By Mr. Robert Dozier, U.S. Army Installation Management CommandMarch 8, 2013
Led by the Army Teen Panel and their colleagues from the Air Force and Navy teen councils during the Month of the Military Child, the event is designed to connect all military youth interactively for one 24-hour period, according to organizers.
Youth from all military branches could potentially interact with others living in 10 countries around the world. Participants will engage as peers and inspire each other through competitions, challenges and events.
This event gives everyone a chance to showcase the work they are doing locally and learn from the ideas and accomplishments of other teens in the military family.
"I think the lock-in event will be a great chance for our youth to break down the barriers between the other services," said Stacy Wendt, Army youth development specialist, U.S. Army Installation Management Command. "The teens realize as military kids they face similar challenges but have never been given the opportunity to connect in this way before."
The lock-in "will be a great event for youth to connect around the world," said Kevin Montgomery, IMCOM G9 youth program branch chief.
The Army Teen Panel is made up of youth leaders from installations around the world who work together to voice concerns to senior military leaders on problems affecting their community and to bring about change.
Operation Megaphone is the first joint services collaborative project designed to address three universally identified military youth program goals:
• to increase participation in positive military youth programs,
• to bridge the communication divide between school support programs and transitioning military youth, and
• to design effective marketing to military youth.
The youth-led initiative was an outcome of the first Joint Services Teen Council meeting in July 2012. That meeting brought together the Air Force, Army, and Navy teen councils in conference for the first time. After a week of collaboration it became evident the concerns each council was working to address were not unique to their branch of service. Operation Megaphone was created as a unifying program to help leverage the ideas and needs of the participants. Read more: http://www.army.mil/article/84927/First_Joint_Services_Teen_Council_meets_in_San_Antonio/
The Army Teen Panel is managed by the Child, Youth and School Services program in the U.S. Army Installation Management Command. CYSS supports the Army Family Covenant by reducing conflict between mission readiness and parental responsibility.