BELVIDERE, IL (02/09/2018) (readMedia)-- Pvt. Austin Harnois and Pvt. Autumn Harnois, of Belvidere, Illinois, were sworn into the Illinois Army National Guard Jan. 31, at the Chicago Military Entrance Processing Station.
Austin enlisted as a 12N, Horizontal Engineer and Autumn enlisted as an 88M, Motor Transport Operator. Both are assigned Company C, Recruit Sustainment Program in Machesney Park, Illinois.
Austin said he joined because of the educational benefits the Illinois National Guard offers.
"I think the military is a good step in planning my future," said Austin.
He said he plans to study at the University of Chicago and major in engineering.
Autumn said she also was drawn by the education benefits, but also wanted to join to become more disciplined and to challenge herself. She said she also plans to attend UIC and major in education.
Upon completion of his initial training, Austin will be assigned to the 661st Horizontal Engineer Company in Macomb, Illinois. Autumn will be assigned to the 1244th Transportation Company in North Riverside, Illinois.
After the two complete their training, they will be eligible for the Illinois National Guard Grant, which pays 100 percent of college tuition while they work as full-time students and a part-time Soldier. They will also be eligible for the Select Reserve G.I. Bill and federal tuition assistance.
Both Austin and Autumn signed up for 6 years and said if they enjoy the military they may stay a full 20 years.
Photo Cutline: Pvt. Autumn Harnois and Pvt. Austin Harnois of Belvidere, Illinois, pose for a photo in Belvidere, Illinois, Feb. 8. Austin and Autumn both plan to attend the University of Chicago after completing their military training. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams, Public Affairs)