JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command will host a Meet Your Army Leader Professional Development webinar on July 28 at 11 a.m. EDT. The panel, hosted by Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel T. Hendrex, TRADOC, will feature five Soldiers who have followed different paths to success in the U.S. Army.
Gen. Paul E. Funk II, Commanding General, TRADOC, always states that the Army is a people business, and it continues to show that in the opportunities and career paths it provides for its Soldiers. Each Soldier’s story looks different, and whether a person is searching to be a part of something greater than themselves or follow a life-long dream, a career in the Army can help.
One of the panelists, Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Eller, an Infantryman with the Army Marksmanship Unit, was inspired to join the Army because of his desire to win an Olympic gold medal. He felt the Army could help him achieve this goal and it did. Eller eventually went on to win Olympic gold and has represented the Army in the Olympic Games three times.
“The Army has something for everyone,” Eller said. “It doesn’t matter what career path you wish to go down, the Army has a job or a program to help you. It’s a win for everyone.”
Through the support of the Army, Eller was able to achieve his goals while also serving his country.
Other stories, like Staff Sgt. Liliana Venegas, a combat medic with 32nd Medical Brigade, provide a different perspective for potential recruits. Venegas joined the Army because she wanted to find a source of income for college and believed the Army could provide that and much more.
“The Army offers an incredibly vast list of career options for Soldiers to further develop themselves,” Venegas stated. “Military Occupational Specialty qualifications certify Soldiers to perform their job in the Army and gives them a civilian equivalent certification in their field so they can take their skills with them long after service.”
There are many education benefits and financial aid opportunities for Soldiers looking to further their education, including the GI Bill program and loan repayment programs for Soldiers enlisted in one of the critical Military Occupational Specialties.
Education benefits are also available to ROTC cadets, including two-, three-, and four-year scholarships that can cover fill tuition and fees in addition to a monthly living stipend.
Many of the LPD panelists have used one of these educational benefits and will discuss them further during the webinar, explaining how it impacted their professional and personal development.
Venegas, along with the other LPD panelists, joined Hendrex on a recruiting trip to Houston, Texas, earlier this year to speak to local JROTC students. They had the chance to share their Army story, the opportunities available to those who join, and discuss any pre-conceived notions of what it means to be a Soldier in the U.S. Army.
Eller explained that it’s important to have real Soldiers speak to crowds of students and future Soldiers because when speaking to a diverse audience, different people will relate to different stories.
“My story may reach someone that no other story ever could,” he stated.
The panelists believe that having those face-to-face conversations with the future generation of Soldiers encourages a more genuine interaction. It allows Soldiers an opportunity to provide their real-life perspective to potential recruits who may see themselves in their story.
“It’s important for young people to see that regardless of their race, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation, they are capable of achieving anything they set their mind to,” Venegas explained. “Stories like mine attest to the fact that our strength lies in our diversity.”
To view and participate in the LPD discussion, visit the TRADOC Facebook page, DVIDs, or the TRADOC watch page where you can submit questions to be answered throughout the session by LPD panelists.
Visit goarmy.com to learn more about the career paths available in U.S. Army. If you are interested in joining, please visit your local Army recruiting office or call 1-888-5500-ARMY to speak to a recruiter today.