Army National Guard recruits visit March Field

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U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tiffany Lindemann

The Army National Guard (NG) held its first ever “Buddy Day” for its Recruit Sustainment Program, at March Air Reserve Base’s Hangar 452, May 16.

The goal of the all-day event was to attract NG recruits by allowing newly enlisted recruits, known as “warriors,” to bring a friend on base for the day and see life inside the Guard, said Sgt. 1st Class Andres Viveros, NG marketing specialist.

As part of the event, current Army Guardsmen led instructional stations for the new and potential recruits. The warriors learned about weapons handling and safety, how to wear gas masks, marching techniques, reporting statements and facing movements.

“We basically prepare them for basic training,” said Viveros.  “We have a lot of honor grads come back from basic training, and I believe that has a lot to do with this program.”

The recruits also toured a 336th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker, a refueling aircraft, where they were able to ask the air crew and maintainers questions.

While the Guardsmen mentors are usually tough on the warriors, to better prep them for basic training, Buddy Day was more for enjoyment and showing the recruits and their friends the exciting aspects of being in the military, said Viveros.

“This is a fun opportunity for the kids and a different way to recruit,” he said. “We are hoping some of the friends see the things they could be doing and decide to join the National Guard.”

The Recruit Sustainment Program plans to hold this event annually, said Viveros.