In a span of just 30 days, David Schleeper graduated from Arcadia High School, earned his Eagle Rank from Troop 6, entered the Army, and celebrated his 18th birthday.
David was awarded his Eagle the day before shipping out for basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He entered the Army as a Private (E-1), but once his Eagle paperwork from the national Scouts organization catches up with him, Schleeper will receive a promotion to E-2.
“If he would have had it before he went in, he would have started a rank ahead,” Amy Schleeper, David’s mom, said.
David has been part of Boy Scouts for over a decade, after signing up in 5th grade while attending ANLC (now Echo Canyon). Now, he’s taking the skills he learned to the Army.
After a few more weeks at Fort Leonard, he will head to San Antonio for 16 weeks of medic training.
“He has wanted to ‘be an Army man’ since he was little,” Amy said. “We lived on an airbase in the UK for five years, and I think he liked the men and women stationed there. His father is an Army veteran, and his grandfathers were in the Air Force and the Navy.”
David has been regaling his mom with tales of basic training – including that his Boy Scout training has helped a great deal.
“He learned so much with Scouts, from knot tying, teamwork, leadership and problem solving,” Amy said. “Last week in one of his letters he said ‘who knew that the rock-climbing merit badge would come in handy at basic,’ but it did.”
David had once told his mom that he wanted to be an EMT with the fire department when he gets out of high school. Now, he’s making that dream a reality, with the Army training him to be a combat medic.
“He is so excited to see where the Army will take him,” Amy said. “He loves the idea of helping people wherever he is. He loves the adventure of basic training; I know it’s not supposed to be fun, but he is having a blast. He said it’s like Boy Scouts camp but for adults and a lot more fun.”