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    Army Reserve colonel visits Chicago students to promote engineering

    Army Reserve colonel visits Chicago high school engineer students

    Photo By Michel Sauret | Jonathan Marrufo, senior and Engineering 2 student at the Chicago Military Academy -...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Michel Sauret    

    416th Theater Engineer Command

    DARIEN, Ill. – An Army Reserve colonel spoke to JROTC cadets and high school students at the Chicago Military Academy – Bronzeville on Oct. 6 to promote the importance of engineering in light of the nation’s needs.

    “There’s a whole generation of engineers older than me who are about to retire. So who’s going to replace them? You all!” said Col. Eugene J. LeBoeuf, chief of staff of the 416th Theater Engineer Command (TEC) and a registered professional engineer in Missouri and Tennessee.

    During his visit, LeBoeuf met the cadet battalion leadership, learned about their goals, their school’s achievements and spoke to a class of engineering students about the impact their field has on a global society.

    “The problems you’re going to solve are not going to be in your text books,” he told the students. “You have tougher problems. We are going to depend on you for those solutions.”

    The Army Reserve is responsible for approximately 30 percent of all engineers across the Army. They perform projects throughout the United States as well serve the needs of impoverished nations. The 416th TEC oversees the missions and training of 13,000 Army Reserve Soldiers, most of which are engineers across various specialties. Army Reserve engineers train annually with Canadian and other international forces, have recurring humanitarian projects in Central America, build facilities at military installations across the U.S. and work to improve Native American reservations.

    “The fact that the Army Reserve does so much is one of the best kept secrets in the military,” said cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy McGill, a JROTC high school senior, after listening to the presentation.

    LeBoeuf talked about the various elements that go into construction projects: moving dirt, clearing roads, blowing things up, building new structures …

    “That’s what we call fun,” he said.

    LeBoeuf is also the associate department chair, director of undergraduate studies and associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

    Nashville and Chicago are about 450 miles apart, yet LeBoeuf considers these students part of his community because the 416th TEC headquarters is just 25 miles away from their school.

    “Most of our (416th TEC headquarters) Soldiers are actually from this region … We are expected to be good stewards of our resources, but also be able to be good members of the community,” he said about his visit.

    When asked, students shared their various ambitions and goals for the future. Some plan on going into the military while others want to pursue a career in engineering. LeBoeuf reassured them that in the Army Reserve, they could do both.

    “It opened me up to a whole lot of paths I’m able to pursue later in life,” said cadet Lt. Col. Gregory Holmes, JROTC battalion commander, about the presentation LeBoeuf gave.

    Earlier that morning, Holmes delivered a brief to LeBoeuf about his school and their students activities. He said he felt honored by the opportunity.

    Later, he and other students asked for words of encouragement or advice that might help propel their goals. LeBoeuf stressed that the values and discipline instilled into them as JROTC cadets are no different from what the engineering community needs.

    “You’re going to work hard. You’re going to be challenged, but that’s part of what being an engineer is,” he told one student. “The education you’re getting here and the leadership you’re getting here (during) JROTC is just fantastic. As engineers, we’re not just problem solvers, but also leaders. We’re leaders.”



    Date Taken: 10.10.2014
    Date Posted: 10.10.2014 13:33
    Story ID: 144873
    Location: CHICAGO, IL, US

    Web Views: 543
    Downloads: 0