Conant High School Alumnus Honored for Board of Education Military Recognition
District 211 recently started a new tradition to honor alumni for the service they have given to their country.
Sergeant George Rivera, a 2007 graduate of Conant High School, was honored and thanked for his service by the Board of Education at its April 30 meeting. Rivera is the seventh alumnus to be recognized for his service, and started the meeting by leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rivera joined the Marine Corps following high school graduation and went to boot camp in San Diego in June 2007. He completed Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton in August 2007 and went Naval Justice School in New Port, R.I., in January 2008. He served in Marine Air Control Group 48, Great Lakes, Ill., from 2008 – 2012 as a Legal Non-Commissioned Officer. He then served as Quality Assurance Non-Commissioned Officer at the Chicago Military Processing Station in Chicago from 2013 – 2015. Currently, he is serving as Marine Representative at Recruiting Sub-Station DuPage South.
He has several medals, including a National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Marines Corps Reserves Good Conduct Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
At Conant High School, Rivera said he did not always know he wanted to join the military, but had contemplated the idea. He said one of the proudest moments in his life was simply earning the title.
“The proudest moment for any Marine is actually making it through initial training and earning the title,” he said. “Being a Marine on recruiting duty is one of the most challenging jobs that any Marine can do, but is also the most rewarding. We change people’s lives for the better and influence many others. It is truly amazing to see the transformation from young students to professionals.”
He advised students considering a military route after high school to look into all options available, including how to get a degree and what branch of service is best for them. He also said students can take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB) which is designed as a placement exam to learn their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the in-depth sports physical.
“The Marine Corps has something to offer for everyone who is qualified. So whether you are looking for educational benefits, a challenge, financial security, or leadership and management skills, students should remember only a select few get the opportunity as the Marines are the smallest branch in the Armed Services,” he said. “Overall, the Marine Corps enhances life goals, both short term and long. Each Marine uses this opportunity as a stepping stone for their future.”
As for the future, Rivera said he plans on staying in a military career because the Marine Corps has brought him a lot of success at such a young age, which he is grateful for.
“It has given me the opportunity to see many great places, meet amazing individuals, and most importantly, it has given me the chance to find out my leadership style and the ability to grow as a person,” he said. “For that reason, I believe that this is a path that I will stay on.”
The Board of Education will continue Military Recognitions for District 211 graduates who are serving or have served before each meeting.