By Spc. Emily Knitter, 1HBCT Public AffairsOctober 21, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - The children sit in their desks, talking amongst themselves, waiting for the class to start like any normal school day. But instead of the teacher standing in front of the students, there are Soldiers.
On Oct. 12, Bryan County Middle School in Pembroke, Ga., hosted their annual Career Day to expose the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students to a variety of possible future careers.
There to teach the students about the opportunities available in the Army were Soldiers from 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team.
An infantryman, an officer, a tactical vehicle driver, a mechanic, an intelligence analyst, a community relations Soldier and a cavalry scout.
The two half-hour blocks introduced the students to those jobs, and the Soldiers explained how many other options there are and answered specific questions from the children.
"Even though you guys are in 6th, 7th and 8th grade, right now is the time when you want to start looking at what you want to do, what you want your life to be," said Staff Sgt. Jaytee Mills, a cavalry scout, to the students. "Even though you are still thinking, 'oh man, I've still got [a few] more years of schooling,' you still want to start planning now."
A small, low income area, one of the school's guidance counselors explained sometimes this is the only way the students are exposed to any career options out of the normal range.
"It opens their eyes, Toni Bacon explained. "Pembroke is very small, so the students are limited with getting out. [Career day] exposes them to a lot, and the kids love it."
Although a significant source of the area's income is from nearby Fort Stewart and Soldiers who move to the area, it still helps to have other Soldiers come and talk about their careers, she said.
"There are so many different areas the military covers; the kids don't know the different areas they can go in," said Bacon. "Military teaches discipline, people skills, social skills and team work, and those are the kinds of things we are trying to encourage."