"I ran my first weld at 15 years old and was instantly hooked. I spent hours obsessing over the whole process and the idea that I could make anything I wanted out of metal by simply applying thought and an electrical circuit to melt my ideas together. I spent all 4 years of Highschool trying to take in and learn as much about welding as possible. During my Junior and Senior year I became a Welding Aide and was tasked with helping younger students learn the basics of all the welding processes which further solidified the fact that I wanted to go to school for Welding and see where that would take me. I grew up extremely poor and my parents had no way of funding my dream. I then decided the best way to reach my goal would be enlisting in the Montana Army National Guard and try that route. I had every intention of going to school after I enlisted, but it didn't work out for whatever reason my life always had a different plan. I have acquired 14 years of welding experience since I ran my first weld, but the lack of welding certificates has limited my options and held me back from where I should be. In December 2021 my luck changed. I applied for a very good paying welding job working full time for the National Guard and I impressed them enough with my welds that they hired me. I thought things couldn't get better until I was told about Operation Next. The Welding Certificates that I will receive from this program are going to elevate my career to something I never thought I would be able to have. This program is giving me the ability to justify the experience I have acquired and put it into an application to become an Allied Trades Warrant Officer. Becoming a Warrant Officer is no easy task it comes with huge amount of responsibilities, as an Allied Trades Warrant Officer I would be considered the subject matter expert and the go to person for anything to do with welding or machining. Operation Next is providing me with the Amazing opportunity to take my career to the next level and most importantly to provide for my wife and to give my 2 year old son & Unborn son a life that I never had.
Thank you for this opportunity.
SSG Brandon Bauer
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