FORT CARSON, Colo. –
A group of 30 educators and community partners from Arizona and Oklahoma joined leadership from the Phoenix Recruiting Battalion for an Educators Tour here April 27-28.
The purpose of the tour was to provide a comprehensive orientation and overview of Fort Carson for the attendees, who included teachers and counselors.
The tour highlighted the capabilities and activities offered at Fort Carson, including a visit to the 10th Special Forces Group, a guided tour of the Army World Class Athletes program, briefs from combat medics and educational staff, a performance from the 4th Infantry Division Band and an opportunity to participate in a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) simulator.
The tour also showcased Army facilities, housing, as well as the everyday activities undertaken by service members on Fort Carson.
The tour is traditionally one of the most important events of the year for the battalion, as it allowed them to showcase elements of the Army the attendees might not be familiar with.
The tour also helped improve communication and recruiting efforts between the education establishment and Community Partners, including encouragement of individual relationships with education administrators, counselors, and teachers in the battalion area of operations.
Attending the trip was Danielle Wilson, counselor, Santa Rosa Ranch School, Tucson, Ariz., who said the tour changed her previous misconceptions about Army service despite growing up in a military family.
“I was a military brat … my father was in the Navy, but I didn’t know too much about the Army which is why I attended,” Wilson said. “I think it’s a fabulous military branch and now I understand the dynamics of the Army and what it takes to be a part of it.”
Finch said she is excited to return and tell her students about the educational benefits offered by the Army and relay the positive aspects of serving.
“Finding out about the different career paths you can take was an eye opener, especially being part of a band,” she said. “Whether being a singer, guitarist, or drummer, this is something my students love to do. If this is something they can make a career, I’d love to promote it to them.”
Also attending the tour was Allen Heffner, counselor, Russellville High School, Ark., who said she enjoyed learning about the different opportunities the Army has to offer.
“A career in the Army gives young people purpose and direction they may not get elsewhere, it’s a source of security that other jobs can’t provide – guaranteed housing, paycheck, healthcare,” Heffner said. “
Heffner said lots of parents who are reluctant to let their children join haven’t seen the Army up close and are swayed by what they see in the media, which isn’t the case.
“Lots of parents think they’re automatically sending their kinds into battle and they’re going to war – clearly this isn’t the case for everyone,” Heffner said. “They need to understand the number of opportunities the Army offers and how their children can grow from them. They can get stability from the Army and out of it when they become a civilian.”