School's in session for deployed U.S. KFOR Soldiers in Kosovo

By Story and photos by Spc. Joshua Dodds, 116th Public Affairs DetachmentDecember 31, 2009

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - The structure and stability of the NATO peace-support mission in Kosovo makes getting an education while deployed a hard option to pass up for U.S. Soldiers stationed here. At last count, about 400 uniformed men and women in Multi-National Task Force-East were filling classrooms after hours and on weekends, taking full advantage of college-credit opportunities for personal and professional growth. The Laura Bush Education Center on Camp Bondsteel has provided thousands of Soldiers with these services since its start in 2000. "One of the services we provide is to get Soldiers thinking of a career goal. Once they establish a goal, I explain what the two colleges we have here can provide the Soldier," said Laura L. Greenfield, Starkville, Miss., education service officer. Greenfield has worked in the education field for the past five years, the last six months at the center here. University of Maryland College-Europe and Central Texas College (CTC) are the two institutions from which Soldiers can take classes during their off time here. Other colleges and universities also are available through on-line distance-learning courses. The classes are scheduled during evenings and weekends to accommodate Soldiers and not interfere with their duty day. "I just think it is amazing to see all five of our classes full on a Friday night," Greenfield said. Capt. Elizabeth A. Ramsey, a public defender from New York City and a member of the New York National Guard, teaches "Fundamentals of Criminal Law," offered through CTC. Her class, comprising more than a dozen Soldiers, recently put their newly acquired knowledge to the test in a mock "court trial" on Camp Bondsteel. "This trial was a good exercise where they showed themselves what they learned in the class, and also to have some fun while getting to know each other better," Ramsey said. Throughout the course, students participate in more than one trial as members of either the defense or prosecution. The juries are made up of volunteer Soldiers from throughout Camp Bondsteel. "The students were given a scenario and a list of 10 witnesses who they had to interview," Ramsey said. "The students were told that an alleged assault with a deadly weapon occurred, but that the defendant may raise the defense of self-defense at trial." The prosecutors for the first trial were Spc. James V. Mann, Menifee, Calif., 1-144th Maneuver Task Force, and Master Sgt. Louis Suchon, Mosinee, Wis., Task Force Falcon Medical. "I am previous law enforcement, so it is interesting to see how it works in the court after we arrest someone," Mann said. "I think I put what I learned in class to good use. Captain Ramsey is a great teacher and we learned a lot from her." Command Sgt. Maj. Jack W. Cripe, Dickinson, N.D., command sergeant major of MNTF-E, offered his thoughts on so many MNTF-E Soldiers pursuing an education while deployed. "I challenge the Soldiers of MNTF-E to use their time wisely and to make a commitment to themselves and to return from this deployment better educated, civilian-wise and military-wise, than when they deployed," he said. "Do not re-deploy back home regretting that you did not take advantage of the opportunities that you had available." Throughout the next seven months, several more classes will be offered at the education center, ensuring that any Soldier who enrolls will not have any educational regrets. "The center has a lot to offer," Greenfield said. "Soldiers can request certain classes. If enough requests are made, and a qualified teacher is available, that class will be added." -- Multi-National Task Force - East is a U.S. led task force commanded by Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann. This task force is comprised of nearly 2,200 Soldiers, including Task Force Hellas and Task Force POL/UKR (Polish/Ukraine). The charter mission of MNTF-E is maintaining a Safe and Secure Environment and providing Freedom of Movement for the people in Kosovo. Please contact the MNTF-E Public Affairs office for media engagements or to follow-up on this information. --30-
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - The structure and stability of the NATO peace-support mission in Kosovo makes getting an education while deployed a hard option to pass up for U.S. Soldiers stationed here. At last count, about 400 uniformed men and women in Multi-National Task Force-East were filling classrooms after hours and on weekends, taking full advantage of college-credit opportunities for personal and professional growth. The Laura Bush Education Center on Camp Bondsteel has provided thousands of Soldiers with these services since its start in 2000. "One of the services we provide is to get Soldiers thinking of a career goal. Once they establish a goal, I explain what the two colleges we have here can provide the Soldier," said Laura L. Greenfield, Starkville, Miss., education service officer. Greenfield has worked in the education field for the past five years, the last six months at the center here. University of Maryland College-Europe and Central