59-year-old basic training grad set to join son’s Army unit


Staff Sgt. Monte Gould walks down the range during training. He recently graduated Basic Combat Training with 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment. The 59-year-old recently sat down and spoke about his experiences. (Courtesy Photo) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (NEXSTAR) — Like father, like son. Or in this case, like son, like father.

In a story that reads like a movie script, 59-year-old Staff Sgt. Monte Gould is planning to join his son’s unit after becoming the oldest-ever graduate of the US Army’s Basic Combat Training.

According to the Army, Gould finished in the top 10% of his class in the 1st Battalion 34th Infantry Regiment. The Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran, now plans to start this new adventure with the 405th Civil Affairs Battalion’s detachment out of Las Vegas at a time many of his peers are well beyond military retirement.

“After the first two weeks (here) I said to myself, ‘This isn’t going to be hard,'” he said in an interview released by the Army. “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.'”

Staff Sgt. Monte Gould, a 59-year-old graduate of Basic Combat Training speaks with Brig. Gen. Milford H. ‘Beags’ Beagle Jr., Fort Jackson’s commander during a pause during rifle marksmanship training. Gould, who had also gone through Marine Corps boot camp, recently spoke about what training was like for him. (Courtesy Photo) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

Gould first entered military life in 1978 attending Marine Corps boot camp. So what’s changed in all those years? Political correctness, according to Gould.

“There was basically no limitations when I went through boot camp. It was very hands-on,” he recalled. “In other words they could touch you, they could move you.”

Gould last served in the Army National Guard in 2009 and decided to return this year because he’s two years shy of earning a military retirement pension. But that doesn’t mean he’s ready to hang in up in 24 months. For now, he’s looking forward to spending time with his son, Spc. Jarrod Gould.

“I’ll stay as long as they have me,” Gould said.

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