National Guard recruiters came to Midway High School Thursday armed with a motorcycle built by Orange County Choppers of TV fame. OCC is a custom and production motorcycle manufacturer based in Orange County, New York. It was founded by Paul Teutul, Sr. and his son in 1999. OCC was featured on American Chopper, a reality show on the Discovery Channel.
The National Guard uses their “Patriot” chopper as a recruiting tool. Recruiter Sergeant Victor Rodriguez transports the chopper to schools and sets up a tripod to allow students to have pictures made on the machine.
“When I found out that this is an actual asset to the National Guard,” asserted Rodriguez, “I went ahead a tried to talk to all the schools that I cover in Sampson and Duplin County and tried to get them on board to see if they will allow me to come set up and take pictures and kind of draw some interest to the National Guard so we can let people know what the National Guard is. Everybody sees this uniform and they automatically think I’m just a regular Army recruiter.”
The company has built 3 of the National Guard choppers at a cost of $140,000 each.
“The bike was built as a representation as to what we’re all about,” explained Lt. Col. Greg Crocker. “It’s got our history on it as well as weaponry and things like that. It’s got all of our battles and wars that we’ve ever fought. It’s got ammunitions and things like that on it. It’s got the Army values on it as well. It reflects us as warriors and civilians, because that’s what we are – civilian soldiers.”