FORT RILEY, Kan. – The 1st Infantry Division hosted future Soldiers from various recruiting battalions in the region for their oath of enlistment and a tour of post, April 18, 2023.
The tour was part of the Big Red One’s ongoing effort to support Army recruiting both in the region and nationally by connecting citizens with its Soldiers.
Approximately 51 future Soldiers took their oath of enlistment during the tour. Prior to taking their oath, the enlistees were able to view a portion of a live-fire gunnery training being conducted by the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div. at the Douthit Gunnery Complex.
Lt. Col. Richard A. Montcalm, the commander of the 1st Squadron, 4th Cav. Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Divison, led The Oath of Enlistment.
“The oath is a formal recognition that you are placing yourself subordinate to something greater than yourself,” Montcalm said. “You are subjugating your own priorities to a greater mission, the defense of our nation.”
Montcalm said the tour was an excellent chance for the division to connect to the community.
“Having a chance to tell our story directly from the mouths of the people that these [enlistees] are going to become in a few months or years is a very meaningful way to connect with them,” Montcalm said. “From a recruiting perspective, I don’t think there is any better way to convince somebody that there are tremendous opportunities in the United States Army than to let them hear it from the people who are working through it right now.”
After taking the oath, the enlistees were able to talk to Soldiers who matched or held similar career specialties to those that they were enlisting for, allowing them to see what a day in the life of a Soldier is like.
Other locations included in the tour were Sparetime Interactive Entertainment, Leonard Gym and the Seitz Regional Training Complex where the future Soldiers experienced true-to-life virtual reality machines that simulated convoying in Humvees through a hostile town and controlling M1A1 Abrams Tanks and M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
Overall, enlistees enjoyed the tour. Melissa Campos, an Omaha, Nebraska native, was more enthusiastic than ever to join the Army.
“I can’t wait to see where the Army takes me,” Campos said. “It will allow me to serve something greater and be productive while I figure out what I want to do.”
Colin McQueen, a Washington, Kansas native, enlisted to become a UH-60 Helicopter Repairer.
“I’m grateful for opportunities like this,” McQueen said, “It is not something you get to do every day, it is a great honor. I’m absolutely grateful.”