“I have never experienced a day in the Army that was identical to the day before. Every day, there is a new challenge, there is a new obstacle to overcome, there are unique opportunities that are afforded to us to go out and experience.”
John Bushman grew up with a strong connection to the Military. His father was an officer and practiced law within the Military for eight years. John’s youth was like anyone else’s — mainly spent playing sports. He graduated from McLean High School in Virginia, and went on to attend the Virginia Military Institute, where he got a full picture of what the Military — and all its branches — had to offer. One roommate was an Air Force ROTC cadet, another a Navy ROTC student.
“The benefit of going to a state-supported military college [is that] you have all four branches of Service, and you can kind of see what everyone else is doing.”
In his junior year, John attended Advanced Training at Fort Bragg, N.C. — an annual training camp for Army ROTC participants. John got to see what artillery members do, what infantry members do, what communications specialists do — giving him a wide range of possibilities to choose from and the opportunity to discover what really resonated with him. Returning for his senior year, John submitted a list of “Top 10” careers he wanted within the Army. His top choice was the role of artillery officer.
“The primary role of an artillery officer is to plan, coordinate, integrate, synchronize and employ lethal and nonlethal weapons and assets to support combined arms operations.”
While this work often takes John into challenging environments, his mission begins long before he sets foot in a combat zone. To prepare a particular unit for future operations, John could supervise training on basic skills such as marksmanship or something more in-depth, like instructing a unit on an artillery-specific weapons system or procedure.
“Everybody comes to the Army or to the Military as an individual. And everybody has their own motivations for joining. They all have their own goals they want to accomplish.”
John is currently attending the School for Advanced Military Studies, where he’ll graduate this spring. After that, he doesn’t know what his next challenge will be. But he knows that whatever it is, it will be an unexpected and rewarding experience. His years in the Military have taught him that.