Soldiers teach Army values to student scientists
July 1, 2013
- "Honesty, loyalty, duty, integrity, it's the Army values that we live by."
- "It really, really excites you to see the youth of America working in these fields and coming up with such creative and ingenious ideas."
- "I was not prepared for how awesome and how smart these kids were going to be."
LEESBURG, Va. -- One of the duties of a noncommissioned officer is to instill the Army's core values into young Soldiers. During one week in June, eight NCOs and one junior enlisted Soldier from the Research, Development and Engineering Command taught those values to young student scientists at the eCYBERMISSION National Judging and Educational Event.
eCYBERMISSION is a web-based STEM competition free for students in grades six through nine in which teams compete for state, regional and national awards while working to solve problems in their communities. RDECOM hosts the national competition annually for the Army. This year's event was held June 17-21.
"We NCOs have a couple of roles here," said Staff Sgt. Steven McGloin, who works in the office of the RDECOM command sergeant major and supported the competition for the second year. "We give an Army values class to all the students when they come in so it gives them an idea of what it's like to be a Soldier in the Army and the values we hold dear to our heart."
Staff Sgt. Tracy Campbell, who works at RDECOM headquarters, has supported the eCYBERMISSION event for two years. Like McGloin, she feels the Army values are extremely important.
"Honesty, loyalty, duty, integrity," Campbell said. "It's the Army values that we live by."
McGloin feels the Soldiers play an even more important role at the event.
"We are there essentially as their chaperones, their coaches, their mentors throughout the week," McGloin said. "Aside from just accountability, we help them with some of their rehearsals, getting them to the different events, explaining to them the significance of the events, help them with their preparation as well as the rehearsals for when the awards ceremony happens."
Campbell stressed that the Soldiers also serve as role models for the students.
"Not only as a guide, basically taking them from point A to point B, but also as a mentor. And probably for them to look at me and be like 'well, you know what, she just taught me this' or 'she has imparted this to me,' so when they go back [home], they can take something I have said with them."
When McGloin first supported eCYBERMISSION, he said he really didn't know what to expect.
"I thought it was going to be, you know, toothpicks and Popsicle sticks put together which is obviously very different from the event," McGloin said. "When you see the projects, it's absolutely amazing.
"Your first thought is, how do they even come up with the ideas to begin the project? You're blown away just on the thought process of creating an experiment like this. Never mind the intellect and effort that actually goes into the project itself," McGloin said. "I was blown away.
"It really, really excites you to see the youth of America working in these fields and coming up with such creative and ingenious ideas."
Spc. Joshua Inserra, who works at RDECOM's communications and electronics center, supported the competition for the first time.
"These kids blew me out of the water," he said. "What they have made, what they have accomplished in their local communities, let alone their project, it's amazing what these kids can do. I was not prepared for how awesome and how smart these kids were going to be."
"When I came here I realized that not only is it technological, but it's scientific, mathematics, physics, all of the STEM areas that are incorporated in their research,"Campbell said. "And it's extensive research, over months and months of coming up with a hypothesis.
"Trying out what they believed and asking themselves the important questions of, 'How does it affect me, my family, my community? How does it affect the world in general?'
"At their age, my aptitude wasn't even like that, so, it's very, very impressive."
In addition to McGloin, Campbell and Inserra, other RDECOM Soldiers supporting the event were Master Sgt. John Cavalier and Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Currie from RDECOM headquarters at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Staff Sgt. Mason Lockey and Staff Sgt. Angel Clancy from RDECOM's research laboratory at APG; Staff Sgt. Markus Whisman and Staff Sgt. Jesse Enos from RDECOM's research laboratory at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.; and Sgt. Joshua Geren from RDECOM's communications and electronics center at APG.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.