FORT BLISS, Texas - On a gray spring day, 46 soldiers in 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, renewed their commitment to the United States Army during a re-enlistment ceremony, March 8, on the steps of the 2nd HBCT, headquarters building at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Also present were many families of the reenlisting soldiers.
Spc. Richard Shaw, a cannon crew member in 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, was excited for his first re-enlistment.
“Before I joined the Army, I was living out of my car,” Shaw said. “Now I’m not.”
Shaw cites numerous reasons for his re-enlistment, but perhaps the biggest one was fiscal responsibility.
“I wanted to be financially stable and going out into the economy right now without a degree would be, well, stupid,” Shaw said.
Finances certainly aren’t the only reason that soldiers re-enlist.
“Some soldiers re-enlist for their families,” said Master Sgt. Marisa Estrella, 2nd HBCT’s senior career counselor.
“Some soldiers re-enlist for job stability and some re-enlist because they generally enjoy what they do,” Estrella said. “They know that what they do in the Army they won’t be able to get anywhere else.”
“I am a soldier 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Shaw said, “and I enjoy the job.”
The commitment that comes with reenlisting tells quite a bit about a soldier’s values.
“It says that they’re willing to sacrifice for however many years they re-enlist for,” Estrella said. “It’s not always an easy choice but it’s one they voluntarily make.”
Regardless of the reasons for re-enlisting, Shaw and 45 other soldiers raised their right hand for the oath of enlistment and have again voluntarily stepped up and accepted the responsibility to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
As a soldier with 17 years in service, Estrella feels strongly about those that choose to continue their Army career.
“To the soldiers that re-enlist; thank you,” Estrella said. “Thank you for coming into the military and thank you for your continued service.”