Kevin Park, staff writer
Private Second Class Leo Lee wants to share his experience of airborne unit in First City Rifle Corps (FCRC), hoping to inspire more students who are interested in military career.
FCRC, which Lee has been participating in for eight months, is an organization that provides an extensive opportunity to students to experience what it is like to pursue a military career. The FCRC program focuses on developing personal skills necessary for young individuals to become exceptional small unit leaders.
“FCRC helps students to become a stronger individuals and to learn how to defend themselves. It helps building characteristics of independence and firmness. Also, even though it is not required to join the armed forces by participating in this program, as long as you are in this program, you will learn a lot of useful things such as weapon safety, and survival skills in extreme environments,” Lee said.
Although the FCRC program is designed for teenagers, all trainings adhere to current US Army doctrine and are instructed by former and current members of the US Army.
“The best part of FCRC is that students can participate in military activities as a teenager. Through hard works and practices, it also helps students building confident characteristics by repetitive training of self-management in both physical and psychological ways,” Lee said.
FCRC program also provides a variety options after high school. In addition to joining the military, many of members use their experiences to expand their education and go to study at universities such as West Point Military Academy.
“Before I joined this program, I thought that soldiers did not require intelligence or critical thinking. However, as I learned about the military in detail, and became one of them, my thought has changed. Now I am proud of what I’m doing, and appreciate other soldiers in America even more. The program has not only helped me becoming more mature, but also improved my physical characteristics as well. The course involves an extreme physical trainings just like in any other military institutes; however, you feel rewarded after all hard work you have done,” Lee said.
Lee strongly suggests students who are interested in military career to enroll in FCRC.
“I’d like to encourage students who are interested in military career to enroll in FCRC. It will be a great opportunity to explore career that they are interested in and develop stronger leadership skills. It is not only a great first step to become an American soldier, but also an independent individual. I know students in our high school who are interested in military career. Unfortunately, our school does not offer Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program or military counselors for them. However, through FCRC, students have opportunities to prove their leadership and anticipate to join armed forces. A lot of alumni of FCRC are now serving in US Army 82nd Airborne Division and US Army Special Force, also known as “the Green Beret.” FCRC is truly an amazing program for students to pursue their interest in military,” Lee Said.
The only requirements to enroll in FCRC are to be between the ages of 14 and 18 and to pass the minimum physical fitness test and to have the desire to experience life in the military.
First City Rifle Corps meets every Tuesday night from 6:00 p.m to 9:30 p.m. at the United States Army National Guard armory at 17330 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406.