ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — The U.S. Army Reserve gained 14 new soldiers Sunday after an enlistment ceremony at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg before the Rays-White Sox baseball game.
“It’s really great to be able to have these new future soldiers in the stadium,” said Lieutenant General Jody Daniels. “Being seen by their families, their friends, their neighbors and 7,000 youth who came to watch the game. So it’s really great to have America see the future of the Army.”
Daniels is the first female chief of the Army Reserve, which is also celebrating its 115th birthday.
“It’s exciting to be the first female commander of the Army Reserve,” Daniels said. “There’s lots of great things going on. There’s lots of excitement, out doing lots of tough, realistic training.”
She said a lot of young people don’t know a ton about the armed services, so ceremonies like Sundays help get the word out.
“All the armed services are actively recruiting, trying to become more well-known with the American population,” Daniels said. “Because only 1 percent has ever served. And so there’s a lot of folks who just don’t know what it means to be in the service.”
Daniels also presented a $200,000 Minuteman scholarship to future Baylor University student Benjamin Borton. She said the Army Reserve has plenty of these scholarships available to help fund students’ education, as long as they join the Army Reserve afterward.
To finish off the pomp and circumstance, the Lieutenant General got to throw out the honorary first pitch — a one-hopper about a foot or two left of the strike zone — which for her, was a success.
“Throwing the first pitch is a little scary,” Daniels explained. “Because I have not had that arm throwing talent, so I’ve been practicing.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Minuteman scholarship, you can do so here. The deadline to apply is August 4.