News: MWSS-171 Marines showcase professions
Story by Lance Cpl. Kenneth Trotter
IWAKUNI, Japan - Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 Marines hosted a static display for Matthew C. Perry High School students next to the IronWorks Gym here June 1 as part of the Advancement Via Individual Determination program.
The purpose of the static display was to give AVID students an opportunity to understand and appreciate what certain Marine squadrons do here.
The AVID program prepares students for college by allowing them to observe various professions and what those jobs entail.
The AVID program has been offering this opportunity for the past six years.
The students are encouraged to give considerable thought to all their options including the Marine Corps said JoAnn L. Sellers, an AVID teacher.
“It’s really great that they have a awareness of what certain divisions do in the community,” said Sellers. “By having that awareness, they can look at the possibility of making this a career they can take on.”
Members of the explosive ordnance disposal team here helped students try on some of the gear used in bomb disposal such as the advanced bomb suit.
“We came out today to let some of the kids try on our gear and possibly weigh their options for joining the service in the future,” said Sgt. Ryan G. Wilhite, MWSS-171 explosive ordnance assistant team leader. “Also, we wanted [the students] to get a better feel of what their parents do within the military.”
EOD Marines also let the students test out the Man-Transportable Robotic System MARK II, a remote controlled bomb disposal tool.
“Driving the robot around and trying on the suit were something that I thought was unique,” said Meia F. Cuyjet, 12, a M.C. Perry seventh-grader. “It’s something that a lot of kids may not otherwise have the opportunity to try being here.”
Understanding can be a helpful tool when working with the students.
When the students see a person who is truly committed to their job and loves what they do, it can send a powerful message, encouraging the students to not give up on themselves or what they want in life.
“One of the things I really admire about these [Marines] is that they love their job,” said Sellers. “I think that it’s important for kids to see that they love what they do.”
MWSS-171 engineers showcased the Army/Navy personnel search system, a metal detector that also has ground penetrating radar enabling it to detect low-metallic density objects such as anti–
personnel land mines.
Though the purpose of the day was for the AVID students to see how Marines operated, they also were treated to some of the heavy machinery used by the Marines such as the MK-48/18A1 logistics vehicle system.
This day of the program was considered part of the end-of-year celebration course focusing on academics, learning about different career paths and a celebration at the end of the school year said Erin D. Ramey, AVID teacher.
Cuyjet said being a part of the AVID program and observing some of the things MWSS-171 has shown them has made her think about her future.
The program offered the students the opportunity to try things they may not otherwise experience outside the program.
Many of the children thanked MWSS-171 for taking time out of their day, showing them what they are trained to do and allowing them into the world of a Marine.