By Noriko Kudo, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsJanuary 31, 2016
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Feb. 1, 2016) --Two local junior high school students from Shincho Junior High School in Sagamihara City, job shadowed employees Jan. 14 to 15, from U.S. Army Garrison Japan.
Randall Baucom, chief of Community Engagement and Public Information Branches, USAG Japan PAO, said that one of the main purposes of the program is "to inform the younger generation of Sagamihara City citizens about Camp Zama and the U.S. Army in Japan."
Another reason is "to promote understanding and cooperation to strength the U.S.-Japan Alliance and the U.S. Army ties to the local community," said Baucom.
On the first day, Hikaru Ito and Leo Toyooka, 8th-graders, toured the installation including the USAG Japan headquarters building, U.S. Army Aviation Battalion Japan to be familiarized with a military work environment. They also toured the Camp Zama historical monuments.
Capt. Rafael A. Garcia-Menocal, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Avn. Bn. Japan, took the students around the Hanger and inside the Air Traffic Control Tower for a tour.
Garcia-Menocal said he hopes that the students learned, "a little about what we do in Japan," and how we can work with our Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force counterparts to accomplish a single goal.
On the second day, Hikaru shadowed employees from the Camp Zama Army Supply Center.
Yoshihiro Aikawa, supervisor of Stock Control, ASC, briefly explained to Hikaru that ASC is a store that sells office supplies on the installation and showed him what the employees do day-to-day.
"I set my goals to learn about customer service and to improve communication skills," said Hikaru.
He had the opportunity to place the items on shelves, manage the inventory and deliver packages to the installation post office as part of his job shadowing experience.
"I wanted to experience the challenge of communicating with American costumers even when facing the communication barriers," said Hikaru. "I had to learn how to communicate using my own words without being shy."
"I learned after working with customers, to pay attention to details and to give my all even on small tasks."
All of the employees here are very nice, said Hikaru, and they helped provide a very friendly atmosphere for the costumers.
Hikaru was very smart, and he quickly learned and completed what was tasked to him--he, communicated with customers without hesitation, said Aikawa.
Hikaru was able to observe a business from a seller's point-of-view, by experiencing "behind the scenes" work, as opposed to walking in a store and buying items; which is done in his daily life, said Aikawa.
"I hope it was a unique experience for him."
Leo, was assigned to the broadcasting section, Command Information Branch, USAG Japan PAO.
Leo said one of the reasons that he chose to job shadow employees from USAG Japan was because he thinks that having foreign language skill set would give him options in his future career planning.
Leo also was interested in observing what type of responsibilities, motivations and goals employees have at work.
Daisuke Sato, information editorial specialist, CIB, PAO, said that he provided Leo with an opportunity to experience filming, conducting an interview, and editing to see how PAO produces news segments.
Leo got to observe how we "communicate with the community," said Sato.
"I learned that the preparation is a big factor to produce a good news story," said Leo.
"From today's experience at PAO, I will constantly keep it mind that you are responsible for what you say," said Leo.