A first lieutenant with the Arkansas Army National Guard said soldiers should “hunt the good stuff” when the “plate starts to feel heavy” from competing commitments.
1st Lt. Howard Bobo serves with the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He commissioned into the Army National Guard in 2016 after a college roommate convinced him to meet with a ROTC recruiter during freshman year. A scholarship through that program helped him complete a bachelor’s degree in radiologic science. Bobo said he thought that would be the end of his educational pursuits.
After getting married, the Arkansas native worked as an x-ray technician for his father-in-law, a chiropractor who had been in private practice for 23 years. Bobo says even though he had “no plans to return to college,” seeing how patients’ lives were being transformed changed his mind.
“After working in his office for about four years, just watching people come in and see their lives change after they found chiropractic, and watching the life shift from, they didn’t have a whole lot of drive or they were at the end of their rope, to watching them have this new life,” he said.
Bobo decided he would follow in his father-in-law’s footsteps.
Chiropractors are required to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree and get a state license, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bobo enrolled in 2020 as one of 800 students in Logan University’s flagship program. Its DC students have the opportunity to provide conservative, chiropractic care at numerous VA sites, and in 2014, Logan was selected to begin a selective residency program with the VA.
Bobo said the school has been supportive of his military commitments, which is why he urges other military students to be upfront about existing obligations.
“When I started looking at schools, the first thing I told Logan is that I’m part of the National Guard and I have a commitment there. They [the National Guard], for lack of better terms, own me and I love what I do there so it’s important when they ask me to do something that you help me to accomplish that mission — from day one Logan set up a way to make everything fall in line,” he said. “When other reservists look at schools or look at their career as a reservist, if the Guard or the reserves are something that is important to you, you’ve got to make sure you’re upfront and that you let your employer or school know your priorities.”
He learned early on from a senior NCO to focus on the positives when managing multiple roles, a concept the Army teaches in resiliency training.
“She [the senior NCO] instilled in us to hunt the good stuff, and that’s kind of been how I get through every day. My wife helps remind me of that. It’s always remembering that when the plate gets heavy and stuff starts to fall off, look at the plate and figure out what’s good on it and focus on that,” Bobo said.