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Taking advantage of opportunities will lead to success.
That was the message retired U.S. Army Lt. General Joseph Kinzer told the senior class of the North Brunswick High School Scorpion Battalion Junior ROTC at their 41st annual military ball.
In January 1959, Kinzer told his parents he was going to enlist in the Army instead of waiting to see if he would be drafted.
“I told them I was the master of my own destiny,” Kinzer said.
His three-year commitment sent him to Germany where he learned a new language.
“The Army gave me an opportunity and I took advantage,” he said.
It also put him on a path to a career in the military that included serving on the Presidential Color Guard at the White house, officer candidate school and serving in the 82nd Airborne.
“That was a great opportunity to join one of the greatest fighting forces in our country’s history,” Kinzer said.
He later served two tours of duty in Vietnam and went to the University of Tampa on the G.I. Bill. He earned a degree in history and later earned his master’s degree in public administration from Shippenburg University in Pennsylvania.
He later served in the Pentagon, and then became the Commanding General of the 5th United States Army.
“I took advantage of the opportunities and looked for the tough jobs,” Kinzer said. “Move toward the sound of the guns.”
Kinzer also told the JROTC classes there are four Bs to remember to be successful.
“Be dependable. If you have homework due at 8 a.m., turn it in at 7:50 a.m. Be sharp; not arrogant, but confident,” Kinzer said. “Be busy. Always know the mission, the game plan, and who’s in charge. Be courteous. Practice the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”
Seniors recognized at the military ball included Aaliyah Cavender, Jonathon Rand, Joshua McMillan, Robert Hansbury, Mayah Willis-Thomas, Jared Sarkela, Nathan Capps, Garrett Williams, Kianna McGriff, Danielle Rice, Caleb Ockerman, Chris Lachance, Julia Watson, Janea Williams, Ryan Frederick, Miguel Flores, Alexis Blacksher, Jordan Snyder, Edwin Camacho, Darian St. Juste and Tyaun Bryant.
Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.