Oct 23, 2012 - By Eric Blom, Staff WriterIt is not every day that a military general visits Pavilion, but on Monday, Brig. Gen. Steve Mount of the Wyoming National Guard gave advice to a Wind River High School military science class while speaking about his life in the military.
His main suggestion: "Eat the elephant one bite at a time."
He spoke about his first months in Iraq during the Gulf War. He worked 18-hour days, only using his housing unit for sleep.
"I was so far in over my head I didn't know how I'd get through," he said.
He ascribed his success to simply getting up every day and getting back to work.
The general also gave prospective military recruits advice on how to prepare for boot camp.
"I would spend more time in physical fitness and look for a program like this to steel my mind," he said, "I had no idea what I was in for."
Mount asked the 13 teens in the class if they planned to enter the military. Several said they would join the Army, others said the National Guard, and one said he had already enlisted in the Army.
Fremont County Deputy Brett Johnson teaches the class and said that if students complete the three-year program and join the military, they enter with two promotions at the E-3 pay grade -- better pay and rank than they would have if they enlisted without taking the class.
Dr. Kris Benson, technical director of the Board of Cooperative Education Services, said that Riverton and Lander high schools also have military science classes, and about half of the students in the classes are interested in joining the military.
"The things they learn in terms of leadership will make them successful in whatever path they take," Benson said.
After 38 years in the military, Mount is now the director of the Joint Staff of the Wyoming National Guard. He is in charge of coordinating the state's response to disasters including fires, floods and storms.
The military science class has had a large influence on Clayton Reinick. He was bored with his taxidermy class, and his friend Tanner Stover suggested he take military science.
Reinick was hooked after one day.
"Since then," he said, "The military is where I'm going."
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