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SSG. Gump: Runner Up

SSG. Andrea Gump: Runner Up For Rookie Recruiter of the Year
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SSG. Andrea Gump is a Military Career Counselor within the West Virginia Army National Guard. SSG. Gump placed 2nd in the nation for the Rookie Recruiter of the year award in Washington, D.C.

“I prefer the term Military Career Counselor because I feel like I don’t just recruit students and individuals into the West Virginia National Guard,” said SSG. Gump “It’s my personal mission to really provide individuals with career direction and it doesn’t matter which branch they choose or if they don’t even join the military at all. That is just my personal goal,” said Gump.

Although Sergeant Gump is the absolute perfect fit for a Military Career Counselor, it was not always her plan.“When I enlisted into the Army National Guard eight years ago I never ever would have thought that I would become a Military Career Counselor. I really thought that Journalism and Broadcast Journalism especially would be my future but when the opportunity presented itself for me to start doing social media and marketing within West Virginia Army National Guard it seemed like at that time that was really what peaked my interest most and I liked that I was still able to use my voice to help share the stories of others but just in a different setting,” said Gump.

After Sergeant Gump began sharing the stories of others, she discovered the opportunity to share her own stories. “It just so happened that a position opened up in the Northern Panhandle specifically at Wheeling Park which is my alma mater and I felt like that was truly a sign from God and I knew that I would regret it if didn’t take that opportunity to share my story with the hopes to educate motivate and inspire other to follow their dream,” said Gump.

SSG. Andrea Gump “The Rookie Recruiter of the year award is an award that is presented to an individual who is the best Rookie Recruiter of the year. Any first year Recruiter would have had the opportunity to compete against each other for this specific award,” said Gump.

SSG. Andrea Gump received first place in the state competition, “That was a huge accomplishment,” said Gump.

Although SSG. Gump placed second overall, which was an amazing accomplishment. “I wasn’t sad about placing second and not placing first. I kind of look at it as an opportunity for myself to grow but also to learn. It also lit a fire within me to continue to do the best that I can. It gave me a lot of motivation to do better moving forward but I was also proud to have made it that far,” said Gump.

Naliah Lekanudos attended Wheeling Park High School when she decided to join the military at 17 going on 18, “I would have never joined if it wasn’t for her [SSG. Gump]. She is the absolute best, most engaged, and uplifting recruiter I’ve come in contact with. She was truthful and supportive. She made sure everyone that she talked to was educated on the importance of the army and also the other avenues you could take, and even if it wasn’t about the military she was always a helping hand. She is very genuine and reliable,” said Lekanudos.

“When a student expresses an interest in the military I sit down and figure out, one, if they are qualified to serve and two, if the army national guard would be a good fit for them or not. I do that through an extensive interview. I want the student to go into this decision with 100% full confidence in themselves and the organization knowing that they will be taken care of by the organization and also by me,” said Gump. “To the high school students considering joining: continue to do your research, have a conversation with me and really sit down with yourself to figure out if this is something that you want to do. No one will ever go through their military journey alone.”

SSG. Andrea Gump has accomplished so much in her life and inspires young adults to protect our country every day. Wheeling Park High School is extremely lucky to have someone as dedicated to helping students. Congratulations Sergeant Gump!

 

 

 

 

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About the Contributor
Anna Contraguerro, Copy Editor
  • Journalism II
  • Sophomore
  • Speech and Debate Team, Park Players
  • "I have been involved in over 15 Towngate productions and have also placed in 5 creative writing contests in the Tri-State Area."
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