Maryland Heights Man Fulfills Life-Long Dream and Joins Army National Guard
Peter Emerson, of Maryland Heights, enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard at 30 years of age and fulfilled a dream he had since being a young boy.
FESTUS—As a child, Peter Emerson, 31, of Maryland Heights, had dreamed of being a soldierand wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army.
But unlike many childhood ambitions that fade with adulthood, Emerson’s dream became a reality last year when, at age 30, he enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard.
“I regretted not joining the military when I was younger, but then found out I still had the opportunityto do it, even as far as I was with my civilian career,” Emerson said. “Because I had spoken to recruitersbefore my family wasn’t entirely surprised but I think they thought I was sort of out of the woods as faras military service.”
Emerson’s initiation into military service was in the Guard’s Recruit Sustainment Program at the Festus National Guard armory. The program trains new recruits in Army drill and protocol before they attendbasic Army combat training or boot camp, as it is commonly referred to.
“They prepped us very well for basic training,” Emerson said of his RSP instructors. “The regular Armyrecruits had never been to a drill before so for them boot camp was a trial by fire. But for me, boot campwasn’t nearly so difficult. I was ready for it.”
Armed with degrees in organizational studies and strategic communications from Saint Louis University, Emerson attended officers’ candidate school and is now a second lieutenant assigned to the Farmington-based 1138th Engineer Company (Sapper), while still maintaining his civilian job as a senior purchasing coordinator for Citi Mortgage.
“Getting the opportunity to lead soldiers was something I just couldn’t pass up,” he explained. “I like management, building organizations and structures, and the leadership side of the National Guard fitsreally well with that.”
Emerson is hoping to put his management and leadership skills to the test as a platoon leader.
“I want that opportunity to lead a platoon in whatever environment presents itself and see where it takesme,” he said. “I want to see what I’m capable of.”
A Fenton-native, 2nd Lt. Emerson is a 1999 graduate of Rockwood Summit High School and is the son of Timothy and Patricia Emerson, of Fenton.
Editor's Note: The above article was provided to Maryland Heights Patch by the Army National Guard and written by Bill Phelan.