SHS student finds his path for service

SHS student finds his path for service
Posted on 09/27/2017

Scott 2:  Your Path to a Brighter Future Scottsburg High School senior Paolo Bartoch looked for a path after graduation where he could continue to serve his community and not incur any college debt.

He looked to the military to find his path.

During his lunch periods at SHS last year, Bartoch was able to meet with different military recruiters, learn about the various branches of the military, and figure out which branch was right for him.

“Recruiters being there helped piqued my interest,” Bartoch said. “I was able to see a good portion of the branches. I could look at it as an outsider and talk to someone who is in the branch.”

From those meetings, Bartoch chose to enlist in the National Guard in February. For enlisting, Bartoch has the opportunity to serve his country while receiving assistance and receiving military scholarships for college.

“I don’t want to be up to my shoulders in debt. [The National Guard] is a bit more of a secure way to [pay for college] while giving back to my country in turn,” Bartoch said.

Serving is a core value for Bartoch, who has been in the Boy Scouts of America since second grade and is an Eagle Scout. For his Eagle Scout project, Bartoch worked on a wrought iron fence for a church cemetery and erected a cross for a pro-life memorial.

The National Guard also recognizes Bartoch’s Eagle Scout status by giving him a higher rank, and as a result, a higher pay grade than if he did not have this accomplishment.

“I can truly say I have never been an E-1 in my life,” Bartoch said.

After enlisting, Bartoch completed basic combat training this summer before starting his senior year, which is unlike some of the other military branches. For 10 weeks, he worked to become physically and mentally stronger at Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC. Following high school graduation, he will move onto advanced individual training.

Once at college, Bartoch plans to join the Reserve Officers' Training Corps while majoring in an engineering program. The National Guard ROTC program is a college elective and teaches its members leadership and teamwork skills with academic and hands-on, physical training.

To help pay for college, Bartoch is exploring all the options opened to him as an enlisted soldier. He will receive financial aid from the military, but he will also have access to a pool of scholarships offered to only to enlisted men and women, including scholarships that amount to full-tuition.

After college, Bartoch will have some time left to serve on his six-year contract. As a National Guardsman, he will help with disaster relief around the United States and wherever else his unit is called. Helping others is what attracted Bartoch to the National Guard along with the college financial assistance.

“The National Guard really seemed to follow that guideline [of helping people],” Bartoch said.

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