Walters’ Brayden Strange – Oklahoma Army National Guard Spotlight

Former Walters cross country and track runner Brayden Strange was looking for a way to “jump start” is his life and the military seemed like a good option. Now that he is serving in the Oklahoma Army National Guard, Strange moving forward in his military career and starting college in the spring.

“I joined the Oklahoma National Guard as a way to jumpstart my life. The deciding factor over the rest was the financial assistance the Guard offers that will help me get through college,” said Strange. “I will be attending the University of Oklahoma this spring semester.”

Strange remembers the recruiting process to be fairly easy and quick.

“The recruiting process was pretty simple for me. I took the PiCAT, signed some papers and went to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station). Next thing I know I am in the Guard,” said Strange. “I completed my MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) training as a 68 Whiskey (Combat Medic) this last September.”

Being an athlete in high school helped him through basic training, which he completed in the summer of his junior year of high school.

“Doing sports in high school definitely helped me through basic training. I had the fastest run time out of the company. In AIT this last summer I received the award of Iron Medic for the highest PT score in my company with a 339 on the extended scale,” said Strange.

The Oklahoma Army National Guard was the preferred branch Strange wanted to serve in, and it was a visit to his school by a recruiter that helped him make that decision.

“I didn’t really look at any of the other branches. What made me join the Guard over the rest was the fact that SFC Luinaquintero, or SFC LQ came to my class during school and talked to my class about the benefits the Guard is able to give to us and no other branch spent the time to talk to me let alone give a presentation,” said Strange.

The Combat Medic offers this advice to anyone considering the Oklahoma National Guard.

“The only advice I would give to anyone considering the National Guard as an option would be to do it. I may have joined for selfish reasons, like having the government pay for my college, however, I’ve loved all of the training the Guard has allowed me to go through,” said Strange. “I have already got a head start past my peers with all the skill I have learned through AIT as a Combat Medic. And there is no way I would have been able to jump out of an airplane at 18 without the Guard sending me to Georgia for Airborne school. So I’d just tell them to go for it. Stop considering, and do it.”