The Jacksonville Recruiting Battalion brought 20 area educators to Fort Stewart for a tour of the facilities and to get to know what potential recruits might expect on an Army installation. The group was hosted by the 42nd Fires Brigade. Captain Jamal White escorted the group along with several Soldiers from his unit.
The commander of the Jacksonville Recruiting Battalion, Lt. Col. Sharlene Pigg, and recruiters from several of her companies, accompanied the educators.
The purpose of the tour was to help them understand the daily lives of Soldiers. The group will be able to apply their newfound understanding to provide opportunities and information to potential Army recruits in the recruiting battalion's area of operation from Savannah to Daytona Beach.
"These are people that work with youth, and educators at the high school and college level," Pigg said. "This helps us learn what they do (educators), so we can better serve potential Soldiers."
The tour included a command brief giving an overview of Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield and the 3rd Infantry Division. Bill Lukens, Army Community Service director, followed and explained the major programs of ACS to include Financial Readiness, the Exceptional Family Member Program, the Family Advocacy Program, Mobilization and Deployment and Survivor Outreach Services.
Lukens said ACS is a social service that helps Soldiers and their Families become resilient, "so Soldiers can focus on the task at hand, whether they are training or are deployed, knowing that their Family is being taken care of at home."
The tour also included stops at the state of the art Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith Education Center, the 4th Brigade Fitness Center and the Virtual Training Facility.
Sharonda Boggs and Shardai Hamilton, both work for Brunswick, Georgia, Job Corps, as career transition specialists. They help young people make decisions on which path they will choose in their careers. They work closely with local recruiters from all branches of service. Boggs had never been on a military installation before today.
"We got to see firsthand what military life is like and what the military does," she said.
George Lantzounis is the director of career services at Armstrong State University. The tour gave him perspective he didn't expect. "This helped me realize the great facilities, programs and dedicated staff the military offers," he said. "It helps to educate myself, so I can help others decide their career path."
The Jacksonville Recruiting Battalion makes a couple of visits a year to Fort Stewart with educators and again with future Soldiers who are contemplating enlistment.