Matthew Francis, a senior at Great Falls High School, was sworn in on Monday, January 30, 2023, as a member of the Montana Air National Guard. With his right hand up he repeated an oath back to his captain, officially becoming a member of the RED HORSE unit.
RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer) are the U.S. Air Force’s heavy-construction units.
“I just got signed in and I got a congratulations from everybody. I took the oath and everything, and it sounds pretty great,” says Francis.
Matthew, who’s long had a passion for construction and helping others, sees himself as a perfect fit for the role, as do his new teammates.
“He's very laid back. He learned about the National Guard during his junior year and he learned about all the types of trades that we offer at our RED HORSE squadron,” said his recruiter, Technical Sergeant Suzanna Gange.
“The RED HORSE for the Air Force, they just build stuff and you get to help out the surrounding community,” says Matthew.
Francis took the oath of enlistment on-site at theHigh School House, a yearly community enrichment project which allows high school students in Great Falls to collaborate on the construction of a home designed for first-time homeowners.
Last year, Matthew was involved in the home’s construction, and has already proven his effectiveness as a builder.
His instructor, Pete Pace, is proud of the man Matthew is molding himself into.
“That made me really proud to see Matthew join the RED HORSE, just to see that, the military is such an important part of not only Great Falls, but our country. I think Matthew will be a great fit for it,” Pace said.
“He’s going to learn about structures and get those skill sets. And then he'll come back in uniform. And that's going to be really cool and it's really exciting for him and he's going to do great things,” said TSgt Gange.
- New spot for Brick House Bakery Great Falls
- Small earthquake strikes near Livingston
- Zadick is building a youth wrestling club
- Family Affair eatery opens with new owners
- Recent obituaries on KRTV