Education and opportunity shape the future

By Pfc. Derick Fennell on May 18, 2023

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - The Seattle Recruiting Battalion hosted an educator's tour for instructors from schools across Washington state and the Idaho panhandle seeking to engage and improve access to geographically remote schools/districts.

The tour showcased the Army lifestyle and allowed educators to get a glimpse of excellent training, education opportunities, and its many career paths.

"You're more than just educators, you are influencers, and we count on all of you to see further than our young people can, so that they might seize on the opportunity they can't understand right now", said Lt. Gen. Xavier Brunson, commanding general of I Corps.

As young kids go through school day by day, opportunities that are available to them post-graduation might not always be what is on their mind. It's important for educators who give them knowledge and counsel to understand what's available for them so that they are prepared to give advice and direction when the chance comes about.

"I think it's really about the opportunity and teamwork and knowing there's a job for everybody," said Erin Lin, Spanish teacher at Black Hills High School in Tumwater, Washington. "No matter what it is you're going to be able to find a something that fits you."

Educators were shown around Joint Base Lewis-McChord, they spoke to different service members and DOD civilians about all types of military occupational specialties (MOS), how someone can get into their career of choice, and how one can change their career should they want to.

"I believe the misconception is that you're limited to only firing weapons when you join the Army but coming here you can see that if you want to be a pilot you can be a pilot, if you want to jump out of planes you can do that, if you want to work with dogs there's room for that too," said George Flotus, PE and business leadership teacher for Mount Vernon School District.

"Knowing you can do all this and get a degree at the same time makes coming here for this tour well worth it," said Flotus.

The next generation is the future of our nation and giving them the best chance to succeed is paramount. There are many paths and opportunities in the world for a young person to take, educators are the ones who give them everyday information and who could have a big impact on their lives. In doing so they give them the tools to carve out their futures.

"When a student asks me if the military is an appropriate career choice, I want to make sure that the students are making an informed decision based on the content that can be provided based on their personal career choice," said Daniel Sixto, a freshman English instructor.