FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Spc. Justin Norrid and his new wife, Giorgia Norrid, thought they were attending an Army Family Team Building course May 31. Instead, they arrived at Army 101, a course designed to educate employees on Fort Carson and in the surrounding communities on everything Army.

“We figured we’d stay,” said Justin Norrid. “I’ve taught her a little bit about the structure and the ranks, but they have some other information that’s useful.”

Giorgia Norrid, a native of Italy, married Justin in November.

“I didn’t really know anything about the Army,” she said. “This helps.”

Other members of the audience included realtors and mortgage company employees hoping to better understand the basic structure of the military and learn about the challenges Soldiers and their Families face.

Col. John Keenan, deputy garrison commander, presented alongside Cindy McLaughlin -- wife of Col. Robert F. McLaughlin -- garrison commander, and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. James A. Kilpatrick.

Keenan provided key statistics to community members while McLaughlin shared her personal story to highlight Keenan’s points.

“Sixty-eight percent of the Army is under 30,” Keenan said. “Fifty-six percent are married and 51 percent have children under the age of 7.”

McLaughlin gave the audience a timeline of the moves she and her husband made throughout his Army career, all while raising five children.

Throughout the four-hour course, community members learned about Army culture including chain of command, rank structure and military acronyms. They also received lessons on post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The course concluded with a tour of Fort Carson.

“I already had an understanding of the military structure,” said Ric Darling, retired Air Force. “I came to learn about what’s going on at Fort Carson and how my company can be involved.”

Darling, who works with People’s Mortgage, attended with several co-workers including Bev Dannatt, a mortgage banker.

“I don’t have any military background,” Dannatt said. “This is really helpful for me.”
“Seventy percent of our population lives off post,” said McLaughlin, who has been running Army 101 courses for two years. “The more understanding we can provide to our
community, the better it is for our Soldiers.”

Army 101 began in 2008 and was the first of its kind in the Army. In 2010, the program won an Army Community of Excellence award, along with a monetary prize.

Page last updated Thu June 9th, 2011 at 00:00