The Student News Source Of Kennedy High School

Kennedy Torch

The Student News Source Of Kennedy High School

Kennedy Torch

The Student News Source Of Kennedy High School

Kennedy Torch

Planning for the Future: Kennedy Senior Bibesh Magar Enlists into the Army Reserve

The Army Reserve promises basic and job training back to back after finishing senior year.
Army Reserve
The Army Reserve promises basic and job training back to back after finishing senior year.

Enlisting into the military requires significant consideration for your future. There is a tedious process to ensure that being in the military is a good path for your future. At Kennedy, there are multiple opportunities to learn more and enlist.

Bibesh Magar is a senior at Kennedy and has enlisted into the Army Reserve. 

“I have always wished to be in the army, but never really took action to do so,” Magar said. 

Despite his enthusiasm, Magar’s decision to enlist in the army reserve was not quick. Sergeant Nicholas Stevenson has served in the Army for 14 years and works to recruit people to Active Duty and the Army Reserve. 

It’s funny because I met Bibesh Magar at Walmart where he works,” Stevenson said. “He was bagging my groceries and I asked him if he ever thought about looking into the Army as an option for himself.  He laughed and told me he would never join.” 

Despite his statement, Magar’s curiosity only grew after meeting Stevenson.

“I met my recruiter and realized the college benefits as well as living my dream of being in the army,” Magar said.

Continuous encounters at Walmart led to more questions from Magar until he and Stevenson discussed the legitimacy of enrolling and the start of the process. 

Magar’s increasing number of questions is very regular for people considering enlisting in the military. According to Stevenson it’s a step people are wary of pursuing, yet the most important step in the process. 

“The enlistment process is not a quick process and can vary for each person,” Stevenson said.   “Once you decide you want to start the process after sitting down and talking with a recruiter, you take a test called the ASVAB.”

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a test that determines which jobs you qualify for in the Army. After the test is taken, you provide some basic documents and fill out an application packet. After more documentation and a full medical physical in Des Moines, you can enlist in the Army. 

“You don’t have to have any experience with the job you pick in the Army, all training is provided.” Stevenson said, “Your job you decide to do however is determined before anything is officially completed which is a great feature the Army has to offer.”  

Since the process has quite a few steps, it can seem daunting. What if someone changes their mind? Luckily, at any point in the enlisting process, you can stop if you feel like it. 

“I pressure nobody to join. I don’t need people to join; I want them to join because they feel it is a good fit for them,” Stevenson said. 

Magar has gone through the steps of enlisting and enlisted in Sept. of 2023.

“Since I work with Kennedy as the Army recruiter and my wife Mrs. Gonzalez also works there,” Stevenson said. “I saw him around school as well and eventually he became serious about wanting to join the Army Reserve which is our part-time Army service.”

Magar enlisted in the Army Reserve, but that was not the only path available. 

“There are two enlistment options,” Stevenson said.”Active Duty and Army Reserve.”

The first option, Active Duty, is an option only available for current seniors. 

“You can enlist with a full-time job, pay and benefits in the Army as a senior,” Stevenson said.  “Once you graduate, you will start your training and after completion of training you will live and work on an Army base for whatever job you picked before you enlisted.”

The second option, Magar’s choice, is available to both juniors and seniors. 

“If you enlist as a junior, you can attend basic training this summer and attend job training next summer,” Stevenson said.  “If you enlist into the Army Reserve as a senior, you will do basic and job training back to back after finishing senior year.”

Magar plans to be a plumber with an Army unit in Davenport. Within his job with the Army Reserve, he will make money from multiple angles. His overall benefit package equates to a $20,000 signing bonus, $102,080 toward college tuition and $50,000 to pay back any student loans. He will also receive a part-time paycheck for the two days a month of service he completes, hiring preference points for future job employment and full health and dental insurance coverage. 

An optional step in the enlisting process is applying for a military scholarship. 

“The Army has a Minuteman scholarship which students enrolled into a University at the college level can have either tuition paid for or room and board with the College,” Stevenson said. “This option is tied to a ROTC [Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] Officer commitment option and is a great option for those looking into the ROTC path of Army service.”

The Minuteman scholarship and ROTC commitment are add-ons to enlisting in the military, so people enlisting only need to consider them as options along the way if they are looking for extra support or benefits.

“All service members who serve on Active Duty also receive the Post 9-11 GI Bill, which pays full tuition at any university and also pays for your housing while attending college,” Stevenson says. 

With a lengthy, thoughtful process that can shape your future, what benefits does enlisting provide? 

“The Army Reserve is a great option for those considering some type of service to their community and their country but want to stay local in the Iowa or surrounding areas,” Stevenson said. “I always tell people if you have a solid plan in place, the Army Reserve will do nothing but solidify your plan and help you step-stone your way to where you want to be in life.”

With continuous support, the Army Reserve ensures that enlisted students have a clear path toward a successful career and future. 

“Every Army Reserve unit in the area is filled with people who work full time in the community as professionals in their own field while showing up one weekend per month to serve the Army part-time,” Stevenson said, “It’s a great place to network with many different types of people and make connections that can help you both personally and professionally.”

If you have any questions you can contact Sargent Stevenson by phone number (319)-423-4425, email [email protected] or meet him during lunch while the Army visits. 

Magar is optimistic about his future in the Army Reserve: “I hope to become better at being more disciplined and learn to achieve my dreams no matter what.”

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Maggie Goldberg, Writer
Hi, I’m Maggie Goldberg, a junior and writer for Torch! When I’m not taking notes, I play volleyball and tennis for Kennedy and am also a member of Happiness Inc. My passion is seeking new ways to express myself, whether it’s fashion, my curly hair, writing or doodling. 
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