3rd Combat Aviation Brigade visits the Georgia Institute of Technology

By Spc. Rebeca SoriaJune 25, 2024

3rd Combat Aviation Brigade visits Georgia Institute of Technology
Soldiers assigned 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, visit the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) for a tour of the campus to explore more educational opportunities at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, June 21, 2024. By visiting Georgia Tech, the young officers learned about the state-of-the-art research as it applies to Army aviation. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rebeca Soria) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT STEWART, Ga. — Through partnerships with institutions like Georgia Tech and support for individual educational pursuits, the Army ensures its personnel are equipped with the knowledge and skills to address future challenges and maintain technological superiority on the battlefield.

The United States Army has significantly expanded its educational opportunities for Soldiers, recognizing the importance of advanced learning and innovation in developing a modern, capable force. From partnerships with leading academic institutions to internal innovation centers, the Army invests in education and research to prepare its personnel for future challenges.

One example of this commitment is the Army's collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology and its Georgia Tech Research Institute, or GTRI.

Andy Chang, a GTRI researcher, who has been acting as a primary liaison between GTRI, Georgia Tech and the 3rd Infantry Division, said "We've been working with the Marne Innovation Center for the last three years."

3rd Combat Aviation Brigade visits Georgia Institute of Technology
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Zachery Young, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade (3rd CAB), 3rd Infantry Division, flies to the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) for a tour of the campus to explore more educational opportunities at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, June 21, 2024. By speaking with the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, the young officers build connections between 3rd CAB and problem-solvers at Georgia Tech. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rebeca Soria) VIEW ORIGINAL

This partnership has opened up numerous opportunities for collaboration between the military and academia. The relationship between the Army and Georgia Tech goes beyond simple information exchange.

"We have found a whole bunch of different opportunities to collaborate,” Chang said. “We've done a bunch of stuff where 3rd Infantry Division has brought issues to Georgia Tech, gotten involved in Capstone programs … done some GTRI-sponsored projects."

This hands-on approach allows Soldiers to engage directly with cutting-edge research and development.

The Army is leveraging these partnerships to expose its leadership to advanced technologies and manufacturing processes; additionally, with 3rd ID’s 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade bringing a battalion to Georgia Tech for a leadership professional development tour. The visit was structured around three lines of effort:

  • LOE 1 is focused on the Georgia Tech Research Institute visit, where participants learned about state-of-the-art applications for Army Aviation and gained insights into how the Department of Defense funds and conducts research.
  • LOE 2 involves visits to Georgia Tech's Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute. This effort aimed to build connections between the 3rd CAB and problem-solvers at Georgia Tech, bringing back maker-space and manufacturing lessons to the Innovation Center Annex at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.
  • LOE 3 centered on a Military Graduate Research Program panel, designed to educate junior officers on Advanced Civil Schooling options and generate interest in graduate school.
3rd Combat Aviation Brigade visits Georgia Institute of Technology
Soldiers assigned 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, visit the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) for a tour of the campus to explore more educational opportunities at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, June 21, 2024. By visiting Georgia Tech, the young officers learned about the state-of-the-art research as it applies to Army aviation. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rebeca Soria) VIEW ORIGINAL

"We're viewing and touring the Innovation Center at Georgia Tech,” said 1st Lt. Zachary Young, a platoon leader participating in the tour. "Just to provide a greater understanding of where Army acquisitions, as well as innovation labs, are going to help us better give ideas and solutions to interesting, complex problems that we may see on the battlefield."

The impact of such events extends beyond immediate knowledge gain.

"This event was important for educating myself and other junior officers about what is out there — both technologies and opportunities,” said Capt. Nicholas Wilde, assigned to 2nd Battalion, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion. “Whether each of us stays in the Army or gets out, this event will undoubtedly shape our paths down the road."

The Army's commitment to education extends beyond partnerships with external institutions. It also supports individual Soldiers in pursuing advanced degrees that benefit both the individual and the organization. Capt. William Cooper Rider, an active-duty infantry officer and second year master's student in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech, exemplifies this approach.

"The Army could not have been more supportive, said Rider. “They allowed me to pursue the degree of my choosing, that both supports me and their mission, and it's been an awesome experience."

This investment in human capital allows the Army to develop a cadre of highly educated officers who can bring advanced knowledge and skills back to the force.

3rd Combat Aviation Brigade visits Georgia Institute of Technology
Soldiers assigned 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, visit the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) for a tour of the campus and to explore more educational opportunities at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, June 21, 2024. By speaking with the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, the young officers build connections between the 3rd CAB and problem-solvers at Georgia Tech. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rebeca Soria) VIEW ORIGINAL

The benefits of this educational support extend far beyond the individual Soldier.

"After my program, I'll report to West Point to be a physics and orbital mechanics instructor,” stated Rider. “So I'll use my aerospace degree and also the hands-on research I've been able to do with industry while I've been in graduate school to enhance the educational experience of my future cadets in the classroom."

This multiplier effect ensures that the knowledge gained through advanced education is disseminated throughout the organization. The Army's expanded use of education for Soldiers is not limited to traditional academic pursuits. It also includes exposure to innovation centers and advanced manufacturing techniques.

"It gives you a better understanding of capabilities of innovation centers that will continue to pop up around installations," said Young, noting the importance of understanding these capabilities.

3rd Combat Aviation Brigade visits Georgia Institute of Technology
Soldiers assigned 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, fly to the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) for a tour of the campus to explore more educational opportunities at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia, June 21, 2024. By visiting Georgia Tech, the young officers learned about the state-of-the-art research as it applies to Army Aviation. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rebeca Soria) VIEW ORIGINAL

By investing in education and fostering partnerships with academic and research institutions, the U.S. Army is preparing its personnel for the complex challenges of modern warfare. From cutting-edge technology development to advanced degree programs, these educational opportunities are shaping the future of the force. As Rider puts it, these experiences are "a testament to what an optimal position in Georgia Tech is, the Aerospace Systems Design Lab, and the culture they've built of always trying to enhance the work."

The importance of these educational initiatives extends to the highest levels of Army strategy.

"Building relationships like these are critical for accomplishing the division's and the Army's priority of 'continuous transformation'. Connecting warfighters to problem-solvers is how we will deal with the complexities of future combat,” said Wilde

The Army's commitment to education and innovation creates a more knowledgeable, adaptable and capable force, ready to meet the demands of an ever-changing global security environment. Through partnerships with institutions like Georgia Tech and support for individual educational pursuits, the Army ensures that its personnel are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to address future challenges and maintain technological superiority on the battlefield.

RELATED STORIES