Quezon is 1st Army National Guard enlistee from the CNMI since 2014


Maj. Juan King of the Guam Army National Guard, right, administers the oath for Private First Class Reyel Quezon at the Circle of Honor of the American Memorial Park yesterday afternoon. (LEIGH GASES)

After eight long years, the CNMI finally saw another enlistee in the Guam Army National Guard, which makes Reyel Mar “Carlo” Quezon the 40th CNMI soldier to enlist since 2014 and is currently the seventh active member.

Quezon, a resident of Saipan and a graphic designer of 670 Rocksteady Shop, signed up with the National Guard during an enlistment ceremony yesterday at the American Memorial Park. Quezon will be shipping out for boot camp this August.

Basking in the afternoon sunlight, the AMP’s flag circle provided the appropriate backdrop to Guam Army National Guard Maj. Juan King administering Quezon’s oath into the National Guard, with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres in attendance.

Quezon was joined at the ceremony by his fiancee, Renalyn Tacliad; his mother, Marieta Cepeda; his father, Antonio Cepeda, and his brother, Randy Ferrer.

Prior to enlisting in the National Guard, Quezon said he was in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps in high school and Reserve Officer Training Corps in college. “I was familiar with the military stuff already. So now that I found out there’s a Guam unit for the National Guard, I did my research, and the recruiters are very helpful. That’s pretty much the door that opened up for me,” he said after his oathtaking.

In a message to future enlistees, Quezon said, “It’s never too late. Just do it. There’s no good time, there’s no perfect time. It’s just the time you decide to open the door and join. That’s pretty much it.”

After administering Quezon’s oath, King said the event was made more significant by the presence of the governor, Quezon’s family, and “doing it here at this park.”

After the ceremony, Torres said that finally having an enlistee from the CNMI “is actually a good opportunity for us to look at the partnership” with the Guam Army National Guard. “The fact that we have one enlisted in the Guam National Guard shows that there’s an interest. …I want to congratulate [Quezon] and his family, the proud parents that are here. His father said he’s been wanting to do it…and [I] encourage anybody, whether you’re here in the CNMI or Guam…to enlist and be part of the services that give back to our community when it calls,” he added.

Torres mentioned that getting a CNMI National Guard created is actually in the works and the CNMI has the support of both the government of Guam and Maj. Esther Aguigui, who is The Adjutant General of the Guam National Guard, “but there’s quite a few issues. One is funding and the support to make sure that we have the right population and enough interest to enlist, so we look at the numbers of reservists. …Those are our data that’s important for us to provide in order for us to move forward and get our own National Guard. There’s no timeline yet, but we are getting a lot of support.”

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.

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