Soldiers for a day
May 14, 2014
NEEDHAM, Mass. (May 5, 2014) -- Seventh-grade students at Monsignor James J. Haddad Middle School started their Civil War studies with Recruitment Day on May 2, when Soldiers from the Natick Soldier Systems Center participated in the recruitment process by teaching basic drill and ceremony.
The Soldiers, led by Natick's senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Beausoleil, had a great time working with the students.
"I had the pleasure in conducting some community outreach with one of our local middle schools, to teach 67 seventh-graders the basic drill movements in order for them to conduct a re-enactment of Pickett's Charge as part of their educational enhancement of history and military tradition," Beausoleil said. "It has become an annual tradition of the NSSC Soldiers visiting Monsignor Haddad for Recruitment Day.
"It is an awe-inspiring feeling when you can directly impact a child's life through the knowledge of where drill and ceremony originated from and how it was used to infuse discipline within the Armed Forces. To see their smiles and watch them execute basic marching and drill movements was inspirational."
The students responded well to the Soldiers' instructions, and that was the purpose of having them participate in Recruitment Day.
"Today, the average person in Massachusetts has little opportunity to interact with the men and women who serve our country," said Jared Belliveau, a seventh-grade teacher at Monsignor Haddad. "First and foremost, we wanted our students to have an opportunity to meet and interact with our nation's service members. We also wanted them to become familiar with the basics of close-order drill in preparation for a re-enactment of Pickett's Charge later this month."
The students learned basic drill and ceremony, and by the end of the morning, they were able to perform right-face, left-face, they marched in formation and carried their weapons (broomsticks) at port arms.
"I learned about some of the personal experiences of people who serve our country, said seventh-grader Daniel Habermas of Needham. "They also shared with us some of the things they are taught during their own training."
The students will conclude their studies of the Civil War with a re-enactment of Pickett's Charge on May 22.