Training for America’s Greatest Team

Jacob Travis, a Tulpehocken Area High School senior and student in Berks Career & Training Center’s (BCTC) Welding Technology Program, spent the last summer as a high school student training for the most physical, mental, and emotional challenges he may ever encounter at the United States’ Army Basic Training.

Four days after his junior year ended in June 2022, Jacob left for ten weeks of Basic Training in Missouri.  Here he learned the foundations needed for his career in the service including how to march, repel, handle weapons, proper dress and grooming standards, and the Army’s core values.  “There were some tough days, but we persevered as a team,” Jacob noted. 

At BCTC, he serves a Student Ambassador, answering questions and giving tours to student and adults during campus visits.  He is also a mentor to many of the welding students.   While at Basic Training, Jacob served in several leadership positions including Platoon Guide and Bay Leader.  “Looking back, I am really proud and surprised the I led fifty people.”  Jacob continued, “I was 18-year-old with a lot of responsibilities.”

Jacob’s summer ended the same way it started, four days after Basic Training, he was back in class at BCTC.  “I am glad to be back to complete my welding training, but I am also looking forward to a career in combat engineering in the Army,” Jacob stated.  His next round of military training will begin shortly after Jacob’s high school graduation in June 2023.  BCTC is proud to be part of the training for the next generation of freedom defenders.