Okarche’s Rachel McDowell: Spotlight Presented By Oklahoma Army National Guard

Rachel McDowell isn’t your typical high school student-athlete. She is a varsity basketball player at Okarche High School, President of the Student Council, Vice President of her class and an officer in National Honor Society. She’s also a member of Beta and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. One more thing, she has decided to join the Oklahoma Army National Guard when she graduates.

“I decided to join the Oklahoma National Guard because it allows me to be apart of something bigger than myself. The National Guard also allows me to pursue a career to be physician assistant at no cost! Also, it gives me a sense of pride and it allows me to help others and serve my country,” said McDowell.

Her family’s history of military service to this country runs deep. McDowell will add to the history when she leaves for basic training next fall.

“My family’s history is rich in the military. Both of my grandfathers have served in the military, one being very highly ranked and respected. I also have a brother and many cousins and close relatives who have served as well,” said McDowell.

The recruiting process according to McDowell was, “easy and fun.”

“I was given a great recruiter who was open and honest about the whole thing and made sure I knew I was getting myself into. My initial plan was to play college basketball but changed my mind after learning the amazing life long opportunities and benefits that the military provides. With this I am also able to play if I decide to on top of the guard,” said McDowell.

Being an athlete, while not a requirement to join the National Guard, will certainly help her while in basic training.

“I do believe being an athlete will help me in the completion of basic training, especially coming from Okarche. My coaches have taught me the importance of discipline and being a team player. These qualities, other than the physical aspect, will easily be careered over to basic training,” said McDowell.

Her plan is to become a 68 Whiskey or Combat Medic and attend college while serving.

“The plan is to attend Oklahoma State University and get the prerequisites to then attend the Interservice PA school in San Antonio, Texas,” McDowell said.

The future medic offers this advice to anyone considering the National Guard path.

“For those considering joining the guard I would tell them to not worry about what others around you are doing. All though it is not the most popular path, I believe it’s the most beneficial. The military isn’t for everyone because it is not easy, but it will be worth it,” said McDowell.