In the spring of 2012, less than a year ago, Jared Lingafelt was receiving his diploma from Soldotna High School. Today he is back in Soldotna and being honored as a U.S. Marine hometown hero having completed his basic training. “When I graduated I had been thinking about military service and the Marine Corp. stood out to me because I wanted to be part of the best so I joined the Marine Corp,” Pvt. Lingafelt told the Dispatch in an interview while home on leave. Jared says he liked sports in high school but that it was Sgt. Rehm United States Marine Corps recruiter that prepared him to become a Marine, “He got us in shape and helped us prepare for our basic training. I worked out a lot with my friends and fellow ‘Poolees’ to get in shape. Coming back home is quite a bit different now that I’m a Marine. It’s great to see friends and family but I’m looking forward to heading back for more training,” said Lingafelt.
As far as his plans for the future Jared says he’s not thinking that far ahead yet but is focused on being the best Marine he can be and learning from all the Corp. has to offer. To the graduating class of 2013 Lingafelt says the military is still a great choice, “I wouldn’t trade my experiences as a Marine for anything in the world. I can imagine doing other things but right now I couldn’t be happier with my decision to become a Marine and right now being a Marine is all I want to do,” he said.
According to Sgt. Rehm the choice for a military career remains a good one regardless of sequester or budget cuts, “One of the major changes we are looking at right now from the Department of Defense is military wide and will be cuts in tuition assistant. Basically what that means is recruits will still have an opportunity for education after their initial four year or whatever their term of commitment to serve, then once they exit the military they will continue to have opportunity to get their college education paid for. Tuition assistance is a program that allows them to get their college education while they are in the military on active duty. So the opportunity remains to earn their college tuition, but only after they complete their military service. Historically we have seen cuts in military spending, this isn’t anything new and budget cuts have been dealt with since the beginning of the military, but I feel that programs like tuition assistance will be returning in the future. The military is still a good economic choice for young people graduating this year. One of the reasons I so passionately love the military is because I’m a family man with a lovely wife and two beautiful children and knowing that they are 100% financially provided for alleviates a lot of stress for me as a parent,” explained Sgt. Rehm.
Congratulations to U.S. Marine Pvt. Jared Lingafelt and his parents and thank you for your service. To learn more about opportunities in the Marine Corps contact Sgt. Rehm at 262-2243, or stop by the Marine recruitment office in the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna located next to the U.S. Army & Navy recruitment centers.