By Lance D. DavisFebruary 17, 2009
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 17, 2009) -- A group of sixth-grade students from the Episcopal School of Dallas visited the Pentagon for a tour and special presentations in the Pentagon Auditorium that included Secretary of the Army Pete Geren Feb. 12.
This visit was part of the school's annual visit to Washington, said Vicki Patterson, trip coordinator and history teacher.
The students were welcomed and briefed by Army Chief of Public Affairs Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner. One question he asked was about the number of countries the Army is in. Lakshmi Uppalapati guessed 80 and was awarded the first coin of five.
"I was happy and surprised that I actually got it right because I usually don't guess things right," Uppalapati said.
The presentation went on with a briefing from the U.S. Army Recruiting Brigade from Fort Meade, Md. Sgt. 1st Class Erika Holloway implemented an icebreaker to capture the youthful audience's attention.
"On your feet!" Holloway commanded. The students stood up, some at attention and others with smiles on their faces. She then had them to sound off with a loud, energetic, "Hooah!" "Take your seats!" she said.
Recruiter Lt. Col. Janice Gravely related the Episcopal School of Dallas to the Army in that the two organizations both have values.
"We are a value-based organization and you all being a part of a Christian school know a lot about values," Gravely said.
Gravely introduced the acronym LDRSHIP, which represents the seven Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
"Each of us is a leader and the values that we hold dear in our hearts are based on the leadership we want to convey to each other and to citizens who support us as we support our great country," Gravely said.
Lt. Col. Marty Hagenston from Army Future Combat Systems Technology brought excitement to the audience with the demonstration of the use of a robot after talking about the Army's robots.
The presentation ended with an Army panel including Col. Laura Potter, Lt. Col. Randy Odom, Maj. Pat Work and Master Sgt. Montigo White sharing their unique experiences throughout their Army careers. Finally, the Texas students were given an official tour of the Pentagon that included the chapel and Pentagon Memorial.
"This was really awesome," student Cole Johnson said. "Learning about all of this was really cool. It's the Army and it's for the people so you ought to know about it."