. ”When I found out that I could be a medic, it stuck, and I’ve prepared for it ever since.”
Griffith leaves for basic training in June.
Military service also runs in future Soldier Anoki Klemp’s family. Klemp’s grandfather and grandmother both served in the military.
“Everything about the Army sounds amazing to me,” he said. “It’ a dream come true. “Not only do I get to travel, have fun and get paid for it, but I get to serve my country at the same time.”
Klemp, a Gadsden High School senior, said he found his purpose in the Army.
“Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a scientist,” he said. “When they told me I could go play with chemicals in the Army and get paid for it, I couldn’t turn that down.”
Klemp leaves for basic training in May.
UAH and the Association of the United States Army sponsored Military Appreciation Night. Karbler thanked the organizations for providing an opportunity to recognize service members and their families.
“You are what makes Huntsville such an awesome community,” he said.