A Brand New Soldier

By: Ruthie Saylor

There are a number of people who consider joining the military. Caleb Sopher is one of those people. He was the first junior to join the U.S. military reserves in all of the United States this year. To achieve this, he had to go to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Harrisburg where he says that he had to do a physical test, take a regular test, and take the oath. He scored a number above fifty and is in Alpha Range. He says that MEPS is very stressful because “the people are very straight forward with you, and they aren’t nice at all.” He also has to go to Advanced Individual Training (AIT) after this school year is over, which is more training. He is going to ship out in June of 2021 and will return home at the end of August. He will be stationed near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, after he does Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He will then go straight to college where he will get his degree. He says because he is going into the reserves, it is not active duty yet. He still plans to go to active duty some day. (continued below)

Tussey Mountain Junior, Caleb Sopher, enlists in the United States Army in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Sopher first considered signing up in preschool. He always thought that he wanted to be in the military. He has a “military family,” meaning that a lot of the people in his family served, one of these people being his father. He was inspired by his father, and he is very close to him. Once he finally had the chance to sign-up officially, he took the opportunity immediately. Sopher says, “Whatever my brain was thinking at the time [it[ was saying, ‘Be an army soldier’ and [after] all these years I still think,‘Be an army soldier!’” When asked if his decision to join the reserves scares him, he replied with, “I would consider it sometimes scary.… It’s like not the usual of what people do, and I’ll probably be put in a lot of stressful situations across the world somewhere.” Even though he says this, he still thinks he made the right decision. He says, “It feels pretty good. I mean, out of the entire United States from this small town in Pennsylvania, I was able to do something that not many juniors will do.” He feels he made the right decision. Sopher says, “I think it was a good decision, because it only goes up from here.”

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