A three-day orientation at Carlisle Barracks introduced 57 Reserve and Guard officers and their spouses to the services offered here. Current students, in the class of 2022, sat down with incoming students for candid, first person perspectives about what to expect -- academic, social, community, sports, housing, and more.
Brig. Gen. Janeen Birckhead, Deputy Commanding General Reserve Affairs, welcomed the group on the first day of their orientation, April 6, Birckhead is dual hatted, serving also as the Maryland Assistant Adjutant General – Army.
“Congratulations on the next journey of your career and being selected to attend the Army War College,” said Birckhead. “Attending here, you will develop lifelong friends, lifelong contacts you will use throughout your career.
“I encourage you to study, contemplate, create a synergy of ideas and consider our Army and your service for the future.
“What got you here will not get you there,” she said, about readiness for future responsibilities. “The War College curriculum builds upon your career of experience and professionalism. Grow and broaden from what you will learn here. Take this time to improve your reading, writing, critical thinking, and communicating skills,” she said.
Dean Edward Kaplan of the Army War College also touched on the curriculum. “Overall, your curriculum is challenging,” said Dean Kaplan. “What we have been working for as we develop our curriculum is to go from “one size fits all curriculum” to one that is tailorable. We will offer you many ways to measure yourself to develop and tailor your education program,” he said.
The orientation provided information about housing, local schools, TRICARE, and child and youth services.
“We have never done anything like this,” said Tara Dukes, spouse of incoming student Lt. Col. Brian Dukes of the Oregon National Guard. “It is all exciting. Coming to the orientation was very beneficial for me, to see the post and the campus.”
“Being able to hear from other spouses and their perspectives during spouse group meeting was very valuable. For someone that has never moved their tips about when movers come from those who have done it several times, it was nice to hear what they had to say. They also discussed the many things offered for spouses, FLAGS, and the different classes and activities,” she said.
For most reserve and guard officers, military careers do not require the regular changes of station that make moving a routine event for active military families.
“I am happy to have been chosen. It is exciting,” said Army Reserve Col. Garold Sherlock. “In the process of reaching out to the service components, they assigned me with an AGR mentor in academic year ‘22. There is so much value in the orientation. To bring us in, the compo 2 and 3 individuals, to talk us through things and identify that there are differences, for instance, most people here have never PCS’d,” he said
“That we can come together as a community, we are now communicating with each other, creating an internal network -- I cannot say enough good things about the orientation.
“The orientation has been a class act all the way through,” said Sherlock.
The orientation includes 24 officers from the Army Reserve and National Guard, four Air Force Reserve and Air Guard OFFICERS, and one Navy Reservist. In August 2022, they join the Army War College class of 2023, including 80 international officers, 247 active service officers, from all U.S. military branches, and 24 civil agency students who will make up the class of 2023.