Many young adults are choosing to enter the US Armed Forces, but only 2 in 10 between the ages of 18 and 24 meet the basic standards to apply.
The army requires all soldiers have a high school diploma or equivalent, pass a criminal background check, have superior scores on aptitude tests, and pass physical fitness testing.
Warrant Officer Candidate William Vohaska is one of the 2 in 10.
I didn't want to have a corporate job. I wanted to do something different with my life.
Raised just outside of Chicago, Vohaska, 21, took a different route than many of his peers. He joined the United States Army.
“Aviation is something I've been interested in since I was a little kid so it was a natural mesh for me to pick this job,” says Vohaska.
Now he is in Warrant Officer Candidate School at Fort Rucker, but the application process is very competitive. It took him three times before he was accepted.
“I remember when I got that phone call. My heart stopped. I just couldn't believe I actually got accepted this time, and I'm actually here now,” says Vohaska.
The program is training Vohaska in tactics, customs, and leadership.
“I've already learned a lot about myself just by being here. Warrant Officer candidate school is a lot more challenging than basic training. I'm learning a lot more about my leadership style and how I can develop as a leader,” he says.
However, the training isn’t over.
“I've been taught that leaders are made and not necessarily born. It's a combination of disposition and who you are as a person. This school is definitely shaping me as a different leader. It's a learning process and I don't think at this point it's easy to say what kind of leader I am,” says Vohaska.
It is easy for him to encourage others to consider a career in the military.
“Whether enlisted or if they want to become an officer, I think there's a lot to be learned on both sides. They are completely different experiences from what I've gained from being here in the military. I think it's a great opportunity whether it's for money, education, leadership experiences,” says Vohaska.
An opportunity he intends to stick with for a while.
Vohaska says, “I'm planning on staying 6 years, at least here. If I like it, I might stay active the whole time. If I don't go active my goal is to join the National Guard.”