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The Millbrook Independent

May 28th
Millbrook’s Bullard trains for Special Forces
Written by News Desk   
Thursday, 26 December 2013 10:13

12-26bullardPhoto: Justin Bullard at "jump school" after his first parachute jump. Bullard is currently training and testing for a spot on the US Army's Special Forces.

Photo: Special to The Indy

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In the movies, actors often make being in the US Special Forces look easy. But for the people who actually do this job there is a saying, 'the only easy day was yesterday.' There is an increasing focus in the US military on Special Forces personnel and training because the jobs are not easy. That's why the military needs young men like Millbrook's Justin Bullard.

Many men in all branches of the US military tryout for a coveted role as Rangers, Night Stalkers, Delta Force, Green Berets, Pararescue Jumpers and SEALs, but very few make it because these warriors are expected to perform at a level unimaginable to most people.

Bullard is now training to be part of that elite brotherhood. He is currently undergoing the Special Forces Assesment period required of anyone who wants to continue to a specific SF program. Bullard's mom, Cheryl, is very proud of her son and understandably worried.

"Justin has always been very athletic. He is a believer in the ideals of freedom and justice and has never been afraid to stand up for those ideals whether for himself, or for others," Cheryl said.

An avid football fan, Justin was a starter at Stanhope Elmore High School, where he was recognized on All-County and All-Metro teams. He played football for two years at Mississippi College before transferring to Auburn to be closer to home.

During college Bullard worked for the TSA at Montgomery Airport as a security officer.

"There's not many people dedicated enough to get up at 3 am, drive to work to be there by 4:45, work a shift, drive back just in time for class, and then not get out of classes until evening, all with trying to manage homework," Cheryl said.

Justin's father Roger made sure that his children were as hands on as he was in doing the house projects with him says Cheryl.

"From learning to tile the kitchen, add on a sun room, build a shop, work on cars, and fix literally anything in the house that is broken, Justin is a self-reliant problem solver. When Justin's friends were off playing, many times he was doing these things. Only after putting time in with him, would his dad let Justin loose to go play with the neighborhood kids. The irony is that Justin understands the value of this now, as most of his friends he grew up with don't have the foggiest idea how to do these things and have to pay someone else to fix things or do something as simple as changing the oil in the car," Cheryl said.

Provided Justin does not dropout, which his mother says is unlikely, or sustain any major injuries, he will move along with his training over the next few months.

"I can tell you that his career choice is the last thing I wanted for him. He wanted to achieve something greater than what most put their sights to, and I guess Special Forces (and Airborne) is that calling. There is a very small percentage of people who can even make it through the process, let alone be selected, so even if he makes it through it, there are no guarantees. His mental ability to overcome very difficult obstacles is what will take him through it as long as he can avoid injuries that might remove him," Cheryl said.



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