Missouri man sheds more than 100 pounds to enlist, graduate basic training
By Martha YoshidaSeptember 4, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Sept. 4, 2012) -- Pvt. David L. West II, of Plato, Mo., graduated One Station Unit Training, Aug. 31, with the 2nd Platoon, Company A, 31st Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade, at Abrams Theater on post.
Through exercise and diet, West lost more than 100 pounds to meet the basic enlistment criteria and was sworn into the Army Jan. 31, 2012.
West said he joined the Army to meet his personal goals and follow in his dad's footsteps.
"I wanted to join the Army, not just because that's what I wanted to do, but because that's what I felt that I needed to do," West said. "It's what my dad did, and that's what I wanted to do, the same job he did -- in the same place that he went to basic training in 1985. I can't ask for more than that."
Even though he was in shape, he found training to be challenging and not what he expected at first.
"It's a lot harder than what people think it is," West said. "I'm very happy I've gone through it and glad to be done. I finally can say that I've done it."
After personal leave, West will go to Fort Stewart, Ga., where he will serve with the 3rd Infantry Division.
The 31st Engineer Battalion trains and develops disciplined combat engineers and bridge crewmembers ready to immediately contribute to their operational units for full spectrum operations.
One Station Unit Training combines Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training phases back-to-back at the same location with the same instructors.