HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. -- The 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division’s hosted a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Course Day where Chatham County cadets were treated to various Army presentations, March 4, at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia.
The JROTC day consisted of presentations included static displays, a tour of the HAAF aircraft hangar, a discussion panel and a flight simulator.
“When the students get the chance to come to a place like this and see the equipment and the Soldiers and Airmen working in real time, it shows them that there are many paths to choose from in the military, and they can still acquire a higher education that the military can pay for,” said retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Russel Burns, a naval science instructor in the Jenkins High School JROTC program.
Many of the cadets were unaware of the jobs that exist beyond infantryman or Army Ranger. One such cadet was Aleeyah Williams, a Naval cadet attending Jenkins High School.
“I’ve heard of different jobs being available in the military that I can support the fight against the bad guys without being [on] the front lines,” said Williams. “I guess I just had to see more of it for myself to believe it.”
Williams believes she is best fit for a career in nursing, and she is exploring different universities to further her medical goals. The discussion panel portion of JROTC Day gave her a chance to ask questions related to her pursuit.
Burns spoke of a field trip where he took his class to see the Navy band which gave the cadets insight to another option should they choose to enlist into military service.
“The cadets were able to see that they can be anything from engineers to musicians through military service,” said Burns. “They don’t have to be combat engineers if they don’t want to, but still want to serve their country,”
The Army is adapting to modern-day recruitment strategies widely used in the civilian sector in order to recruit potential Soldiers and retain the best it has to offer.
The Assignment Interactive Model 2.0 or AIM 2, for example, highlights the recognition of the need to keep senior officers on active duty by giving them the opportunity to choose the location at which they wish to continue their service.
“The ability to put on that Army uniform and go to desired locations all over the country and overseas was a driving force for me as a warrant officer,” said Brian Farrell, an instructor/operator at the HAAF flight simulation complex and a retired chief warrant officer four. “These cadets hear that, and see the different jobs available, and you can almost see the gears turning in their heads with possibility.”
Not every cadet in attendance plans to enlist or commission into the Army or other branches of service, but the cadets could leave the day with more knowledge in their pockets than they came in with.
“The best part of the event is the ability to interact with real Soldiers and Airmen and hear their stories about what they’ve been able to accomplish through the military and give these kids hope for a future they have chosen,” said Burns.