Educators Get A Glimpse Into Army Life
by U.S. Army Maj. Jessica Rovero
August 7, 2019
The Army is a viable career option for young men and women.
That is what U.S. Army Recruiting Command showed 25 education
influencers from across the USA during the National Educator Tour
hosted at Fort Benning, Georgia, April 23-25, 2019.
National Educator Tour brings senior-level educators, including
superintendents, organizational vice presidents, and private
industry presidents, from across the nation to visit an Army base
and allow them to experience a day in the life of a Soldier.
“We’re here to show you what we do, what our jobs are in the Army,
the training and what we do to take care of Soldiers,” said Maj.
Gen. Frank Muth, USAREC commanding general, told the guests.
Over three days, the education leaders received several information
briefs on Army education, training and certification opportunities;
observed Soldiers in action from a basic training graduation to a
military working dog demonstration; talked with enlisted Soldiers,
officers, and warrant officers; and got some hands-on experience
with training simulators and Army facilities.
April 24, 2019 - Col. Dina
Wandler, brigade commander, U.S. Army 1st Recruiting
Brigade, assists Melissa Friez, assistant superintendent of
student support services, Pittsburgh Public Schools, with
the M4 Rifle simulator while visiting the Engagement Skills
Trainer on U.S. Army Recruiting Command's National Educator
Tour at Fort Benning, Georgia. (U.S. Army photo by April Michelle deGuzman-Watson)
According to Larane Guthrie-Clarkson, education division
chief for USAREC and tour coordinator, this is the fifth year USAREC
has hosted the National Educator Tour, and the response from
educators is always positive. Many educators are surprised by what
About 50 percent of youth admit they know little
to nothing about the military and fewer people have connections to
family and friends who have served. In general, much of the
information people have about the military comes from movies and
television, which leads to misconceptions about military service.
“They don’t realize that Army training has such high standards
for their students that choose to join the Army,” Guthrie-Clarkson
said. “They get to learn that the Army is not just what they see on
television shows, they get to see the new Army with the technology
and the skills these students bring in just on their own.”
The Army has 150 career opportunities, 50 of which are healthcare
related and others include fields in science, technology,
engineering and math. Additionally, 99 percent of Army careers have
related civilian-sector credentials.
Even Adam Rogers,
Oklahoma City Public Schools, who grew up with a parent in the Air
Force, did not fully understand what the Army was before he attended
the Educator Tour.
April 25, 2019 - Education
influencers get hands on with the virtual training stations
that Soldiers use to develop team cohesion and communication
while executing virtual mission scenarios during their visit
to the Fort Benning, Georgia, SIM center as part of the U.S.
Army Recruiting Command's National Educator Tour. (U.S. Army
photo by April Michelle deGuzman-Watson)
“Before I came, I was thinking the Army
was just the front lines people, and now, being here, I can see that
it is so much more,” Rogers said.
Guthrie-Clarkson feels the
most valuable aspect of the tour is the educators’ ability to talk
with the enlisted Soldiers.
“We give them an opportunity that
is unscripted,” Guthrie-Clarkson said. “They’ll dine with the
Soldiers and they can ask the one-on-one questions. They can ask the
hard questions, ‘Why did you join the Army? What are you getting out
of the Army? Are you looking at this as a career or job skills?’”
These tours really help educators to understand how impactful
the Army is in young men and women’s lives and the value in
considering military service as a career option. Esmerelda Silva,
vice president of strategic initiatives and government
relations/compliance for Trident University International, is one
educator that really came to see the value in Army service.
“I actually told my 25-year-old son that he needs to enlist in the
United States Army,” Silva said. “As a parent, you want to raise
your children to have a good life and be productive citizens in this
world, and the opportunity to talk to the young men and women who
have chosen this path really inspired me that I would like my own
son to serve.”
Silva said she will bring her experience and
the information she received about the Army back to her community.
She’s going to reach out to her son’s school and look at the school
district to see how she can get them more involved in sharing these
opportunities. She wants to find out from a state legislative
requirement why recruiters don’t have the right access and work with
the community to make the change.
“Why aren’t we letting our
recruiters into our schools? Why aren’t we telling our children
about the options of joining the services and the career paths they
could have here?” Silva said. “We owe it to them, college is not the
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