Nolen sets out on career path in the Missouri National Guard

By Jennifer Archdekin

KANSAS CITY - From age six, Nathan Nolen, of Kansas City, has been sure about one thing-that serving in the military was in his future.

Now, at 18, he is making his way down that road.

"I have always wanted to join the service," said Nolen. "I just wasn't really sure about what branch of service. It was a good friend of mine that talked me into joining the Guard."

Nolen enlisted in February 2010 with Company E, 1-135th Aviation Battalion in Clinton and will serve as an AH-64 attack helicopter repairer.

In June 2010, Nolen received his basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. After graduating high school this spring, he will go to Fort Eustis, Va. to receive his helicopter repairer training.

"When I get out of the service I want to start a career in aeronautical engineering," said Nolen. "I'll be able to get first-hand experience working on airplanes with the job I have chosen in the National Guard."

Though only a Citizen-Soldier for a short while, Nolen is already making great strides in his career. While at basic training, Nolen was distinguished as being Soldier of the Cycle.

"I received this award for my hard work and dedication in significantly affecting my company's ability to successfully completing basic combat training," said Nolen. "The other Soldiers looked to me for guidance and my drill sergeants looked to me for leadership. I was able to provide both and was given the role of platoon guide for my 56 Soldiers."

It is Nolen's goal to maintain this high standard of leadership throughout his military career.

Nolen is a senior at Paseo Academy in Kansas City, Mo.

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