Born in Holland to Indian and Guyanese parents, 19-year old Pvt. Avin Sumesar never expected to be one of more than 30 U.S. Army Future Soldiers to take the oath of enlistment during a pre-game Future Soldier Swear-in Ceremony April 8, 2011, before thousands of celebratory Nets and Knicks basketball fans at the New Jersey-based Prudential Center.

“You only live once,” said Sumesar, a Queens resident and senior at Brooklyn’s East New York High School of Transit Technology. “You might as well make it exciting!”

Having military interests since a young age, Sumesar always believed being a Soldier, and going through the rigorous training, was a positive, life-shaping choice for anyone to experience.

Sumesar is one of over 100 Future Soldiers who found their pathway to the U.S. Army through the U.S. Army Career Center Richmond Hill in Queens, N.Y., specifically with the help and mentorship of a Soldier by the name of Staff Sgt. John T. Jones, a 29-year-old recruiting noncommissioned officer and U.S. Army motor transport operator by trade.

“What is most unique about Avin is his pure enthusiasm for the military as a whole,” said Jones, a combat veteran. “The average Future Soldier spends about four months completing the required online Future Soldier classes, and Avin is the only Future Soldier I know who completed all the required classes in two days with a 90 percent passing rate. Additionally, after he accepted the oath of enlistment officially, he stood up and said to me, “Sergeant, I thank you for this opportunity to let me join the Army.’”

Upon graduation this year from East New York High School of Transit Technology, Sumesar will ship to Fort Benning, Ga., where he will attend One Station Unit Training, or OSUT, to learn the trade of an armor crewman. The armor crewman works as part of a team to operate armored equipment and fire weapons to destroy enemy positions. During peacetime, tank and armor units must stay ready to defend our country anywhere in the world.

Along with the many standard occupational benefits associated with a career in the U.S. Army, such as health care, housing and guaranteed training, Sumesar earned an incredible college education-incentive package, which included a combination of the Montgomery GI Bill and the Army College Fund, totaling over $72,000 for his four years of enlisted service. If he would decide to extend his enlistment contract up to six years, he could earn up to $83,448 dollars to cover his education expenses, which equates to roughly $2,318/month. Additionally, the $1,400 senior enlistment bonus he earned upon signing his contract will be paid to him upon his successful graduation from OSUT.

“I think you can be very proud of this accomplishment,” said Sumesar. “And I believe it says something about the person who joins.”