Thursday, April 26, 2012

SMU senior moving up in the U.S. Army ranks

By Meg Beerling
Feature Editor

Saint Mary's University senior David Weir has a long journey ahead of him after graduation this May.

On the same day he graduates from SMU, Weir will become 2nd Lieutenant and will head to Fort Benning, Ga., on July 8 for a 16-week infantry basic officer leadership course. After that, he will spend nine weeks at Ranger school, then Airborne school. Next March he will report to his first unit in Texas.

Weir always knew he was interested in the military, and freshman year he joined the National Guard. From there he went to basic training, and his sophomore year he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).  Since, Weir has served simultaneously with the National Guard and ROTC.

Weir joined ROTC because he has always been a natural leader, he said. Whether it was on sports teams or elsewhere, he was always told that he had natural leadership skills, he said. Weir said he wanted to utilize those abilities and maximize his potential by joining ROTC.

This May Weir will graduate with a degree in political science and criminal justice. Weir said his political science degree will aid him because he will have a better understanding of the United States as a political system. Being overseas he will be more well rounded, he said.

He said his criminal justice degree fit nicely, and it’s something in which he has always been interested.

Ultimately, Weir would like to get a rotation into Afghanistan before the war is over, he said. And someday he’d like to make colonel, said Weir.

Weir’s favorite part of the process has been his own development, he said. Weir said he couldn’t see it at the time, but looking back he sees how much he has changed.  He has also really enjoyed working with the people he has gotten to work with, saying “they’re great people.”

What Weir has enjoyed least about the entire process has been going into the gas chamber.

Weir said he is looking forward to graduating from ranger school, which he said is a very intense combat leadership course. “It’s 62 days of very little sleep and very little food,” said Weir.  He said it is the most challenging thing he’s ever done and ever will do.

In December 2013 Weir will make 1st Lieutenant.

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