Military Spotlight: Christopher Kynard
Everyone has potential, but you must be willing to take a leap, evolve yourself and expand your future. For Christopher Robert Raymond Kynard, who graduated from Calera High School in 2016 and currently holds the rank of Specialist (E4), that meant joining the Alabama Army National Guard.
Everyone has potential, but you must be willing to take a leap, evolve yourself and expand your future.
For Christopher Robert Raymond Kynard, who graduated from Calera High School in 2016 and currently holds the rank of Specialist (E4), that meant joining the Alabama Army National Guard.
After his high school graduation, Kynard attended 10 weeks of basic training. “Basic training was one of the toughest, but most rewarding things I’ve ever been through,” said Kynard. “The bonds you build with your fellow soldiers throughout those ten weeks is like no other.”
During the enlistment process, recruits select their Military Occupational Specialty. Kynard selected a career path as a 25B, Information Technology Specialist. As his career progresses he will receive various certifications and specialty training that translates to civilian jobs, such as Computer and Information Systems Managers, Information Security Analysts, Network and Computer Systems Administrators and Computer User Support Specialists.
“I chose 25 Bravo because I have always had an interest in technology and computers,” said Kynard, “My step-father, Sgt. 1st Class Tony Walker, Automation NCO, 22nd Recruiting and Retention Battalion, is also a 25B and after watching him do it for so many years I thought that I would like to try my hand at it.”
Following basic training, soldiers attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT), where they learn the basic skills of their MOS.
“My AIT was 24 weeks in Fort Gordon, Ga.,” said Kynard, “It was almost strange going from basic training where you have no freedoms to AIT where they begin to give you those freedoms back. Also, AIT was the first time I really lived on my own and had to purchase my own cleaning supplies, clothes, and shampoo without mom or dad getting it for me.”
The Alabama Army National Guard offers full-time benefits for a part-time commitment. However, opportunities for full-time positions are available. Soldiers employed full-time with the Alabama National Guard provide daily support to the traditional Guardsmen who drill once a month and train two weeks a year.
Today Kynard works full-time in the marketing department doing graphic design and production.
“I receive requests from all the National Guard recruiters throughout the state for banners, posters, flyers, etc. to put up in their schools and around their towns,” said Kynard. “I then create the design and proceed to print whatever it is that recruiter has requested. It’s a fun job, and I enjoy being able to come in every day and work on new designs and create new things that I think will help get the name of the recruiter and the National Guard out to the communities in style.”
With a career just beginning, Kynard is taking advantage of the benefits offered by the National Guard. “I would like to go to college and continue to focus within the field of technology,” said Kynard. “However, I haven’t exactly picked a major. Cyber Security, Computer Science…there are a lot of routes you can take within the scope of Information Technology. I would also like to take classes in Recording & Engineering to follow my passion for music.”
Shortly after returning from basic training and AIT, Kynard returned to Calera High School, visiting with teachers and his JROTC instructor. “I spent the day there talking to the JROTC classes about the National Guard and what my experience with the Guard had been so far,” said Kynard. “They had tons of questions about basic training. I liked being able to tell them what I had been through and let those who were interested in joining the guard know what they should expect. I remember sitting in those exact desks and listening to recruiters talk but never really knowing what was going to happen when I showed up to basic training. I was glad to be able to recap my experiences with them and give them an idea of what they would go through as someone who had just recently experienced it.”
If you are interested in learning about education opportunities in the Alabama Army National Guard text “Money4School” to 95577 and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/joinalguard.
Spc. Christopher Robert Raymond Kynard, Marketing, 22nd Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Alabama Army National Guard works on a new graphic design for a recruiter. Photography courtesy of Alabama Army National Guard.