Becoming a Leader: Joining the Army(05:59)
Miriam Scholl surprised her friends and teammates when she joined the Army after high school. Now she's finding new strengths and becoming even more of a leader as a soldier.
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I first expected it to be really hard, and I was very nervous about coming here. And then I realized that it was more competition-based within platoons and squads. So I was kind of looking forward to it, because I’ve always been very competitive. I don’t know, I’m just really excited now. It’ll be a lot of fun.
I feel more and more like a soldier every day. It’s still kind of hard to believe, but once I got the dog tags, and now I just got my M4 issued to me today. It’s feeling pretty real. (laughter)
I didn’t know I was as strong as I actually am mentally. But basic training has really tested that. I know I can do this, and I know I’m going to make it.
I’m just so proud to see her standing so tall and looking so confident, and I know she did such a great job. And she’s a strong individual and a beautiful person.
I definitely loved the environment that we were in in basic training, and all the people that I’ve met. Like, there are so many relationships that you build here, and you live so many things with these people that you’re with for nine weeks. It’ shard to not to make a bond. I feel like I’m more of a leader now than I was. I’m more experienced, and I’m excited for my next step.
Miriam was a very active child, very athletic. At nine months old, she was already running. Age five, she was, you know, the little girl in a tutu on a stage doing ballet. And at the park, she would be on the swings, hanging upside down, and very confident in everything she could do.
Every sport she does, she kind of always steps up. And she’s, like, a natural athlete. It’s insane just to see how many people will follow her. And she really does have that confidence and drive to, like, push everyone, not just herself.
The first time that I thought about joining the Army was, I think, my junior year of high school. I knew that it would really help me in the future with getting jobs. It would help me going to school, and it just seemed like a great opportunity.
I think she just felt talking to me because I was Mackenzie’s dad. I wasn’t, you know, Sergeant Carper the recruiter, you know? I was her coach.
We’d talk a lot in the locker room after school when we’re getting ready for track, and she just kind of casually brought up, “Oh, by the way, I’m joining the Army.” And it kind of caught us a little off guard, like, whoa. (laughter)
I had spent four years and a few months in the US Army.
Back then, it was a lot harder for women to be in the military, whereas now, there’s a lot of great job opportunities for women specifically in the Army. I think he just needed a little convincing that she was safe and in an environment that was there to help women grow.
Now, of course, with the changes where females can, you know, get into some of the combat roles, that’s a huge difference. But when I see someone like Miriam, you know, she outdoes some of the young men that are out there.
I’ll be honest. As a woman, I never thought, like, “Oh, I’m going to go join the Army,” because it always seemed so hard, and it always seemed like it was something a guy would do. But after seeing Miriam go through it, it was like, wow, like, I wish more girls thought that was an opportunity.
Miriam should definitely look at being an officer someday down the road, because we need leaders like that out there in the military, someone that’s driven, focused, and she’s a prime example. You know, I mean, you would want to be like her if you were a young soldier watching that officer.
I love everything about track. I love the running, I love the jumping, I love the challenge of it, the competition. I love the competition. Track is a lot like the Army. The better that you function as an individual, the better it will benefit the Army as a whole.
We received a first letter from her, and she actually stated how much fun she was having. It was just another big competition to her. We were able to follow her progress on social media almost on a daily basis to see what her unit and her company was doing. And that was kind of exciting to follow. It’s like, oh, what does she get to do today?
Coming home after basic training was pretty much just a relief to be home. It was nice to see friends and family. They don’t treat me any different. It was pretty awesome.
One of the first things I noticed was how incredibly polite she was. She -- just her responses were direct, and they were short, and she just seemed to stand a little bit taller, a little bit taller.
She seemed to have a little more pride in herself and the things that she did.
Much more confident, even -- even from when -- when she had gone in. So much more of an adult woman than -- than the girl that had left.
I’m definitely very proud of her for what she’s doing. She -- she took a big step.
It’s -- it’s fun to watch them take a stand and -- and say, you know, “I want to do something for our country.
I’m, you know, extremely proud of her. Extremely happy with what she’s doing, and the direction she’s got in her life. Going to be fun in the next few years to -- to see who she becomes.
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