FORT GREELY, Alaska – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s senior leader visited Delta Junction High School and Career Advancement Center to learn about the opportunities students of military families have at the remote Alaska outpost and engage with students about Army service possibilities.
Lt. Gen. Daniel L. Karbler, who is also the senior commander at Fort Greely, witnessed firsthand the educational experience of the installation’s 68 students at the tiny enclave some 90 miles south of Fairbanks.
Students and staff showed Karbler a boat they designed and built as a school project. The project involved a multi-disciplinary, multi-department approach to its construction including the physics class, welding shop, technical writing class, and computer-aided drafting class. The class even built a test tank for small 3D printed models to simulate how different designs of the finished boat might perform in real-world conditions.
“I was impressed by how the school departments have come together to fabricate (from scratch) the boat, and the ingenuity and creativity of the students to make the project a reality,” Karbler said “The staff at DHS has engineered a way to mentor these students while providing them practical, hands-on experience in trades and skills that will be very important for them as they enter higher education and the workforce in the next few years.”
The boat is just one of the opportunities high school-aged military and Department of the Army civilian dependents at Fort Greely experience. Although the total full- and part-time student body of the high school only numbers around 300, the school offers opportunities such as eight different sports teams, national honor society, business professional clubs/societies, and a local radio station with equipment donated by the Army when Fort Greely was temporarily shut down during the Base Realignment and Closure in the late 1990s.
Following his visit to the Career Advancement Center, Karbler spoke to DHS juniors and seniors.
“It’s exciting to hear that almost 10%, about 30 of DHS’s 300 students, have identified the military as a possible career,” Karbler said.
He told the students that because his own two children graduated from high school within the last few years, he has a unique perspective of what high school students go through on a daily basis.
Karbler talked about his own career as an Air Defense Artillery officer highlighting the unique experiences service has provided him. He also told the kids that his success, much like theirs, hinged on education, particularly what he learned during his high school years.
Karbler also answered questions ranging from how often military families move, benefits and pay, educational opportunities, what kind of missions USASMDC has and why the Army needs its own space capabilities.
He explained that Army career possibilities go beyond the more well-known combat arms branches with more than 200 different occupational specialties including cyber, space operations, and many other science, technical, engineering and mathematics career fields.
He extended a special thangs to the Delta High School principal, Michael Lee, and staff.
“Thank you for inviting me to see first-hand how the children of our Soldiers and DA civilians integrate into the community at their school,” Karbler said. “Each of you demonstrates the positive relationship between the Army and Delta Junction community.