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Around Cornerstone: News

Cornerstone Alumnus Alston Arnold ('17) Makes Life-Changing Leap of Faith

A Cornerstone education not only prepares students academically, but also to be bold in their faith by living out their God-given purpose. Alumnus Alston Arnold (‘17) put his trust in the Lord when forging his career path after graduating from Cornerstone and now is soaring to heights he never thought were possible.

With the opportunity to have an immeasurable impact on our nation and world, Arnold pushed his fears aside and enlisted into the U.S. Army on Oct 16, 2017, with the rank of E-1 and completed basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. There are nine enlisted ranks in the military, starting with E-1 and progressing up through E-9. The career path of a typical enlisted member will take 18 to 20 years to achieve the highest rank. Arnold has been promoted through the ranks to E-4 and has taken on another meaningful role as the squad machine gunner.

(From left to right; Arnold with Mrs. Borders at graduation, 2017.  Arnold's promotion to E-4 with First Lieutenant Macintosh after being pinned with his rank, July 2019. A Field Training Exercise with Arnold's assigned machine gun, 2019)

Through his hard work and determination, he then went on to complete advanced individual training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and became a satellite payload controller. 

Arnold adds, “I was scared to join the Army when I graduated because I was leaving behind friends and family, and I still felt like a kid. Looking back on it, if I hadn't pulled the trigger, all the opportunities I have today would never have been possible without that leap of faith.”

It hasn’t always been an easy path, but Arnold’s positive perspective keeps him focused.   

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. That fear can actually make you miss out on opportunities that could change your life.” 

He has earned multiple awards over the last two years for excelling above his peers with significant mission impact on a daily basis. Arnold is also on the official short list of Army personnel who will be pulled into the United States Space Force once it is established. 

“Every time I've felt like I didn’t know what to do or where to go next, I've seen God open a new door for me,” Arnold reflects. “He's given me strength to overcome obstacles and challenges I never thought I would or could be able to do. Military life has been a roller coaster for me the last two years, but somehow I've always felt like I'm right where He wanted me.”