Salutes & Awards

June 8, 2012

Soldier graduates… from high school

Tags:
by Sgt. Tracy Ellingsen
304 Sustainment Brigade public affairs

Pvt. Amber Spencer, 304th Sustainment Brigade, received her high school diploma Monday from Vista Del Lago High School in Moreno Valley. Spencer joined the Army during her junior year and has been participitating in training with the unit throughout her last year in high school.

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — While her friends were enjoying summer at the beach, she was in basic training. While they were wearing flip-flops, she was in boots and while her classmates were enjoying weekends off, she was serving her country in the Army Reserve.

Pvt. Amber Spencer was one of 380 students who graduated from Vista Del Lago High School, Monday night, June 4. The 18 year-old Army Reserve soldier has served in the 304th Sustainment Brigade since she entered the military last summer through the Split Option program. The Split Option program allows soldiers to attend basic training during the summer break, between their junior and senior year of high school. After which, they qualify to participate in a reserve unit throughout their senior year. Spencer is scheduled to leave later this month for the next leg of her training at the Army’s Culinary School for nine weeks.

Balancing high school and Army Reserve commitments was very challenging. Spencer had to get a ride from her mother, to and from March Air Reserve Base, for training. Spencer missed the first two days of her senior year because she was finishing her final two days of basic training. She also missed a day of school in February when the 304th Headquarters traveled to the Fort Irwin firing range for three days of shooting practice.

“During my junior year, my friends thought I was crazy for joining the Army in high school,” said Spencer. “This year they were all cheering me on.”

Her junior-year English teacher was surprised to hear one of her students had enlisted in the military.

“It was really impressive,” said Jana Boden. “I don’t know any high school student who would choose to do that before graduating.”

Boden described Spencer as polite and respectful, a sentiment echoed by Vista Del Lago principal Patricia Bazanos.

“She’s very impressive. She listens to her mom and is polite to the staff,” said Bazanos. “Her mom is our registrar here, so we have all watched Amber grow up.”

Spencer’s friends were not very surprised to hear that she had joined the Army. They describe her as friendly and caring, with a strong desire to serve.

“She’s very respectful,” said friend and fellow graduate, Marina Curry. “I think it’s an honorable thing, so it fits her. I look up at it, not down. I think it’s sweet. It’s a sacrifice for our country.”

Spencer figures that her salary for one weekend of Army Reserve duty is probably more than her friends make at their minimum wage civilian jobs in a week.

“That’s what I focus on when I have to wake up at 5 a.m. on the weekend,” she said.

Now that she has graduated, Spencer is looking forward to finishing up her Army culinary training and pursing a civilian career in culinary arts as well.

“I figure everybody has to eat, so at least I have job security,” she said. Spencer said she loves to bake and admits to having a sweet tooth.

Sgt. Tyrell Bacon, who heads up the 304th Food Service section and serves as Spencer’s boss, said having such a young soldier has brought a new dynamic to his kitchen.

“It is different because most of the people who I deal with are usually adults. We all rallied around her to coach her through things,” he said. Bacon has helped Spencer balance her schedule so she could fully participate in senior activities, while still meeting her commitment to the Army. The 304th had a training assembly the weekend before Spencer’s graduation, so Bacon made sure his youngest soldier was able to make it to her graduation party and other graduation activities. However, when she was in the dining facility (kitchen), Bacon had Spencer working like a seasoned veteran.

“This is the first time I’ve had somebody who worked for me who made me feel old,” said Bacon. “It’s going to be nice to see her come up through the ranks and finish her training and become a full-fledged food service specialist.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Untitled-1

AAFES marks 119 years of serving Airmen

Today, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) celebrates 119 years of proudly serving Airmen, Soldiers and their families. AAFES is the 43rd largest retail organization in the U.S., with annual revenue of more than ...
 
 

Gluten-free diet won’t make you thin

What runs through your mind when you see the words “gluten-free” plastered on your favorite bag of chips in the store? Do you wonder if something inside the bag has changed? “Gluten-free” products are filling the market now that the diet has become popular. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats and barley....
 
 
colonel-john-richard-boyd

‘An Innovator’s DNA’: Col. John Boyd

Surprisingly, few Airmen have heard of Col. John Boyd, with far fewer aware of his innovative contributions to the advancement of modern-day air power. As the Air Staff feverishly reviews the thousands of innovative ideas submi...
 

 

Military Health System introduces telehealth projects

Technology advances, particularly the use of telemedicine, continue to change how Americans receive their healthcare, where they receive their healthcare and the organizational models for managing their healthcare. The Military Health System long has been a pioneer in using telehealth to connect our global force with the most well-trained specialists in our system. Whether it’s...
 
 

March Air Reserve Base Child Care Program

March Air Reserve Base offers the Home Community Care (HCC) Program to the Air Force Reserve (AFR) and the Air National Guard (ANG) members during the primary Unit Training Assembly (UTA) drill weekends. March has four HCC program providers who are state licensed child care providers. Care may also be requested to use during a...
 
 
U.S. Navy photo/Greg Vojtko

NSWC Corona STEPs for future scientists, engineers

U.S. Navy photo/Greg Vojtko Capt. Eric Ver Hage, Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona Division, and Gordon L. Bourns, Science and Technology Partnership (STEP) vice president, sign an Education Partnership Agre...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin