Thursday, August 11, 2016

U.S. Army marketing trailers showcase America's Drill Sergeant

Command Sgt. Maj. Lamont Christian's picture on the side of a one of thenew U.S. Army Recruiting Command trailer.

Story and photos by Leslie Ann Sully

Fort Jackson Post Command Sgt. Maj. Lamont Christian has had many roles during his Army career and now he can add being the Drill Sergeant face that millions will see around America. His picture from the Army’s CAN YOU MAKE THE CUT campaign was selected as one of the photos used to wrap the new U.S. Army Recruiting Command Marketing Trailers. His job at the time of the photo shoot was Commandant of the United States Army Drill Sergeant Academy on Fort Jackson, S.C.

“The opportunity to see the picture on a local trailer was very humbling and exciting,” he said when he saw one outside of the headquarters of U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Columbia. The battalion, just like the other 38 battalions across America, received two trailers in August. One is now located at the U.S. Army Recruiting Company Asheville to help promote the Army in the Asheville, N.C. and Greenville, S.C. areas. The other is at the U.S. Army Recruiting Company Augusta and will be traveling around the Augusta, Ga., recruiting area as well as the greater Columbia, S.C., communities. 
Columbia Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Robert Garbarino and Fort Jackson Command Sgt. Maj. Christian.

The role of promoting a positive image for the Army is not new to Christian. Previously, he was recognized as America’s Drill Sergeant. He started his Drill Sergeant time at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1993 and later served at that Fort Benning Drill Sergeant School until 1998. As a Drill Sergeant Leader, Christian recorded several Army cadences for Army use. Later, he learned that one was used in a Gatorade commercial.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

S.C. educators complete course, learn firsthand about the military

Columbia Recruiting Battalion personnel inprocess educators for the MCP 101course.

Story and pictures by Vernetta Garcia

            Another Military Career Pathways (MCP) 101is in the history books. More than 60 South Carolina educators came to Columbia, S.C. to participate in the sixth now bi-annual MCP 101 Course June 22-24, 2016.
The goal of the course is to provide educators with a firsthand understanding of military resources, career pathways and benefits. They learn how military careers fit into the national education 16 career clusters and it is a viable option for their students. 
Panel discussion between service members and the educators.
 “This is an amazing program to help build relationships with our schools, and after this, I believe these educators will see their local recruiter differently,” stated Lt. Col. Robert Garbarino, Commander, Columbia Recruiting Battalion. “I also hope they have a greater appreciation and understanding of the wide range of career fields available in the military.”
“MCP 101 has helped break down stereotypes and helps students make informed decisions on their future with the military being a viable option. Every student in S.C. needs to be aware of the globalization of military careers- high skill, high wage with a seamless crosswalk to civilian careers,” said Kama J. Staton, Education Associate at S.C. Department of Education and the MCP 101 Committee Chairperson.
  This unique course gives educators the opportunity to earn recertification credits. To receive Continuing Education Units, South Carolina Department of Education Credits, or Global Career Development Facilitator Credits, the MCP 101 attendees were required to participate in all the scheduled activities. And, after the event, participants are required to design a project they could implement in their schools during the upcoming school year.  “We encourage participants to invite (MCP 101) committee members and Recruiters to help with and participate in their projects,” said Laura Jones an MCP 10 committee member.

 The very full three days were packed with activities. On day one, educators gathered at the Dent Middle School in Columbia, where they were introduced to recruiting basics and the processing of new recruits enlisting in the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and the South Carolina Air National Guard.  A major topic during this session was how recruiters and educators can work together to provide the best information to and opportunities for the students.  By organizing a “Soldier’s panel” of actual recruiters and allowing lots of networking time, both sides were able to bridge the gap between education and military.

The keynote speaker was Major Gen. Robert Livingston, Jr. who is the Commander of the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard. He is also the President, Chief Executive Officer and Owner of Gregory Electric Company, Inc. in Columbia, S.C. “It is important as educators that you know as much as they can about every opportunity available to your students to better prepare them for bright futures,” said Livingston.
 After lunch, educators loaded buses and traveled twenty minutes to McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover, S.C. “It was very interesting to see how all of these aircrafts are maintained,” one educator remarked. “There is so much we don’t know about what’s happening in our own backyard.”

 On day two, the group headed to Fort Jackson, S.C., to get a taste of Army life and a sense of what their young people go through during basic training.  The day included the basic training confidence course, a visit to the Engagement Skills Trainer - EST 2000 weapons simulator, and an exchange with several Soldiers about different career tracks and options. The educators heard from a military policeman, a military police dog handler, a pharmacy assistant, a veterinarian, a food service specialist, an infantry Soldier, a band member, and a few other Army careers. 
Lt.Col. Robert Garbarino, Samuel Charles and Dr. Nicholas Holland.
 Educators also had lunch at the 2-60th Infantry Regiment quad dining facility and heard from representatives of the Army All-American Bowl Marching Band. A mellophone player and a 2016 participant, Samuel Charles, told participants what a wonderful experience he had at the All-American Bowl. “Please let your students know about this opportunity,” Charles said. Dr. Nicholas Holland, the former director of the Army All-American Bowl Marching Band said, “other than getting married and having children, this was the best experience of my life. I am grateful the Army offers this experience for our youth.”

After lunch, they heard from Navy representatives about their nuclear program and the many career options associated with it. “I’m grateful participants were able to hear from most of the Armed Service this year,” said Staton.
Next, Shantelle James, the Education Service Specialist with Columbia Recruiting Battalion reviewed website and showed how educators could incorporate it into their lesson plans. “This has been a very good event, educators are very enthusiastic and asking for assistance with their projects ,” said James. "Efforts to incorporate a test preparation program such as March2Sucess in all schools is a command goal.  The event assisted in generating a greater interest in Army programs and opened future opportunities to work closely with educators. The enthusiasm was energetic. "
Educators opening up their Meals Ready to Eat (MRE).
Day three was a trip to Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, S.C.  Participants learned about the Air Force mission and base’s mission and the valuable role it plays in the security of our nation. “Shaw has a vital mission and it is great to be able to share this information with you (participants),” said Robert Sexton, Shaw Air Force Community Relations Manager. The day included a briefing, tour of the weather facility, discussions with Airmen, and a windshield tour of the installation. The highlight for most was trying Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) for lunch. 
  To measure the effectiveness of the course, participants take a 17 question pre survey and post survey.  “We saw an increase in percentages in every category in alignment with understanding the value of military on our secondary schools,” stated Staton. To the question, I believe the military service is a viable career option for Honors and AP students: there was an increase from 40% STRONGLY AGREE to 64% STRONGLY AGREE!   To the question, I am aware of military service programs applicable to my area of instruction curriculum, and/or career guidance that can enhance student performance, character, and personal integrity: it went from 33% DISAGREE: to an overwhelming 48% STRONGLY AGREE and 0% DISAGREE! "This is moving our state forward and breaking down those stereotype!" exclaimed Staton. 

We are the Army Recruiting Battalion in Columbia, SC. We cover Military and Community events and news around SC and parts of NC and GA. Check our blog for interesting stories and photos!