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High School Students Shadow Eagle Brigade Soldiers
by U.S. Army Sgt. Ryan Tatum
May 14, 2020

It was a crisp cool morning, when young high school students with impressionable minds and limitless potential felt a magnetic pull toward the military. For their own reasons, they wanted to know more about the military. With an insatiable appetite, the students wanted to know as much information they could to make the best decision for their futures.

Soldiers from 1-337th Brigade Support Battalion, 181st Infantry Brigade worked with two students from Monroe High School as part of a job shadow event on February 19, 2020 at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. The job shadow is designed to establish, maintain and build upon relationships with the local communities.

In order to make the job shadow event effective, the students were paired with a Soldier which corresponded with the military occupation specialty they were interested in.

Tristan Teasdale, a junior at Monroe High school, who wants to become an infantryman, was paired with Sgt. 1st Class Travis Smith, and Isaiah Roush, a senior at MHS and is considering becoming a combat medic, was paired with Sgt. 1st Class John Pearson.

The first stop was the Engagement Skill Trainer. The EST is designed to simulate live weapon training events individual marksmanship, small unit collective and judgmental escalation-of-force exercises in a controlled environment. It provides detailed feedback that covers the fundamentals of marksmanship, fire control and distribution of fires.

February 19, 2020 - Sgt. 1st Class John Pearson observes as Isaiah Roush and Tristan Teasdale fire simulated rounds at the Engagement Skill Trainer at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin as part of the job shadow event. The job shadow is a community relation event designed to maintain and build upon existing relationship with the local communities around Fort McCoy. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ryan Tatum)
February 19, 2020 - Sgt. 1st Class John Pearson observes as Isaiah Roush and Tristan Teasdale fire simulated rounds at the Engagement Skill Trainer at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin as part of the job shadow event. The job shadow is a community relation event designed to maintain and build upon existing relationship with the local communities around Fort McCoy. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ryan Tatum)

“The job shadow event has gone really well, it has been a fun time,” said Teasdale. “I’ve seen some training courses and participated at the weapon simulation range. It was pretty fun, I would definitely do that again.”

Teasdale has thought about the Army being an option for him since he was a young boy. He has been captivated with the Army from playing video games and watching history-based movies to interacting with recruiters and other Army personnel.

“Since I was child, I always wanted to go to the Army or any branch of service,” said Teasdale. “Since I became a high school student, joining the military has become more passionate to me. I have always wanted to know how life is from the base to the barracks and the training areas.”
Teasdale wants to test his mind, body and spirit to reach his ultimate goal to be a member of the most elite U.S. Army fighting force, the Special Forces.

“My ultimate goal once I join the Army is to become a Special Forces weapons sergeant, certified as a sniper,” said Teasdale. “With a lot of hard work and training I know that I can do it.”

Next on the tour was the Medical Simulation Training Center (MSTC), a facility that is used by active duty, National Guard and Reserve combat medics and uses visual training aids to maintain their skills and ensures their effectiveness in a combat zone.

February 19, 2020 - Luis Illescas, an instructor at the Medical Simulation Training Center, shows Isaiah Roush and Tristan Teasdale the medical dummy the MSTC uses to train the National Guard and Army Reserve , at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin as part of the job shadow event. The job shadow is a community relation event designed to maintain and build upon existing relationship with the local communities around Fort McCoy. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ryan Tatum)
February 19, 2020 - Luis Illescas, an instructor at the Medical Simulation Training Center, shows Isaiah Roush and Tristan Teasdale the medical dummy the MSTC uses to train the National Guard and Army Reserve , at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin as part of the job shadow event. The job shadow is a community relation event designed to maintain and build upon existing relationship with the local communities around Fort McCoy. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ryan Tatum)

Roush stated he plans to pursuit a career in the medical field and is continuing to weight his options on which route to take.

“This job shadow event helps me chart my future; depending on what I might do it can definitely boost me to my career path,” said Roush. “I am looking to become a medic but still trying to think about all my options before I decide on one because I still do not know about all the other jobs in the medical field out there.”

Pearson, an Illinois-native, served as a combat medic for 12 years and in that time served in many different positions in his career.

“Since 2008, I served as a combat medic and in that time, I have served with 3rd Infantry Division, I have worked in a hospital, served in Korea twice and been an instructor for advance individual training at Fort Sam Houston,” said Pearson. “I have had a very diverse career as a medic and I think it has helped me out to give an educated opinion on what is it like to be a medic to Isaiah.”

Pearson expanded Roush’s knowledge about what it means to be a medic in the Army and gave him critical information about Army medicine that he will need when he makes his decision about a future military career.

“I think the information that I gave him helped him realize there are more facets to medicine in the Army than just being a medic,” said Pearson.

“He realized that he could be a nurse, Special Forces or Ranger and still be a medic. So, I think he realized there are more opportunities than he thought there were originally and that’s good.”

After the MSTC, the next stop was the HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer (HEAT) Rollover simulator. Roush and Teasdale were told how it is designed to train and prepare Soldiers in case of a vehicle rollover.

Smith, a Wisconsin native, has served the Army for 19 years and this was his first experience as host for a job shadow event and working with high schoolers.

“I think the job shadow event went very well, it builds a great relationship with the community whether from counties such as Monroe county or Sparta, Tomah and the surrounding areas,” said Smith. “I think it provides a great opportunity for good partnership, to support each other with this program it brings high school students and it builds that trust between the military and the potential recruit and the recruits’ family.”

Before Roush and Teasdale left for home, they took a group photo with the whole Marauder battalion and exchanged contact information to continue to build the relationship and allow Smith and Pearson to continue mentoring the students.

“We provided our email address for any further questions they may have,” said Smith. “I think it builds a positive relationship not only with them but with their family building trust and partnership.”

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