BOISE, Idaho – Throughout 2018, Idaho Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion recruiters enlisted approximately 450 Soldiers into the Idaho Army National Guard.
For Lt. Col. David Darney, the battalion’s commander, one of the organization’s final 2018 recruits looked extremely familiar: Pvt. Sarah Darney, his 17-year-old daughter. Darney administered the oath of enlistment to Sarah Dec. 27 at the Boise Military Entrance Processing Station.
“I want to stay local,” Sarah said. “It’s what my dad does and the Guard seemed like a good option because it’s easy to be a part-time Soldier and I can still go to school.”
Sarah wants to become a nurse and hasn’t decided where she wants to attend college. Before she starts college, she will finish the rest of her junior year and her senior year of high school at Eagle High School. This summer, she’ll attend Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Next summer she will complete Advance Individual Training as a 13J fire control specialist, also at Fort Sill, after graduation.
As a member of the Idaho Army National Guard, Sarah will receive federal and state tuition assistance, the GI Bill and kicker, and a $20,000 bonus for enlisting as a fire control specialist. For her, joining the Idaho Army National Guard was an easy decision outside of any benefits she’ll receive for her service.
“The military has been a big part of my life,” Sarah said. I want my kids to grow up in that kind of household. And I want to serve my country.”
Darney has served in the Idaho Army National Guard since 2001. He joined the organization shortly after Sarah’s birth and has worked full-time for the Guard as an Active Guard Reserve Soldier for the past 12 years. He previously served with the U.S. Army and the Army Reserve.
“I’m really excited for Sarah,” Darney said. “I think of the National Guard as an opportunity for members of the community to give back to their community by serving their country and being part of something bigger than themselves.”
Sarah is one of Darney’s six daughters and the first to follow him into the military. Military service in her family extends past just her and her dad. Her four great grandparents all served in World War II and her maternal grandfather is a retired Army Reserve first sergeant, she said.
“I’m really excited and can’t wait to start my career,” Sarah said. “Some people think the Army is full of big, burly guys, but there’s room for other people.”
Sarah will begin her military career as a member of B Company, Recruit Sustainment Program until she completes her initial entry training and reports to the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team’s 1-148th Field Artillery Regiment. When she reports for her first drill in January, she’ll recognize a familiar face herself. Earlier this month, her boyfriend, Pvt. Colby Klauer, also enlisted into the Idaho Army National Guard. He will serve as a 19K M1 armor crewman.