Military life a good fit for opera singer

Military life a good fit for opera singer

by Cait Conner

Simpson College students have many opportunities ahead of them, including those students planning to join the armed forces after graduating.

Jake Claussen, junior, appears to be like any other Simpson student. He is majoring in music education and participates in Simpson Opera; however, there is one more thing about him that may make him stand out from other students. Claussen is a member of the Iowa National Guard.

According to the National Guard website, there are many benefits that may intrigue students to join the military. Some may include: Excellent pay, special officer incentives, benefits and incentives to reenlist.

A common perk, and perhaps the most evident, to joining the military after school is the chance to go see the world.

“It had the best benefits for what I was looking for, it helped me with most of my school and it also allowed me to stay in school,” Claussen said.

However, juggling classes, homework and extracurricular activities may seem a struggle for any student, let alone an enlisted one.

“I have drill one weekend a month, which means I have to know when I have drill and schedule accordingly,” Claussen said. “It usually means missing opera rehearsals and the like, but it is nothing too demanding.”

So where to go from here? The first step is to visit a recruiting officer. “It was pretty straight forward, you go to a recruiter and they will sit down with you and give you all the information. Then you have to get the needed paperwork together and go from there,” Claussen said. “It’s not that difficult.”

Then comes basic, Claussen says. While there was a lot of screaming and yelling his drill sergeants were some of the coolest people he had ever met. They took their jobs very seriously and were there to make sure that you knew what you needed to know and share personal experiences.

At home, Claussen had a support team from his parents.

“My family was pretty uneasy about it because of the risk of deployment but they were behind me 100 percent and they have been nothing but supportive throughout the entire process,” Claussen said.