Texas College (CTC) are the two institutions from which Soldiers can take classes during their off time here. Other colleges and universities also are available through on-line distance-learning courses. The classes are scheduled during evenings and weekends to accommodate Soldiers and not interfere with their duty day. "I just think it is amazing to see all five of our classes full on a Friday night," Greenfield said. Capt. Elizabeth A. Ramsey, a public defender from New York City and a member of the New York National Guard, teaches "Fundamentals of Criminal Law," offered through CTC. Her class, comprising more than a dozen Soldiers, recently put their newly acquired knowledge to the test in a mock "court trial" on Camp Bondsteel. "This trial was a good exercise where they showed themselves what they learned in the class, and also to have some fun while getting to know each other better," Ramsey said. Throughout the course, students participate in more than one trial as members of either the defense or prosecution. The juries are made up of volunteer Soldiers from throughout Camp Bondsteel. "The students were given a scenario and a list of 10 witnesses who they had to interview," Ramsey said. "The students were told that an alleged assault with a deadly weapon occurred, but that the defendant may raise the defense of self-defense at trial." The prosecutors for the first trial were Spc. James V. Mann, Menifee, Calif., 1-144th Maneuver Task Force, and Master Sgt. Louis Suchon, Mosinee, Wis., Task Force Falcon Medical. "I am previous law enforcement, so it is interesting to see how it works in the court after we arrest someone," Mann said. "I think I put what I learned in class to good use. Captain Ramsey is a great teacher and we learned a lot from her." Command Sgt. Maj. Jack W. Cripe, Dickinson, N.D., command sergeant major of MNTF-E, offered his thoughts on so many MNTF-E Soldiers pursuing an education while deployed. "I challenge the Soldiers of MNTF-E to use their time wisely and to make a commitment to themselves and to return from this deployment better educated, civilian-wise and military-wise, than when they deployed," he said. "Do not re-deploy back home regretting that you did not take advantage of the opportunities that you had available." Throughout the next seven months, several more classes will be offered at the education center, ensuring that any Soldier who enrolls will not have any educational regrets. "The center has a lot to offer," Greenfield said. "Soldiers can request certain classes. If enough requests are made, and a qualified teacher is available, that class will be added." -- Multi-National Task Force - East is a U.S. led task force commanded by Brig. Gen. Al Dohrmann. This task force is comprised of nearly 2,200 Soldiers, including Task Force Hellas and Task Force POL/UKR (Polish/Ukraine). The charter mission of MNTF-E is maintaining a Safe and Secure Environment and providing Freedom of Movement for the people in Kosovo. Please contact the MNTF-E Public Affairs office for media engagements or to follow-up on this information. --30- (Photo Credit: Story and photos by Spc. Joshua Dodds, 116th Public Affairs Detachment) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. KFOR Soldiers listen as an instructor gives a lecture on basic law terms and their meanings, during a recent class offered by the Laura Bush Education Center at Camp Bondsteel, KosovoBody
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. KFOR Soldiers listen as an instructor gives a lecture on basic law terms and their meanings, during a recent class offered by the Laura Bush Education Center at Camp Bondsteel, KosovoBody (Photo Credit: Story and photos by Spc. Joshua Dodds, 116th Public Affairs Detachment) VIEW ORIGINAL
Capt. Elizabeth A. Ramsey, New York City, New York National Guard, teaches a recent class called Aca,!A"Fundamentals of Criminal LawAca,!A? to Soldiers on a Friday evening at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. Body
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Capt. Elizabeth A. Ramsey, New York City, New York National Guard, teaches a recent class called Aca,!A"Fundamentals of Criminal LawAca,!A? to Soldiers on a Friday evening at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. Body (Photo Credit: Story and photos by Spc. Joshua Dodds, 116th Public Affairs Detachment) VIEW ORIGINAL
U.S. KFOR Soldier Spc. Ricardo Roncancio, Corona, Calif., answers questions of fellow KFOR peacekeeper Spc. James V. Mann, Menifee, Calif., both of the 1-144th Maneuver Task Force, during a recent mock court trial, part of the “Fundamentals of Criminal Law” class offered by the Laura Bush Education Center at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.ody
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. KFOR Soldier Spc. Ricardo Roncancio, Corona, Calif., answers questions of fellow KFOR peacekeeper Spc. James V. Mann, Menifee, Calif., both of the 1-144th Maneuver Task Force, during a recent mock court trial, part of the “Fundamentals of Criminal Law” class offered by the Laura Bush Education Center at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.ody (Photo Credit: Story and photos by Spc. Joshua Dodds, 116th Public Affairs Detachment) VIEW ORIGINAL