National Guardsman to Berry Viking

Megan Benoit, Campus Carrier Features Editor

Leo Narrison, Campus Carrier Asst. Features Editor

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Photos courtesy of Tyler Durden
Durden prepares to fire a mortar down range.

Tyler Durden spent last year serving his country in the National Guard and is now a freshman at Berry College. 

Durden grew up surrounded by people in the military and knew from a young age that being a part of the military was what he wanted to do. 

“Both of my parents are lieutenant colonels in the Army, and my grandpa was a sergeant major,” Durden said. “I thought about having a normal job, and then I said ‘forget that’. The military is what I’ve been around the whole time.” 

Durden did not commit to serving in the National Guard until he was almost done with high school. 

“Senior year I joined the National Guard. I figured I’d go and do basic training and then come to college,” Durden said. “Then I got there, and they asked who wanted to go on active duty status, or AGR (Active Guard Reserve), and I extended it and kept going.” 

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Durden and fellow National Guardsmen run from a controlled explosion.

Over the course of time at Fort Benning, Pickett. Each location for Durden to complete. these trainings, Durden graduate and move up in 

“When I first started 19-delta cavalry scout reconnaissance, then a couple ago I was reclassed to which is infantry.” 

Many of Durden’s daily while he was in the National included physical training, simulated combat. 

“I also spent three months a field exercise,” Durden was when I broke my leg had to walk a 20k back.” 

The transition back to school was an adjustment for Durden, but he is very appreciative of Berry for being accommodating. People, such as his academic advisor, Katherine Powell, and his swim coach, Paul Flinchbaugh, have been helpful in making the shift back to school better.

“My writing and rhetoric class has a non-violence theme, which I kind of laughed at the first day, but it still seems interesting,” Durden said.

The changes have been drastic, but Durden is quickly finding his place at Berry.

“The first week was strange being back in a classroom, but the LLC [living learning community] and the swim team helped me to meet a bunch of people,” Durden said.

Durden plans to graduate from Berry and continue in the National Guard. 

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