SSgt Monte Gould – 59 Year Old Passes BCT in Top 10% of Class
It took some special doing, but 59 year old SSgt Monte Gould re-enlisted in the Army Reserve and had to go through BCT again- Basic Combat Training. He passed in the top 10% of his class against recruits several years younger. He may be the “old guy” in the unit now, but never count him out. He will be serving in the 405th Civil Affairs Battalion – the same unit as his son, Spc Jarrod Gould.
The U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion in Syracuse wrote on FB:
The next time you’re feeling unmotivated, channel Monte L. Gould, a 59-year-old combat veteran who attended basic training this summer after a decade away from service.
After a 10-year break in service, Staff Sgt. Monte L. Gould reported to basic combat training in June at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
The 59-year-old Marine vet and Civil Affairs Soldier was less than three years short of retirement when he left the Army in 2009 to move home and spend more time with his family. But after work calmed down in his civilian life, Gould began a year-long process to reenlist with an Army Reserve unit so that he can be eligible for retirement and give something back to younger troops.
Oh and btw, he will be joining the same unit as his son, Spc. Jarrod Gould, at the 405th Civil Affairs Battalion’s detachment out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Hooah! 🇺🇸
SSgt Gould enlisted in the Marines in 1978, then separated to work in law enforcement. When Operation Desert Storm started he put in a request to join Special Forces Assessment and Selection, but was turned down because of his age (40 at the time). So he joined an Army Reserve civil affairs detachment in California and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004. Afterwards, he joined the 7th Psychological Operations Group. After that he once again hung up his uniform and went into the Security Consultant field.
But now he’s back after losing 45 pounds to meet the weight requirements and jumping through piles of bureacratic hoops.
The Army Times reported,
“My recruiter told me ‘you’re done. There’s nothing else I can do,’” he said. “So I called my congressman and I called a buddy of mine who is at the Pentagon … and I submitted all my paperwork up and we got it to the G-1.”
Gould credited his recruiter, Sgt. 1st Class Richard Caroll, for helping him navigate the bureaucratic maze. Caroll “worked hours and hours at home doing paperwork” to help him reenlist, Gould said.”
He noted there was a distinct difference in the experience in the Army’s BCT course.
“One, I was in the Marines, and this is the Army. And two, it is 43 years later. The context is this. It’d be like taking a guy that went through Marine Corps boot camp in 1944 and putting him back in boot camp in 1986…After the first two weeks (here) I said to myself, ‘This isn’t going to be hard.’ And anytime it did get a little bit hard, I just said, ‘Dude, what are you whining about? You’ve been through way worse than this.'”
“When drill sergeants administered corrective PT, they didn’t work recruits until muscle failure, like drill instructors did in the Marine Corps in the 1970s, he added in the release. Still, that didn’t stop his knees from swelling up and sending him to sick call multiple times over the course of training.
“But the amount of squats that we do consistently and constantly was really rough on my joints. And it was a matter of being rough on it initially and my body getting used to it,” he said.
He was also satisfied with the better PT uniforms.
“When I was in the Marine Corps, we ran in boots and utility pants and T-shirts,” Gould said. “We weren’t authorized tennis shoes.”
Despite Gould’s 18 years of military experience, he said he was able to connect with his fellow recruits.
“I think a lot of the kids were kind of awestruck or gobsmacked that I was here doing this because to them — I mean when I was 17, a 59-year-old man, that’s an old man,” he said. “But I think the kids had that as an influence, and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, this guy’s 59,’ and then I’m doing the PT and doing everything with them — you know, doing the road marches, doing everything they’re doing.”
SSgt Monte Gould has less than 3 years to retirement now. But he wants to stay as long as the service will have him.
Featured photo of SSgt Monte Gould from US Army Recruiting Battalion Syracuse