MHS Senior Enhances Physical and Mental Well-Being by Enlisting in the Military
For Jordan Edmonds, a Milton Hershey School senior, enlisting in the Army National Guard is a family tradition.
“My grandfather was in the Army National Guard for Pennsylvania, so I’ve always thought about joining the military,” he said. “Near the end of my sophomore year, I decided I really wanted to do it.”
Making the decision to enlist was only the first step in a longer journey. After talking to his military recruiter, Jordan learned he wasn’t meeting the Army National Guard’s physical standards for body fat composition.
In order to meet the physical standards, Jordan was eager to learn from his recruiter. Together, they began completing basic training style workouts, including cardio and upper body exercises, three times a week. Over time, they enhanced their training regimen and now exercise almost every day.
“It’s hard to [make a change] by yourself, and when you’re first starting, it can be hard to motivate yourself,” he said. “It’s important to find someone who can motivate you and work out with you.”
After a year of hard work and motivation, Jordan successfully met the physical standards for the Army National Guard. Through his transformation, he has noticed improvements in his physical and mental stamina as well as his understanding of nutrition.
“I had to change what I eat and how much I eat. I get a lot of that guidance from the nutritionists at MHS and my Army National Guard recruiter,” Jordan explained. “Mentally, I’m also a little different. I’m more disciplined in the way I hold and conduct myself.”
Next summer, Jordan plans to put his discipline and stamina to the test when he begins basic training. His journey will serve as a powerful reminder of perseverance and strength, even when an obstacle seems unbeatable. “I just have to remember all the hard work and everything I had to do to get to this point,” he added.
After completing basic training, Jordan will begin job training and eventually join the vehicle maintenance team at Fort Indiantown Gap once a month. He plans to attend Penn State University Berks to study wildlife and fisheries science and hopes to apply his discipline and work ethic to everything he does.
“Within my future career working as a conservation officer, [the military] will kind of give me a step ahead of everyone else. Hopefully, employers will see I already have the discipline and won’t be difficult to manage,” he shared.
Milton Hershey School provides individualized support to students who are entering the military, college, or the workforce. Through the Graduate Programs for Success (GPS) Division, dedicated career counselors and higher education support specialists guide students and alumni of all ages.