Students might have seen coach JJ Jokinen coaching girls seventh and eighth grade field hockey, boys seventh and eighth grade basketball, and now coaching golf. But he is more than a coach; he was a sergeant in the Finnish Special Branch in the Military Police in close quarter combat for just under a year. Now, he is a reserve for the Finnish Army. He controlled a platoon consisting of three teams. Each team has 3 fire teams. Each fire team is a squad of three.
Even though Coach JJ partially joined because of family tradition, he had a positive experience coming out of it. He got to experience new things. “I first joined because my family has a tradition of war veterans and it felt like the right thing to do to help out and to do something real and at the same time kind of grow up experience a lot of things I would otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience,” he said. Those experiences consisted of, “responsibility, loyalty, hardwork, and discipline and those are traits you can use in everyday life.”
Jokinen then left the military to pursue other things in his life. He said, “I took a year off, then given the choice to get a fallback position. I studied and then I started coaching at ASL. I really fell in love with coaching at ASL and now it might be tough seeing myself in the military again.”
Coach JJ also puts his experience into practice when he coaches. “Discipline, loyalty, and keeping a cool head is especially good with coaching,” he said. “It is easy to win, but sometimes it’s tough when you come across failure is to keep yourself composed and be a good role model.”
Overall, Coach JJ has had a positive experience coming out of the military, Coach JJ said he has even brought his military experience to the ASL community.