2018-03-22 / Local News

County grad recalls decision to enlist


FORMER LEELANAU County graduate Savannah Lingaur enlisted in the Navy while still in high school. She served three years at a military base in Japan, returned to the U.S. at Bethesda, Md. and is now planning to explore different options for continuing her education. As a member of the military, educational expenses are typically covered by the G.I. Bill. FORMER LEELANAU County graduate Savannah Lingaur enlisted in the Navy while still in high school. She served three years at a military base in Japan, returned to the U.S. at Bethesda, Md. and is now planning to explore different options for continuing her education. As a member of the military, educational expenses are typically covered by the G.I. Bill. Five branches and countless opportunities. The United States military offers high school graduates another direction to go after walking the stage.

One Leelanau County graduate made that decision seven years ago at the age of 17. In fact, Savannah Lingaur joined the Navy while she was still in high school.

“Once I graduated, I left for boot camp in 2011,” Lingaur recalled.

Prior to her departure, Lingaur said she talked with Navy recruiters when she attended the Career Tech Center in Traverse City.

“I was in the public safety program,” she said. “I told them I was only going to join if I got the job I wanted.”

And she did.

Following her basic training, Lingaur packed her bags and served at a military base in Japan for three years. She worked as a part of the military police.

“I wanted to work in law enforcement and wanted to be a police officer,” she said. “And I wanted the opportunity to travel the world and get that experience at the same time.”

Now based in Bethesda, Md., she is in the final days of her service commitment.

In the coming months, her educational experience will continue as she takes advantage of the G.I. Bill. The bill will provide her with funds to attend school.

Lingaur is currently considering her options. She said she has almost earned enough credits for a criminal justice degree, but she also has an interest in applied science in the pastry arts.

“I still wouldn’t mind being a police officer somewhere,” she said. “But pastry arts sounds fun and I want to try that out.”

For students considering military service, according to usa.gov, they must be a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, be in good health, be 17 to 40 years old, have a high school diploma and pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. Other qualifications also include height and weight restrictions, a clean criminal record and mental health stability.

Lingaur had some advice as well.

“Talk to the recruiters and find out if that’s exactly what you want to do. Get the right information about what you’re getting into,” she said. “Some people join and they want to do one thing, but they get put into something different.”

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