Lake Mills soldier earns 2nd IBCT, 34th Infantry Division patch
Pfc. Spencer Jensen, Lake Mills, was part of approximately 70 Iowa Army National Guard Soldiers recently recognized during a patching ceremony held at the Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center, Johnston.
This ceremony represents a time-honored tradition, where Iowa Citizen-Soldiers officially receive the left-shoulder military patch representing their unit of assignment in the Iowa Army National Guard.
It also marks completion of the Iowa National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program, a preparatory training program that provides new recruits the education and skills needed to excel during their Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (military school).
These soldiers represent today’s Iowa Army National Guard, which consists of 7,000 Citizen-Soldiers based in more than 40 communities across the state.
Jensen, a 2016 graduate of Lake Mills High School, and a current student at Iowa State University, Ames, now becomes an Infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry, Johnston.
The infantry is the main land combat force and backbone of the Army. They’re responsible for defending our country against any threat by land, as well as capturing, destroying and repelling enemy ground forces.
“[The Guard] opened the door for me to improve myself, attend college, see the world, serve my country, and have experiences I wouldn’t get anywhere else,” Jensen said.
By completing Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, Jensen is now eligible for the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program (NGEAP), a state-funded tuition assistance program for Iowa National Guard members who attend Iowa community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private. Under this program, Iowa National Guard members will receive tuition payment up to 100 percent of the State Regents’ rate, an amount up to $7,108 per academic year.
Jensen, son of Marcus Jensen, Forest City, and Heidi Obermeyer, Lake Mills, is also eligible for the Reserve Component GI Bill, which pays a soldier $600 per month while attending college, technical or vocational trade schools. And he’ll also receive monthly drill pay and 15 days of paid duty each year for Annual Training.