The USS ALABAMA Battleship Commission is hosting an Enlistment Ceremony and the dedication and unveiling of The Recruit, on Saturday, July 2, 10:00 a.m., in the Medal of Honor Aircraft Pavilion at Battleship Memorial Park.  The Enlistment Ceremony will include the swearing in of new recruits representing all branches of the armed services.  This is a unique opportunity for the public to witness the most poignant moment in the life of our military service men and women, the moment they commit their life to the service of their country.  The ceremony will also feature Maj. John Jacobson, a 105 years-of-age veteran who served in WWII.  The Enlistment Ceremony will highlight our area’s most senior veteran and the most junior service men and women.  COL. Patrick H. Downing, USA (Ret) and chair of the USS ALABAMA Battleship Commission will administer the Oath of Enlistment.  The Spanish Fort High School Band will perform patriotic music for the event 

Following the Enlistment Ceremony, the Battleship Commission will dedicate and unveil The Recruit, the Recruitment Ceremony newest memorial to be installed at Battleship Memorial Park.  The Recruit, which has taken over 11 years to bring to fruition, will be installed adjacent to the gangway of the USS ALABAMA in an area that will soon become one of the most photographed sites in the park,. 

“The Recruit is a memorial unlike any other in our country,” stated COL. Patrick H. Downing.  “It is a memorial dedicated to everyone who ever wore the uniform of our armed forces.” 

Janet Cobb, Major General in the Army Reserve and executive director of Battleship Memorial Park added, “I took my Oath of Enlistment on May 4, 1974.  I remember very well how I felt when I raised my right hand.  The words changed my life legally, and eventually, in ways I never could have imagined.” 

The Recruit is an 8-foot tall bronze statue created by Mobile sculptor and veteran Casey Downing, Jr

“The design of The Recruit represents all modern wars and all branches of the military, with dress that reflects clothing styles from the 20th and early 21st centuries,” explained Downing.  “The inspiration of The Recruit is based on the moment when I took the oath in 1967.  It is a transitional point.  Everyone is still dressed in civilian clothes. “ 

Downing designed the statue by sculpting in clay and then creating the mold.  The mold of the statue was then cast in bronze at the Fairhope Foundry by Corey Swindle.  “I am honored to design The Recruit and grateful to the Battleship Commission for letting me take part in this wonderful project,” Downing continued. It is an addition to Battleship Memorial Park that means the world to me personally.”    

The Enlistment Ceremony is open to the public.  Everyone who has served in the military or has family members who have served is most cordially invited to attend.  The event is free of charge. 

For more information contact Battleship Memorial Park at 251-433-2703 or email us at info@ussalabama.com.  Battleship Memorial Park is located at 2703 Battleship Parkway.  The park is open from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. daily, with our last ticket of the day sold at 5:00 p.m.