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Patriotic Article
By Parker Rome

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Military Cadets Experience A Day Of Army Life At Fort Riley
(September 4, 2009)

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FORT RILEY, Kan. - Cadets from St. John's Military School got to see what life was like on a military installation during their visit to Fort Riley Aug. 21.
Cadets from St. John's Military School, Salina, Kan., learn about small arms from a Soldier with 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade at Fort Riley on August 26. 2009.
Cadets from St. John's Military School, Salina, Kan., learn about small arms from a Soldier with 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade at Fort Riley on August 26. 2009.
The visit was part of a two-week leadership camp for returning students of the Salina, Kan., school.

George Stelljes, who is the commandant of the school, said that many of his students want to see Army life firsthand.

"They always ask what the daily life of a Soldier is like," Stelljes said. "The guys look forward to it. They love meeting the Soldiers, and they also love going through the mess hall. They love the Army food."

During the visit, the cadets learned about duties and responsibilities of officers and noncommissioned officers in a leadership class. They got hands-on experience with an M4 assault rifle, two machine guns and night vision goggles. They looked at an M1 Abrams tank, an M2 Bradley and an 1141 up-armored Humvee.

In the afternoon, they went through combat simulators, which Stelljes said was probably the highlight of the day for them.

1st Lt. Evan Palmer, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade was one of the Soldiers who spent the day teaching the cadets during their visit.

"I used to be a cadet myself, so I really enjoy passing on the knowledge," Palmer said. "I can remember, at this age, getting to mess around with weapons and all that kind of stuff and seeing an actual Army post was always a great experience, and you learn so much from it."

Palmer said he was glad he got the opportunity.

"It's an honor to turn around and teach them the same stuff that I was always looking forward to learning," he said. "It's great to have these guys up here and see the young generation coming in, volunteering and carrying on the tradition."

Austin Strecker said he used the visit to learn to improve his skills as a leader at the school.

"Our positions at school are exactly what they do here, so any information they can tell us helps us at school, helps us train our new boys and, ultimately makes us a better school," he said.

He also came looking for specific tips on leading others.
"I was always told that to use your command voice is leadership," Strecker said. "They always say that screaming isn't leadership, so I try to talk to them to see how I can communicate with new boys without screaming so I earn respect and not look mean."

Strecker said he will turn 18 in a couple weeks and will enlist in the Marine Corps.

"I'm a very disciplined person because of this school, and Fort Riley helped me with that," he said.

Article and photo by Parker Rome
Fort Riley Public Affairs
Copyright 2009

Reprinted from Army News Service

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