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News | Dec. 11, 2020

Richmond Recruiting Battalion hosts first Virtual STEM Tour

By Carrie Poore Richmond Recruiting Battalion

Soldiers from U.S. Army units throughout Virginia educated Richmond-area students and school administrators during a virtual STEM Career Exploration Event on Dec. 3.

More than 50 participants logged into the Zoom event to watch Soldiers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers demonstrate their skills and answer questions via a Zoom chat room. 

Soldiers answered questions in real-time, to include: “What type of training does that job require?,” “What does your typical day look like?,” and “What is the difference between basic training and advanced individual training?”

“The Richmond Recruiting Company discovered an innovative way to provide area schools the traditional STEM tour experience,” said Lt. Col. Erik Peterson, commander of the U.S. Army Richmond Recruiting Battalion.  “By logging in from home on their virtual school day, students and career counselors could engage with Service members who serve in a variety of Army careers.”

Richmond Recruiters have historically visited area schools every fall to showcase STEM careers, equipment, and training. This year, the experience was provided through Zoom.

The virtual real-time demonstrations from units located on Fort Lee and Joint Base Langley Eustis included the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Training Division and demonstrations of its EOD 9 Bomb Suit, Talon Robot, and the military robot named PACBOT.

The 508th Transportation Company featured the skills of a motor pool transport operator while demonstrating and explaining the M1075 and M1078 vehicles.

The 16th Ordnance Battalion showcased the proficiency validation of the wheeled vehicle mechanic’s advanced individual training (commonly known at AIT). Soldiers demonstrated working on HEMTTs, HMMWVs, Wreckers, FMTV, HET, MAXXPROs, and M-ATVs.  The 832nd Ordnance Battalion introduced a rack vehicle repairer trainee and provided a training walk-through.

The Joint Culinary Training Center showcased Army field feeding equipment, to include a mobile kitchen trailer and a containerized kitchen. The 128th Aviation Brigade showcased multiple aviation platforms and provided a day-in-the-life look into many military occupational specialties, including Avionic and Survivability Equipment Repairer, Aircraft Electrician, and Helicopter Repairer.

The 544th Military Police Detachment showcased its military working dog’s basic obedience with an obstacle course. Detachment Soldiers also conducted a drug detection scenario and aggression training with bite work through pursing and attacking on command.

A team from Virginia Commonwealth University’s ROTC program was also on hand to provide an in-depth brief of what ROTC can do for a high school student or a student already enrolled in college.

The STEM event was one of many ways the Richmond Recruiting Battalion offers virtual opportunities to learn more about the Army experience.  The battalion is scheduled to host a virtual career fair through Indeed on Dec. 11. Registration for this event is free.


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