Bold Eagle grad chooses toughest job
- EFN Staff | November 11, 2016
After a summer in the Bold Eagle Program, Nathan Merasty decided to become an infantry soldier with the Royal Regina Rifles. Infantry soldiers have the toughest job. They close in and engage the enemy in close quarter combat using the latest weapon systems and battle tactics on the battlefield. Additionally, their job is to go house-to-house and clear them out. They are the guys in the trenches and the brave soldiers on the front lines if Canada is ever in conflict.
“I want to do the hardest job. Not many First Nations are currently serving in the Canadian Military,” said Merasty, who is a citizen of the Muscowpetung First Nation. “If Canada was ever in an armed conflict, I personally think that a First Nation should be on Canada’s front lines because our people were here defending our country first. This is the reason why I chose my job as an infantry soldier.”
Merasty is in his second year at the First Nations University of Canada in Regina studying Business Administration. In his first year of university, he was introduced into the University of Regina’s OMA program which is designed to help first year Indigenous students integrate into university life. He says joining the Bold Eagle program in 2013 has helped him transition into the military life and helped him decide his career path. He strongly encourages all Indigenous youth to give the Bold Eagle program a try.
“The Bold Eagle program will help them a lot. You get money for the summer, you get life skills, you get to know people from all over Canada and it’s free training. It costs nothing,” he says. “I did it and I want others to experience it as well. I want our youth to experience military life. You don’t have to commit to the career in the military; it’s just an experience of a lifetime.”
The skills that Merasty gained from the Bold Eagle program and the military training were leadership, life, and social skills—which all boosted his confidence. As an infantry soldier, Merasty explains he has to be physically fit, which is mentally and physically demanding. He hopes to become a better infantry soldier—the more military courses he takes, the further his career goes with an advancement of more opportunities.
“It will also allow me to see the world. This year, I was offered to go to the arctic, but I had to decline because I choose school first,” he says.
He has four military courses, some include infantry course, and currently he is learning how to drive the big military trucks. Every second weekend, he takes that course in Saskatoon. He plans to finish his degree and get his promotion to Corporal.
Merasty says he participates in Remembrance Day to remember the fallen comrades through service. He will be marching in Regina on Remembrance Day along with police officers, the fire department, and the military—all that do a service for people by putting their lives on the line to serve and protect.
“Just like how in our culture we dance for the sick and people who can’t, in the military we march for our fallen comrades who haven’t made it home,” he adds.