Gianna Furia enters the Army after High School

Gianna+Furia+poses+for+a+photo+outside+of+Westford+Academy.

Mackenzie Adam

Gianna Furia poses for a photo outside of Westford Academy.

Mackenzie Adam, Staff Writer

As the school year ends and summer starts, seniors begin to leave Westford Academy and move on to a new part of their lives. While they wrap up their classes and figure out their paths in life, many commit to college. Others are choosing a different path that strays away from the rest.

For senior Gianna Furia, the armed services is where she wants to go. After seeing all the ads on television and hearing information from military recruiters at lunches, the Army has caught her attention.

Furia’s grandfather served in the Navy during World War II in Korea. Although she never spoke to him about his experiences growing up, she saw his uniform hanging in his closet and photos of him during the war. Seeing these images set a spark within her to join the Army.

ā€œI always felt like that it was something I wanted to do ever since,ā€ Furia said.

Furia has taken the Criminal Mind course and American Government courses that exposed her to new opportunities and interests she never knew she had.

After taking these courses it helped her decide on her capstone internship and where in the military she wishes to go. Furia has decided that she wants to be a dog handler in the Army; This service includes training specific dogs to search for items that humans cannot find as fast. It will require the dogs to be highly trained and cared for.

Before entering the Army, people need to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, which evaluates one’s abilities and helps ensure that the ones accepted are the correct fit. The ASVAB is broken into multiple sections for different branches. This test focuses mainly on knowledge rather than any physical training. After, trainees begin physical training and certain specialties in the field they want to go into.

Now that Furia has taken the test, her next step is to take the Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT). These two tests are different, the AFQT has different requirements for each piece of the military while the ASVAB is a general knowledge-based test. After working through all of these tests, Furia will require ten weeks of basic physical training and then 17 weeks of advanced individual training to become a dog handler.

While she finishes the testing process, she will also be expanding her law knowledge. Furia is currently working with the Westford Police Department from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for her senior capstone project. Her work relates to her passion for joining the Army, and she chose this work in hopes of introducing herself to pieces of the law field. This project exposes her to the basics of how police officers work with the community and the laws she will need to learn about. The police are not the Army, but for Furia, it is the best place to start her work.

“I’m three days in and I already know that that’s the field I want to go into. It is just kind of confirmation that I want to go from there into the Army for a similar job,” Furia said.

After the Army, Furia plans to continue her education in college, but currently she is focused on the next steps in the Army. While many seniors choose to go on to college, the Army was what ultimately intrigued Furia.

“You feel drawn to something you’re drawn to,” Furia said. “Sometimes they’re like logistical reasons, but sometimes it just feels like where I need to be.”