By Sgt. Aimee Nordin (101st Airborne)November 13, 2019
FORT CAMPBELL -- Over 90 Future Soldiers from recruiting centers all around the western Missouri and southern Illinois area were excused from their high school classes to tour the home of the Screaming Eagle, Fort Campbell, Ky., on November 6, 2019.
Future Soldiers are students or young adults who have already signed their Army enlistment contract and are waiting until the day they ship out to basic combat training. Recruiters have been taking initiatives to prepare these Future Soldiers for basic but this specific visit is vital for their preparations.
"I have always wanted to serve in the military my entire life and I have several friends that joined the Army for the comradery of it," said Chase Stanley, a future Soldier. "I'm very excited about today's visit, I love history so seeing the history of this museum is amazing to me."
Stanley, a Johnston City, Ill., native, has already enlisted into the Army and is due to leave for basic combat training December 30, 2019, as an infantryman with the Airborne Ranger option.
Future Soldiers train with their recruiters typically once a week participating in various activities such as ruck marches or physical readiness training; however, these activities only prepare the Future Soldiers for a small aspect of basic training.
Having the opportunity to visit an active duty Army installation gives Future Soldiers a real understanding as to what will be expected of them when they arrive to their first duty station.
"The 101st Sustainment Brigade is the first active duty unit, in two years, to agree to do this type of tour since I been in command," Capt. Cesar Mondragon said. "We put these events on to immerse the Future Soldiers in this particular event on what it is to be a Soldiers. We bring them here so they can see everyday life for a Soldier."
This event has taken over a month of organizing and preparation between the Cape Girardeau recruiting company and liaisons at Fort Campbell.
"This is one of the biggest events in the brigade as far as mega Future Soldier Event," Mondragon continued. "I know for sure in my battalion; we have a total of six recruiting station taking apart of this event."
According to Mondragon, doing events like this gets the students talking about their experience on social media and help them spread the word about what the Army has to offer.
"We expose them to this so it can invoke commitment for these future Soldiers are already enlisted," he said. "It invited referrals, friends of the future Soldiers, so that it will help them decide if they would like to enlist into the Army."
Future Soldiers visited the John F. Pratt Museum to get an understanding for the history of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Got a hands-on experience at the 584th Support Maintenance Company, 101st Sustainment Brigade, with communications equipment and heavy-wheeled vehicles. They viewed a live repelling demonstration at The Sabalauski Air Assault School and used the simulated weapons qualification range at the Fort Campbell Squad Advanced Marksmanship Training (SAM-T) simulator.
Events like this showcase the 101st Sustainment Brigade abilities to help support and maintain the Army's authorized personnel strength by providing recruiters with Army personnel and equipment to help fulfill the Army's recruiting mission.