COLUMBUS, Ga. (Nov. 9, 2018) - Soldiers from the Henry Caro Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) at Fort Benning, Georgia, helped students from Hardaway High school in Columbus, Georgia, place a Partners in Education sign in front of their school Nov. 7.

Fort Benning's Partners in Education program promotes continued partnerships between military units and schools within school districts of Columbus, Phenix City, Alabama, and the surrounding communities.

Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Olsen, the Henry Caro NCOA commandant, said he got the idea after seeing a similar sign at his son's school. He also wanted to ensure the community knew the NCOA stands behind and cares about the students of Hardaway High School.

"I think it's important to set our partnership in concrete," said Olsen. "We are building the trust between the community and the Army, specifically Fort Benning. My hope is that we continue to build this relationship."

Sgt.1st Class Shawn Harris, the protocol NCO for the Henry Caro NCOA, regularly attends PIE events at the high school, specifically helping with the school's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program every Friday.

"Some of these kids who come out of this school will be future leaders of this community, so they need to understand that the military and Fort Benning supports them," Harris said.

Matt Bell, who has served as the school's principal for 13 years, said the school greatly values this support from Fort Benning and the NCOA.

"Their direct contact with the students helps build those relationships," said Bell. "To meet Soldiers from different backgrounds, it goes a long way to develop those future leaders."