Student Story: Camden Charter School Sponsors Military Information Night

By: Chanter Pineiro Solano and Giselle Cruz, Camden Academy Charter High School

Photo credit: Camden Academy Charter High School

CAMDEN, N.J. — Camden Academy Charter High School held its first military night on the evening of November 14, 2019.  

Everybody was welcomed as every military branch showed up to inform students about future possible careers in the military and their benefits. School alumni, current students, and even future soldiers joined in and showed up to this informative event. To get a little insight, we interviewed some of our future military soldiers (current seniors Jordan and Jordy Torres) and veteran and school Spanish teacher Mr. Marcos Cotto to understand more about Military Night and the military in general.

All grade levels attended the event. Students spent time talking to drill sergeants and former teachers who were in the military. Most students are driven to join the military because of the benefits and the desire to serve their country. 

During the event, Camden Academy students learned about some requirements in order to enlist in the army.  Some requirements to join the military include taking the ASVAB (Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery test), which is a very challenging test that consists of common knowledge, mechanics, and engineering. Students must also take a physical, which examines every little detail of your body to make sure you have good health and to check if you smoke or drink. If you have tattoos, you will be held under investigation asking about their meanings and why the tattoos matter to you. 

Since Jordan Torres took the ASVAB and has had a physical, some advice he gives to interested students is that  “You should study right now for the ASVAB in order to get a high score so you can have more benefits and more career options,” he said. “Before taking the physical, you need to spend a night in a hotel. You will meet new people and befriend new people and wake up at 4:00 A.M. to eat breakfast, but I suggest you to not take a lot of salt because they will take your blood pressure. You would not automatically be disqualified, but they will check it every couple of hours since people come in scared and nervous. When I was examined, it ran from 5:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.  Although the military can be strict, it’s most definitely worth it.” 

Twin brother Jordy Torres already knew that he wanted to go to the military back when he was in the 8th grade, but his parents weren’t the most supportive of the idea of him joining the Army until he was able to research and explain to them that the Army is not always about war; the Army is also about networking for further education and better career options.

Military Night was exciting because students got to see the teacher who were former soldiers and one of the most known teachers at charter who was in the army was Mr. Cotto. Some advice that Mr. Cotto wants students to first attend to college and join R.O.T.C and join in the military as an Officer, because officers have more authority and are in charge of enlisted soldiers, plus they gave tripled amount than what an enlisted soldier makes.

According to Jordy Torres, Military Night was beneficial to those who are considering joining the military because “alumni came back to talk about their experiences, and we had so many recruiters giving out information,” he said. “We are talking to those who are interested.”

Military night was a success and the school looks forward to making it an annual event to show and tell students that there are many more options other than college,  the military is more than about war it’s a lifestyle, a community, and choice that is benefiting the long run.