Alva’s Carmen Montoya: Oklahoma Army National Guard Spotlight

Deciding to join the military is a big step into ones future. Alva High School’s Carmen Montoya made that decision to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather. Figuring out which branch to join was the first hurdle.

“My first thought was to join the Air Force, but my recruiter, Sgt Garcia and the Army got to be first,” said Montoya. “The Army just felt like it was what I was supposed to do.”

Montoya decided the Oklahoma Army National Guard was the right choice for her. The recruiting process was fairly simple despite a few nerves early on.

“It was a little intimidating at first, considering I just turned 17 years old, but I had a very good support system. I went through MEPS twice, but it was worth it,” said Montoya.

After her junior year of high school, Montoya set off for basic training in Missouri.

“I went to BCT (Basic Combat Training) at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri the summer after my junior year,” said Montoya.

As a student at Alva High School, Montoya is involved in many activities including NHS and attending classes at Northwest Tech.

“I am involved in the Band of Gold, Spanish Club, Art club, National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Key Club, I do Bio-Medical Science at the Northwest Technology Center. I have been involved in Speech and Debate, Superintendents Leadership Class,” said Montoya.

Montoya plans to continue her college education once she graduates and completes AIT school.

In the Army National Guard, Montoya will serve as a Combat Engineer.

“My current job or MOS (Military Occupational Specialist) is a Combat Engineer (12B), but I would like to be and behavioral health specialist and help fellow soldiers,” said Montoya. “I would like to make the military a career, there will be struggles, and the college tuition is nice, but I want this to be long term.”

Montoya offers this advice for anyone considering the Oklahoma Army National Guard as a career choice or as a way to pay for college.
“The best advice I could give to people who are considering the Guard is to be brave, ask questions, and just see where it could take you.”