Justin Reynolds knew that he wanted to answer the call of his country just like his older brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather had. Reynolds was certain that Missouri State University’s Bear Battalion was the place for him.
“My brother motivated me to come and join him. I knew Missouri State was the best option for me to earn a collegiate degree, train to become a commissioned officer in the United State Army and have an unforgettable college experience,” said Reynolds.
Last summer, a team of 30 cadets, two non-commissioned officers and two officers spent time in the country of Moldova, which is nestled between Ukraine and Romania in eastern Europe. Reynolds was the only student from MSU to participate. The focus of the mission was to familiarize themselves with the Moldovan military, foster relations with Moldovan government and military, and observe the Moldovan countryside and culture.
“We toured their Special Forces battalion, Peacekeeping battalion and Mechanized Infantry regiment,” said Reynolds. “Moldovan cadets were with us for every waking moment in order to aide in our familiarization with their culture and way of life.”
Reynolds said the experience has given him further knowledge of Europe and the world as a whole. Even though he had previously lived in Prague, Czech Republic, for four years, he was not familiar with eastern European countries.
Reynolds said there is still much for him to learn, but he has become much more knowledgeable of the culture itself and how previous Soviet history has made a lasting impression on the citizens of the country, both young and old.
“My time in Moldova was a great and memorable experience,” said Reynolds. “It will be a great addition to my resume when, one day, I interact with other officers and military professionals, both foreign and domestic.”
Reynolds said his time with the Bear Battalion has given him the opportunity to tour the world and the motivation to lead and develop others.
“Without the support of the Bear Battalion and its cadre, I would not be the young man I am today.”