By Ms Christine June (USAREC)June 14, 2011
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- In front of the pitcher’s mound and 6,343 spectators, 22 Future Soldiers raised their hands and recited the military enlistment oath minutes before the start of a Harrisburg Senators minor league baseball game June 12 at the RiverSide Stadium on City Island.
The U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion-Harrisburg hosted this event to celebrate the U.S. Army’s 236th Birthday. This event also included throwing out the first pitch and providing a color guard for the National Anthem.
“Everyone was staring and clapping for us. It was exciting, and I had a lot of fun,” said Justin Torres, who joined the Army as an Aviation Operation Specialist. He will attend basic training in September at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Harrisburg Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Brian Jenkins administered the oath and threw out the first pitch.
“I think it’s great that we are able to have the Future Soldiers come out here and do their oath of enlistment in front of the community like this,” said Jenkins, who was administering the oath for the first time as the battalion commander, but he had plenty of practice when he was the commander for two years of the Military Entrance Processing Station in Syracuse, N.Y. Jenkins took command of the battalion last month.
Joining the Army from either the Harrisburg or Lancaster Opportunity Centers, the Future Soldiers were then able to watch the game in seats along the first-base line. The Harrisburg Senators lost to the Akron Aeros, 5-4.
The Harrisburg Battalion also hosted similar Army birthday bashes at minor league baseball games with the Reading Phillies June 12 and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs June 14.