Middlefield, OH – This summer break looks a lot different for Cardinal High School senior Anthony Ludlow. In lieu of a summer home with friends, Ludlow is in Columbia, South Carolina participating in the United States Army’s Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Jackson. At roughly 613 miles from Middlefield, Ludlow says that will be the farthest he’s ever been from home, but adds the allure of getting a jumpstart on his military career was too much to pass up. “I joined the military because it offered me opportunities that I didn’t have at home,” he says. “It’s always been a dream of mine to be able to serve my country in some capacity.”
Ludlow’s service began on June 6, when he left to begin his 10-week BCT program. According to Fort Jackson’s website, the installation is the U.S. Army’s main production center for BCT, training roughly 50% of all Soldiers. Trainees will conduct physical training, walk dozens of miles on foot marches where they carry up to 35 pounds of equipment, learn combat skills, negotiate obstacle courses, rappel from a 40-foot tower, and spend several nights in the Fort Jackson forests sleeping and operating under the stars. “I am excited to receive the kind of physical training the Army has to offer,” Ludlow said. Following their two-and-a-half month training, trainees will graduate and become official Soldiers in the United States Army.
Following his Army graduation, Ludlow will return to Cardinal High School for his senior year. Upon high school graduation in May of 2022, Ludlow will then leave for the Army’s Advanced Individual Training (AIT) where he says he will learn to do the job that he has been given within the Army. Once his AIT is complete, Ludlow will be part of the United States Army Reserve and will drill with his unit once a month, unless activated for full-time duty. In addition, Ludlow would also be able to attend college to pursue a degree, all while serving his country. And it’s a service he hopes branches out into more than just a military career. “I am interested in making a run at the Ohio House of Representatives while I’m in the Reserve,” Ludlow says. “At the moment there is no end goal for the military, but I am always striving towards a better life. Although it [Basic] will be difficult, it will probably be something I look back on with fondness.”