59-year-old veteran Monte L. Gould attended basic training earlier this summer after a decade break in service. In June, Staff Sgt. Gould entered basic combat training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
Gould is a Marine veteran and Civil Affairs Soldier, US Army Recruiting Battalion Syracuse reports in their Facebook post. He was just under three years away from retirement when he decided to move back home. By returning to reenlist, he becomes eligible for retirement benefits. It also gave him the opportunity to “give something back to younger troops,” says the Facebook post.
As he is older than most of those training, Gould tried his best to show strong leadership and candor. “I tried to train and mentor the leaders and the kids in the platoon as best I could,” he tells Army Times.
Gould went through Marine Corps boot camp in 1978, he tells Army Times. He recognizes that “it’s a whole different world.” Back then, the training was more intense, he thinks. “We were hard… I couldn’t do that today,” Gould tells them in the interview. He goes so far as to says the instructors in his original training were “borderline sadistic.”
Staff Sgt. Monte Gould does recognize soldiers today are typically “smarter on a lot of things.” He is impressed with the incredible facilities and equipment used to train soldiers. “The amount of money they have in training to put these kids through is amazing,” he tells Army Times.
Monte Gould posted after finishing his training, saying he “exceeded the standards and exceed (his) self-expectations.” He even shared a heartwarming story of how he gave his Four-Star General coin to an 18-year-old girl training to be an officer, in order to inspire her. “A very good kid on the right path,” he says of the young girl he was mentoring.
It was “a grand adventure for an old man,” he says on Facebook, noting he undoubtedly enjoyed his experience. This summer’s training is not near the last adventure for Gould, though. In the post on Facebook, he says he is presently considering the “next challenge, contract, and adventure.”