In this week’s episode of our 2-part series, we have John Andre. John recently retired from the military after 23 years of service of which 10 years were active duty and 13 years as a reservist.
John was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States. He’s the first one in the family to join the military and was inspired by a Marine stationed in the American consulate in the embassy when his parents were processing their papers. He said to himself “When I make it to America, I want to be that guy”. At 17, he wanted to join the Navy but later chose he Army instead. He signed his contract on March 1995 and started his Bootcamp and Infantry school at Fort Benning in Georgia. He joined National Guard after finishing his AIT (Advanced Individual Training) School and after 9 months, he volunteered for active duty cross-training with the 1st Cavalry at Fort Hood, Texas for one year.
Before 9/11, he was working as a consultant in project management and was in the process of going through transition to be on active duty when the attack on 9/11 happened. He was mobilized to be a part of the cleanup after the attack for six months. He received a second warning order in 2003 and was expected to be deployed to either Afghanistan or Iraq. Instead, he was deployed to Guantanamo Bay – the place where high level terrorists are detained. After his deployment to Guantanamo Bay, he eventually settled down as a Army Recruiter.
He shared a lot of experiences starting from his training in Infantry school and how Drill Sergeants welcomed them to “Candy land”. He also shared the craziest things they did during his AIT where 3rd and 4th platoon transformed the barracks into a casino-type environment.
“In my 23 years, I have to be honest with you Alan. I’ve done a lot of different jobs, I got my own business. There’s one job on this planet that fits me like a glove and I love it” [15:55]
“…I saw what happened. I saw the second plane hit and I picked up my bags, I got my phone and told my wife I’m gonna get a call so get ready because I’m going somewhere” [21:13]
“It was just a sense of…we are the United States of America. Who has the balls to do this to us? And on top of that, how did we let this happen?” [22:24]
“When you’re looking at them (terrorists) and you cant help but think wow they’re human being” [30:30]
In This Episode:
- Why John chose being in the military [1:30]
- His experience in Bootcamp [04:40]
- First experience in Bootcamp Infantry school [07:05]
- Craziest thing John did during his AIT (Advanced Individual Training) [10:15]
- When he decided to be on active duty [16:35]
- What was he doing during 9/11 and a warning order [20:50]
- John’s mission to Guantanamo Bay [26:17]
- Funny experiences on his deployment in Guantanamo Bay [33:17]
- His next moves after his duty to Guantanamo Bay & Airborne training [37:00]
- Why being a recruitment officer is fun for John [44:35]
- Funny stories that was missed during his military career [47:08]
Website - https://goo.gl/FhoVcc
Instagram - https://goo.gl/5x6iF9
Facebook - https://goo.gl/ZGmURF
Twitter - https://goo.gl/cTYTvj
Gear - https://goo.gl/U5W2Hq
Podcast - https://goo.gl/FhoVcc
Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of the The Barracks Stories podcast! If you enjoyed today’s episode, please head over to iTunes and leave us a rate and review to help us reach even more listeners. Don’t forget to check out our website, visit us on Facebook, or hang out with us on Twitter to stay up-to-date on what’s in store for you!