CLEARWATER, Fla. — Joining the Florida Army National Guard is a commitment that few take on. 

It’s even more unusual to enlist while still in high school, but that’s the commitment Alexandria Goodin, a senior at Hollins High School in St. Petersburg, took on. 

What You Need To Know

  • Alexandria Goodin joined the Florida Army National Guard at 17 years old

  • Goodin got to take part in a special ceremony as the shortest-serving member at the event

  • Phyllis Wilson, the President of the Military Women's Memorial, is excited to see what Goodin accomplishes in the future

She joined shortly after turning 17 years old.

“I was told that I couldn’t, so I did,” she said. “That’s why I went to join the military. I wanted to push myself to the greatest point I could.”

Now 18, she spent the night of March 28 surrounded by other women in the military who left their mark, like Phyllis Wilson. 

Wilson, the President of the Military Women’s Memorial and one of the keynote speakers at the Tribute to Women in Defense event, is someone Goodin looks up to. 

“These women have fought so hard in the challenges and breakthroughs that they have gone through to allow me to be in the army today, and to allow the comfortability and the safety of today’s society is something I’m so grateful for,” Goodin said. 

As the shortest-serving member at the event, Goodin spent a special moment with Wilson, the longest-serving member, passing two coins between the two of them.  

“To be recognized by her is something I’ll forever cherish,” Goodin said. 

Wilson spent nearly 40 years in the military before taking on her current role for the Military Women’s Memorial. She said this is a special tradition and can’t wait to see what Goodin takes on in the future.

“It’s so much fun to watch the wide-eyed, the excitement that she has in her eyes, what she’s looking forward to, and what she certainly can yet imagine she’s going to do,” she said. 

Goodin said the coins shining in her hands are a reminder that her journey is just starting.

Next up, she will be studying political science at the University of South Florida, followed by law school.