How Joining the Michigan National Guard Boosted This Soldier’s Civilian Career

U.S. Army Pfc. Donald Mass, a shower and laundry specialist with the 464th Quartermaster Company, Michigan Army National Guard, is currently serving with Task Force Spartan, a Michigan COVID-19 Vaccination Testing Team. (Master. Sgt. David Eichaker/U.S. Air National Guard photo)

Joining the Michigan National Guard (MIARNG) was a choice that made perfect sense to Pfc. Donald Mass as he maneuvered through college in preparation for a career in law enforcement.

Mass enlisted in the MIARNG in 2018, joining the 464th Quartermaster Company as a shower and laundry specialist. Some of his duties include management and maintenance of shower operations, large-scale collapsible tank operations and mobile repair operations for various equipment.

"My job is to support combat units while in the field," Mass said. "We also conduct preventive maintenance and service checks for equipment and installation of field showers."

Although joining MIARNG has provided benefits, both tangible and intangible for Mass, his main motivation is to use his National Guard experiences to propel his civilian career aspirations.

He also has another reason for joining the Guard.

"I joined to take advantage of the many financial benefits of Guard service, including financial assistance to help support my family," said Mass. "While this service has afforded me career stability, I am saving my college benefits for my kids."

Mass, currently assigned with Task Force Spartan, one of Michigan's COVID-19 Vaccination Testing Team Task Forces, is the first in his immediate family to graduate from college.

"I have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Colorado Tech University," he said. "I realized instead of taking time off after graduation that I needed to continue my education and pursue a master's degree in homeland security."

The National Guard offers an array of benefits, from college assistance and paid career training to providing lifelong experiences.

"Joining the Guard really got me back on track mentally and physically to outline and prioritize my goals," he said. "Serving in the Guard sets you up for success in life, and joining the MIARNG was the best decision of my life."

Individuals looking for more information about the benefits of serving in the Michigan Air or Army National Guard are encouraged to contact recruiters at the Michigan Army National Guard recruiting website, by calling 888-906-1636, using the Michigan Army National Guard app. For Michigan Air National Guard recruiting, call 1-800-432-4296 or visit its Facebook page.

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