As a captain of the police explorers and an intern at the Collinsville and Baldwin Police Departments, Illinois Army National Guard Sergeant Anthony Womack always knew he wanted to have a career in law enforcement.
He knew that the military could get him there. A friend he had in his high school athletic physical education class was going into the National Guard and told – then 16 years old – Sergeant Womack about how he could receive one hundred percent paid college tuition and go to college as a part of the military police. Soon after that, Sergeant Womack contacted his local recruiter and joined the National Guard the week after his seventeenth birthday. He never saw himself becoming a recruiter until the summer of 2010 when he was asked to fill a summer job as a recruiter’s assistant. He loved the experience and has been passionate about recruiting ever since.
Sergeant Womack currently recruits at Triad, Wesclin, Highland, Lebanon, and O’Fallon high schools. To ensure each recruit receives his full attention, he uses a lot of time management and needs to be willing to work around the schedules of his potential recruits, no matter how busy they are. As the recruiter for O’Fallon, he thinks being community based is really important and desires to “be involved in everything O’Fallon,” whether that be attending football games, marching band performances, or even just reading the local paper.
His goal as a recruiter is to help people get to where they want to go in life by giving people the same opportunities he had with the National Guard and to mold future leaders. The most rewarding part of his job is watching people grow, get better, and succeed and knowing he helped them get there. The hardest part of his job is fighting the stereotypes of recruiters, however he says his job is a lot more than just recruiting to him.
“It’s about changing people’s lives that need more structure. It’s also about finding people like [Becca] with leadership skills and discipline,” says Sergeant Womack.
Becca Jones-Scales, who has been designated a Private, was recently recruited by Sergeant Womack and she swore in to the Illinois Army National Guard on July 18. Sergeant Womack remarked how he thinks she’ll do in the Guard. “Sky’s the limit for Becca. She already has a ton of leadership experience and is very prepared. She’ll be someone who can help other people succeed.”
Jones-Scales says she chose the Illinois Army National Guard because Sergeant Womack took the time to get to know her strengths as a person, helped her figure out how she could have a symbiotic relationship with the military, was honest with her about both the pluses and minuses of the military, and worked around her busy schedule to do those things. She had talked to recruiters from the Marines, the Army Reserves, and also Sergeant Womack when they came to O’Fallon Township High School during the lunch periods. The college benefits, location, branch, and values of the National Guard were also important in her decision making.
“Teams, leadership, service, community, and tradition have always been really important to me and those are the things the National Guard are all about,” said Jones-Scales. She chose Illinois as her state to serve in because her top college choice is the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and because the Illinois National Guard offers the best benefits out of all fifty states.
She chose the Army National Guard versus the Air National Guard because, in her words, “the Army is the drumline of the military: their team is their family and you to be brave, curious, and have a taste for adventure to be a part of them.”
Before she swore in, Jones-Scales got the opportunity to attend a Mike Company – the Company she’ll be serving in – drill weekend. There, she participated in a high ropes course, water survival training, and got to see the strength, teamwork, and leadership that is expected of every private there and of every member of the National Guard.
Jones-Scales is looking forward to her future as a 42A Human Resource Specialist and commented, “I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve my country, work with dedicated people, and build myself as an individual, a team member, and a leader. I hope that throughout my National Guard experience, I’ll be able to mentor people and build up those around me to strengthen whatever team I’m a part of inside and outside the National Guard as well as whatever team comes after me.”
For more information about the Illinois National Guard, Sergeant Anthony Womack can be reached at (618) 910-4392 or at Anthony.M.Womack2.email@example.com.