The Newest Class To Join The Boston Fire Department Is Made Up Entirely Of Veterans

news
The newest members of the Boston Fire Department at the swearing-in ceremony on April 5.
City of Boston Facebook

On April 5, 49 firefighters graduated from the Boston Firefighting Academy and were sworn in to the Boston Fire Department. All 49 graduates were military veterans, the Boston Globe reports.


Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn presided over the swearing in ceremony, which was held in a banquet hall in the neighborhood of Dorchester.

“I’m proud that today 49 new members will join the Massachusetts firefighting family, and I’m confident this new class of recruits will carry on the Boston Fire Department tradition of excellence,” Walsh said.

“Everyone of these recruits is a veteran," he noted. “We thank your families for supporting you, and we thank you for your service.”

While it is certainly remarkable that an entire graduating class was made up of veterans, it’s hardly surprising. As an employer, the Boston Fire Department places a high premium on military service.

To even be considered for a job with the department, applicants must first take a statewide aptitude test administered only once every two years. According to the City of Boston website, applicants who are “disabled veterans get preference first, followed by veterans.”

The graduation ceremony was held almost exactly three years after thousands of people lined the streets of Boston for the funeral procession of firefighter Michael R. Kennedy.

Kennedy, who died while fighting a fire in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood, was a Marine combat veteran of the Iraq War.

The 49 veterans who graduated from the academy now join more than 1,500 men and women in the ranks of the Boston Fire Department.

“I hear so much about the brotherhood and camaraderie of the force,” Kevin Oliver, a graduate who served in the Navy, told the Boston Globe. “I want to experience that and make those connections that last a lifetime, all while doing good and saving people.”

Task & Purpose

I don't always drop everything to spend a few hours with a short, squat Marine, but when I do, you can bet it's for Chesty.

Read More Show Less

The U.S. military does not need Iraqi permission to fly close air support and casualty evacuation missions for U.S. troops in combat, a top spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS clarified on Tuesday.

Army Col. James Rawlinson clarified that the Iraqis do not need to approve missions in emergency circumstances after Task & Purpose reported on Monday that the U.S. military needed permission to fly CAS missions for troops in a fight.

Read More Show Less
Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

It all began with a medical check.

Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.

It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.

Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.

Read More Show Less
The Armed Forces Service Medal has a green, blue and yellow ribbon and a bronze medal featuring a torch like that held by the Statue of Liberty. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."

The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.

There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.

Read More Show Less
(Facebook/Naval Air Station)

Americans' mighty military may have met its match when it comes to erecting barriers to keep out intruders.

An alligator in Florida recently had zero trouble flopping over a chain-link fence to get onto a naval air base. Motorist Christina Stewart pulled over to film it, and local television station WJAX posted it on Facebook.

Read More Show Less