Enlistment and Basic Training

Interviewee: Sean Forsgren

Born: January 3, 1980

Sean Forsgren was born in Tremonton, Utah and grew up in Garland and Salt Lake City, Utah. Sean comes from a family that has a history of serving its community and country ranging from military service in Korea to municipal roles as firefighters and police officers. He describes his childhood in Utah as rough because of family, legal and community problems. Because of these difficulties he sought out his own sense of community in the Junior ROTC program at East High School. When he was a senior in high school he attained the position of Battalion Commander of East High’s ROTC battalion. In 1997 he decided to enlist in the Army National Guard. In November 1998 he left for basic training, and never looked back. During basic training, he was a squad leader based upon his credentials in ROTC. Headquarters Battery, 1st Corps Artillery was the unit he joined and he immediately felt at home. He felt that the military had helped to transform him into a fully capable man and he was very proud of it.

When Sean returned to Utah in 1999 he didn’t have a job and didn’t know what to do with himself. For the next few years he began scavenging for any possible service opportunities he could undertake for the National Guard. During this time he did several counter-drug operations with the FBI and helped run the youth Camp Freedom at Camp Williams. Sean then joined two operations in Japan where he was able to learn about Japanese culture while making several new friends. Back in Utah for 9/11, Sean packed his bags in anticipation of being deployed. No call up was forthcoming so he began to educate himself more on recent events. During the next several years he tried to attend school at the University of Utah but was forced to withdraw from three semesters due to different military operations he became involved in. He was mobilized with the 222nd field artillery but the unit was not deployed. Eventually the commitment that the National Guard expected from him was too disruptive to his life and he ended his six and a half years in the Guard. He believes that his experience has opened many doors for him and has helped him to love his country more. Sean now works at Spy Hop Productions, working with and advising youths.