In the fall of 2007 I had just retired as principal of Comanche High School and was headed back into the classroom to teach a class called AVID that would help students develop a pathway to their future. It had been seven years since I had been a teacher in the classroom and I new that I would have some adjusting to do.
That adjusting came quickly as I looked out into my third period class and there was a young man named Blake Bill with all his freshman buddies in the back of the room. They were already giggling and cutting up as only a freshman boy can do. I knew them all personally and knew that they were great kids but that somehow we were going to need to get past that silliness that comes with a new start in high school. It wasn’t long until I informed them all that I knew their parents very well and that I would not hesitate to call upon them for assistance if need be. Because they had great parents we were able to get past all the freshman funny stuff and move on to more serious matters.
And then a couple of years past and those boys began to get serious about their future we had some great conversations. I will admit though that I would have never tagged Blake Bill as a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army upon graduation from college. The fact that he would receive a degree in Kinesiology and Fitness Emphasized Management did not surprise me. He had all the apparent qualifications for that degree.
After his graduation from Comanche High School in the spring of 2011 Blake entered Ranger College in Stephenville. The credits that he earned there in two years plus those that he had accumulated in his dual credit courses at CHS allowed him to enter Tarleton State University as an established junior.
In the spring of 2013 he decided to enter into the ROTC program as a non-contracted cadet thanks to the coaxing of some friends that he had made on campus. His schedule included classes for basics plus physical training one day per week. Toward the end of the semester he was recruited to attend a Leader Training Course which would send him to Fort Knox Tennessee for 30 days during the summer. When he came back for the fall semester he was offered a scholarship to stay in the ROTC program.
The Leader Training Course that he had taken in Fort Knox also caught him up as if he had began college in the ROTC program. He continued to take classes through the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014 and at the end of the year he signed up to return to Fort Knox to take a 30 day Leader Development and Assessment Course.
During Blake’s Jr year he served as a Squad Leader and Team Leader. Here he learned how the leaders actually worked and served as leaders. He ended up as a Platoon Sergeant. In his senior year he earned the rank of Cadet Battalion Senior Officer and then Cadet Battalion Senior Commander. During this time he led in school activities at Tarleton which included parades and the Honor Guard.
In the spring of 2015 he became a Completion Cadet and was a contract officer while still on scholarship. This included doing an internship of 300 hours or about 20 hours per week. This was pretty demanding for Blake considering that he was working on a part time basis for West Central Wireless cell phone company while also studying to complete his degree in Kinesiology and Fitness Management.
On December 11 in a ceremony at Tarleton State Blake will be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army which includes being an active duty infantry officer. He will be sent to Fort Benning Georgia to learn his trade while entered in the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course. For the time being this is all he knows about his future in the Army.
Up until a few weeks ago Blake had a fiancee, Kelsey Walker, who hails from Burnet Texas. They had planned a wedding in the near future but with his assignment in hand and with the advice of his military superiors he decided to go ahead and make her Mrs. Blake Bill. The couple decided to do this so that much of the confusion in regard to paperwork in becoming a military spouse would be eliminated. Kelsey graduated from Tarleton State in 2014 as a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
The new couple have made a commitment to the military for the next four years and at the end of those four years Blake will have an opportunity to sign up for three more years. At the current time a full career in the military seems to be in the future but they will have time to figure that out as they move ahead.
As for his mother Cindy, Blake says that the move to Georgia is tugging at her heart strings mainly because his sister is married and livin overseas. Now with Blake leaving the state she will have two long distance relationships with her children. He points out very quickly that his Mom, however, is very strong and also very supportive which makes things much easier. As for his Dad, Alfonso “Taco” Bill, well he is just a real proud Dad and has great faith in him and his pursuit of a military career.
That young freshman who didn’t have a serious bone in his body some eight years ago has made us all very proud. He has turned into one fine man and has all those necessary qualities to become a great soldier: commitment, loyalty, duty, and love of country.
May God bless and keep you Blake and Kelsey Bill.(Any mistakes made regarding rank, appointments, etc in military terms is strictly my fault. Blake did a great job of informing me but there may be mistakes on my part. I say this because I have great respect for the military and what it takes to earn a higher rank and do not wish this to seem as though this post was made with anything but that high respect.)
Comanche National Bank P.O. Box 191 · 100 East Central · Comanche, Texas 76442 (325) 356-2577 · (877) 888-8262
This is paid advertising. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to feature your business or event here on TexansUnited. We will get you noticed!