FORT KNOX, Kentucky –
Leaving home for the first time can be scary but doing this with your closest friends makes it a lot easier. The Army offers a program allowing people to join with up to four of their friends.
The buddy enlistment option guarantees the recruits will attend basic combat and advance individual training together and then be assigned at the same first duty station after graduation. There are a few stipulations to these guarantees.
“All prospects must agree on the same job and enlist on the same day,” said Sgt. 1st Class James PierreJules, a recruiting noncommissioned officer with 3rd Recruiting Brigade, Chicago Recruiting Battalion. “There is also a three-year commitment.”
PierreJules, the deputy commander of Mount Prospect Recruiting Station, recently enlisted three eager friends under the buddy program.
“This is the first time for our station to enlist anyone under the buddy program,” PierreJules said.
The three Soldiers have been friends since elementary school, so joining together was an easy choice. They wanted a hands-on job in the Army, so they enlisted as power generator mechanics, or 91D, PierreJules said.
Matthew Dolatowski, Anthony Jones and Prenstin Smith are graduating from Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Illinois. They will go to basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, this summer and then attend Power Generator Mechanics School at Fort Lee, Virginia.
The buddy program offers Future Soldiers who may be worried about leaving home or not being able to make friends easily the opportunity to experience the Army with their own friend group or even family.
For more information about career opportunities and benefits in the U.S. Army, visit www.goarmy.com.