'This Is The First Time The Army Has Done This On A Large Scale.'

A recent high school graduate earned himself a $50,000 signing bonus after he enlisted with the U.S. Army.

Micah Waterbury graduated from Hudson High School, class of 2021. He told me it was his senior year when he started thinking about joining the Army.

“My friends had been talking about it, too – enlisting in the Army and everything,” said Waterbury. “I heard they had free college. That’s about the time that I realized the Army was the best choice for me. From there, I decided I wanted to go in, it didn’t matter what job.”

Waterbury said he didn’t know about the opportunity to earn a signing bonus until after he arrived to the enlistment site.  

“I enlisted as a fire control specialist,” said Waterbury. “I leave for boot camp tomorrow – Monday. I’m very excited.”

Waterbury will be stationed in Oklahoma where he will learn how to coordinate and integrate weapons operations, relay tactical battlefield details and support his teams mission-based operations.

“I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal, but I realized that’s the job I wanted to do,” said Waterbury. “I researched the [fire control specialist position] and I knew it was for me. I signed the contract.”

U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Tampa joined Waterbury on Sunday to congratulate him on the next chapter of his life.

“You serve your county, you have the ability to gain independence, a morale booster. This is a great opportunity for people to start looking towards their future,” said Sergeant Clifford Carter.

Waterbury told me that he plans on saving his money and looking into smart investments. Prior to enlisting, he worked a McDonald’s and studied hard to graduate high school.

He is the first recipient of the U.S. army’s $50,000 enlistment bonus as an active duty soldier.

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