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NEWS | June 21, 2021

Future Soldiers visit Redstone Arsenal, learn more about Army life

By Michelle Gordon U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command

U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Commander Maj. Gen. Todd Royar and AMCOM Command Sgt. Major Mike Dove met with future Soldiers June 7 at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

The 31 high school students visited the installation in support of Army National Hiring Days to get firsthand knowledge from the AMCOM commanding general and his right-hand man. And, with a combined 60 years of experience in Army service, the two leaders were more than willing to answer questions from the young recruits.

Royar broke the ice by asking why the young men and women chose to join the Army.

Family, service, school and benefits were the top answers given before Royar shared while he joined — because his sister was dating a Soldier and Royar said to himself, “If this guy can get paid to do it, then so can I.”

“I’ll be honest,” he said. “I did not come into the Army for an altruistic reason. I came in simply because I looked at somebody else doing it and I said, ‘They are successful and I want to be successful too.’”

It worked out for him. That Soldier he looked up to all those years ago eventually became his brother-in-law, and Royar went on to earn a spot at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Now, after more than 30 years of service, he said he has learned a few things he wanted to impart on his young visitors.

“First, you can make yourself whatever you want to be,” he said. “… Whether you do just one term in the Army, or you stay and become a command sergeant major or a commanding general, you have the opportunity to make it what you want it to be.”

Royar’s second point was about teamwork. He reminded the recruits that they are part of the Army team now and that they cannot succeed on their own; they have to ensure their battle buddies succeed too.

“You need to make sure that the person to your left and to your right are going to succeed with you and, when they need help, you’re going to help them — because they are part of your team.”

Dove echoed Royar’s emphasis on teamwork.

“What each of you are doing makes the Army team better and helps complete the mission, wherever that mission is at — whether it’s here at home or overseas — it takes every single one of you to make that mission happen, and we’re glad to have you on the team.”

Before opening up the floor to questions, Royar reminded the future Soldiers about the importance of truly living the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

At the conclusion of the event, Royar administered the oath of enlistment to the teens and asked them to think about the words they were about to repeat.

He said, “Every military in the world has an oath, and they all have an oath to something, but ours is different. Ours is unique. So as you repeat the words, think about that. You’re pledging allegiance to the ideas that make our country great — not an individual, not an institution, but to that set of ideas that define us as a country — that's what makes us different; that’s what makes you different.”