Several members of Gen Next, an invite only membership
organization consisting of high level executives, CEO's,
entrepreneurs, and accomplished professionals aimed at overcoming
generational challenges in economic growth, education and
international security, received a guided tour to gain a better
understanding of what it means to have “boots on the ground” on
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Oct. 22, 2015.
U.S. Army Spc. Charles Robinson, an infantryman assigned to 7th Infantry Division, speaks to members from Gen Next, a group of professionals aimed at overcoming generational challenges, on the capabilities of some small arms weapons during an up-close tour of Joint Base Lewis McChord, Oct. 22, 2015. The tour was an effort to raise understanding of what it means to 'have boots on the ground' to see how the military supports the U.S. in the area of global security. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Patricia McMurphy)
“We are inspired to help the future generation,” said
Danny Karlinsky, Gen Next Regional Director, “Global
security is really important to us and our members.”
Gen Next's website ... without a stable, safe
environment to grow up in, future generations have far less
of a chance to achieve their dreams. Overcoming 21st century
challenges demand that our nation's defense apparatus is the
most funded, versatile, well trained, respected, and
effective in the world.
The members of Gen Next
visited a static display of military vehicles, weaponry and
medical assets provided by 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment
Command, 7th Infantry Division, and 673rd Dental Company -
Area Support, where they received briefs from Soldiers about
some of each unit's capabilities, their personal roles and
responsibilities, and some personal stories about their time
in the Army.
After each brief, the group was given a
chance to get a feel for the weapons, see what it's like to
sit in a Stryker military vehicle and ask questions. They
had a lot of questions for the Soldiers.
Robinson, an infantryman assigned to 7th ID, shared some of
what he experienced in Afghanistan during his last
deployment and answered questions about the weather there.
“It was hot,” said Robinson. “Imagine going to Texas,
but the desert part of Texas. It was like 100 degrees every
Robinson also informed them that not all areas
of the country were desert, and some of his fellow Soldiers
experienced a totally different side of the weather
“There were places some of our other guys
were at where the snow was up to their knees,” he said. “I
didn't even know there was snow in Afghanistan [before we
Robinson said he chose his career field
because of future desires and he liked to stay active.
“I always wanted to be a member of S.W.A.T.,” said
Robinson. “I felt that this could help me get a foot in the
After the display, the group was taken to one
of the Mission Training Complex's training sites to try out
some of the high-tech training platforms units that JBLM can
utilize to train Soldiers, build teamwork and save money by
honing their skills in virtual training simulations.
The MTC's mission is to support commanders' collective and
individual training in preparation for their wartime
mission. They serve as a digital training range, and can
link virtual, and constructive (immersive) training
environments and provide battlefield visualization.
The guests had the chance to drive a Stryker vehicle, fire
at enemy combatives and work together as a team during a
convoy mission, all in a non-hostile, virtually simulated
Gen Next member, Brian Vowinkel a former
Army Ranger said very few of the members had any military
background and did not have a real understanding of the
military's role in supporting global security efforts.
“We are here to improve civil – military relations and
global security as it is something we all have concerns
about,” said the San Diego native. “We are here to learn
what the Soldiers are sacrificing to accomplish an American
Vowinkel said his favorite parts of the tour
included visiting familiar sites and seeing how things have
improved since he was last in the Soldiers' shoes.
love seeing the different uniforms and the weapon systems I
used to train with” said Vowinkel. “And I love seeing the
By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Patricia McMurphy
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