Kaiserslautern, Germany - The 21st Theater Sustainment Command held an Army Day for approximately 100 Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets on Panzer Kaserne, Kaiserslautern, July 13. This is the first time the Air Force JROTC program has partnered with the 21st TSC to host an event like this. Roughly half the cadets come from Army families and the event gave them the opportunity to see what the U.S. Army has to offer.
The Army Day is a part of a five-day cadet leadership course to develop better leaders for the junior ROTC program. The cadets came together from three different JROTC programs from Kaiserslautern, Ramstein, and Spangdahlem High School. This challenged the cadets to work together with little to no prior interaction.
"This is a great opportunity to display the Army to the community and engage with the cadets on a professional level," said Sgt. 1st Class Wayne Baker, non-commissioned officer in charge, 21st TSC. "This event will allow the cadets to get some hands-on training with real Army equipment and showcase the many opportunities that the Army can provide."
Non-commissioned officers taught different tasks at each station. The weapons familiarization station taught the cadets to disassemble and reassemble an M4 rifle and M17 pistol. It also prepared the cadets for the engagement skills trainer [EST] range, a simulated range designed to help Soldiers to become proficient marksmen.
Cadet Emma Arambula, a third-year cadet from Kaiserslautern High School, said the weapons familiarization station was the most enjoyable part of the day.
"Watching all the cadets learn new things and try new things, like handling and taking apart the weapons, and learning how to do that was really fun," said Arambula.
Cadets were broken down into five separate groups that rotated through five different stations. Each station showcased different military occupational specialties or tasks the Army conducts. The stations ranged from communications equipment to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear familiarization, to include preventative maintenance checks and services the Army conducts on its equipment.
"So, one of the benefits of having three Air Force JROTC programs here in Germany, is it gives us the opportunity to take what we do individually, and then combine it to make our respective programs better," said Lt. Col. (Ret.) William Conley, senior aerospace science instructor, Kaiserslautern High School. "When they come together with something like this, and they're immersed in nothing but that leadership education, it takes it to a different level."
Conley said almost half of the cadets grew up in an Army environment and this provides them the opportunity to see what their parents may do on a day-to-day basis.
"It's very different," said Arambula. "I'll go home and tell my dad what we're doing, and he'll tell me how different it is from the Army."
The event concluded as 1st Sgt. Willie Cole, first sergeant of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 21st TSC, along with Command Sgt. Maj. Alvin Poarch, senior enlisted advisor for the 21st STB, 21st TSC, handed out HHC, STB, and TSC challenge coins to the top five performing cadets of the day.