News: Sledgehammer Brigade hosted career enhancement fair
Story by Spc. Derrick Ramey
FORT BENNING, Ga.- The 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, hosted a career enhancement fair June 10 through June 13 at the Kelley Hill Recreation Center, Fort Benning, Ga.
What started as a smaller, battalion level event eventually involved the entire brigade and the “Armor Up” Sledgehammer Career Enhancement Fair opened up to military, family members and the community.
Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Ainsworth, career counselor for the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd ABCT, 3rd ID, came up with the idea for the event.
“It's not very often that you have an idea that blossoms as this did,” reflected Ainsworth. “The hard part was controlling all the little factors of the event itself. I think we've done a great job and it's all come together really nice.”
Master Sgt. Eulalie Williams, the Sledgehammer Brigade’s senior career counselor, coordinated the event at the brigade level, along with the rest of the Sledgehammer Retention Team.
“We're looking for ways soldiers can enhance their careers. They have families as well that may be looking for jobs so we said we are going to do both. Not just for the military but for their family members and for the Fort Benning community,” said Williams. “The purpose is basically to educate the Soldiers and families on the special programs, schools and other employment options available.”
Various local agencies, such as the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Columbus Police Department, as well as federal employers were on hand to accept applications. Soldiers preparing to join the civilian workplace, and civilians in attendance, were advised to bring several copies of their resume.
“The only limitation as far as who was going to be here was that we only wanted employers that were actually going to be actively hiring people,” said Ainsworth. “This event will actually enhance soldiers’ careers ultimately, whether they plan on transitioning or whether they plan on serving a full 20 years in the Army.”
Soldiers who plan to continue their military service received information on Army service schools and Army Military Occupation Specialties (MOS). The Special Operations Recruiting Battalion out of Fort Bragg, N.C., was in attendance, as well as other recruiters. Soldiers were encouraged to bring updated copies of their enlistment records with them so they could determine their eligibility for programs and begin the process of applying.
Spc. Dalvyn Walker, a 3-1 CAV soldier at the event, was interested in attending college after transitioning out of the Army and spoke with several university representatives.
“I've got about eight months left in the military so hopefully here pretty soon I can see what I am going to do afterwards,” said Walker. “The people here are very sincere. You can tell that they actually want to help you and that they know what they are doing.”
The American Military University, Thomas Edison State College and Vincennes University were among the colleges and universities at the fair. The Military Family Life Center was also there to answer questions and offer information.
“Soldiers are getting great information. I am getting good feedback from the units on this. A lot of the command teams are supporting the event and getting soldiers filtered over here,” said Ainsworth. “We are looking at potentially doing this again next year.”