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    Oklahoma, Meet Your Army 2018

    Oklahoma Meet Your Army 2018

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Brian Schroeder | A tandem jumper and a parachutist from the U.S. Army Golden Knights land smoothly...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Mireille Merilice 

    Oklahoma National Guard

    NORMAN, Okla. — In an effort to connect American citizens with their Army, the U.S. Army, Oklahoma Army National Guard, and the Army Reserves collectively participated in various events from Sept. 20 – 22 as part of the “Meet Your Army” initiative.

    The Meet Your Army initiative sends Army leaders and Soldiers into communities to give citizens and local leaders an opportunity to interact with and learn more about those who defend the country. The Meet Your Army engagements lay a foundation to build and strengthen relationships with the nation, leading to a greater understanding and public support for Soldiers and the Army.

    “We’re your kid’s baseball coaches, we’re volunteer fire fighters in your community, so we get to connect that in the military with America’s public,” said Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Hill, U.S. Army Golden Knights tandem camp coach. “We get to give them the experience that a U.S. Soldier may get in a combat zone, whether it’s a special forces Soldier doing a halo at 30 miles away or an 82nd Airborne Division Soldier on a T-11 [parachute] going in from 500 feet.”

    Some of the events and demonstrations offered to the community included a tandem skydiving camp at Max Westheimer Airport in Norman, conducted by the U.S. Army Golden Knights Tandem Team. Additionally, the State Fairgrounds hosted active duty members from Fort Sill, Army Reserves, and more with static displays of tactical vehicles and weapon systems, recruiting tables and performances by the 77th Army Band out of Fort Sill. Senior general officers from all three components of the Army also attended several civic leader engagements to answer questions about the direction of the Army and give thanks for the unwavering support from the citizens of Oklahoma.

    For the OU vs. Army game, members of the Black Daggers, U.S. Army Special Operations Command skydive team, jumped in the game ball. The 145th Army Band, known as the “Governor’s Own”, Oklahoma Army National Guard, and the Silent Drill team from the U.S. Military Academy also performed during the half-time show of the game.

    “The Army is so big and so universal that sometimes people don’t have the opportunity to look behind the curtain,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, adjutant general for Oklahoma. “For the public to sit in a tank or sit in a Humvee, I think that’s a big deal for them. The response has been overwhelming.”

    Although the community continues to have admiration for troops and their service, there is little overlap between the civilian-military population. Nearly 45 years-ago, the U.S. military ended the draft in the winter of 1973 and transitioned into an all-volunteer force. Over time, the changes in force size and decreasing number of voluntary recruits contributed to this ever growing civilian-military divide.

    Many Americans do not meet all of the necessary qualifications to enlist. Recruiters are looking for smart, well-rounded individuals that reflect the Army Values and can meet physical requirements. Technological advances in warfare equipment increase the need for technology savvy individuals.

    “We need to continue to recruit and retain the cream of American youth,” stated Gen. John M. Murray, commander of Futures Command. “Roughly 24 percent of America qualifies to be in the Army. If you look at people in all uniforms across all services its less than half of one percent.”

    In July, 2018, the United States added the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) in Austin, Texas. The AFC will focus on six priorities: long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicles, vertical lift platforms, mobile and expeditionary communications network, air and missile defense and soldier lethality.

    “We are exploring areas like hypersonic [weapons], artificial intelligence, quantum computing, directed energy and it’s becoming very technical not only to develop it but to operate it,” said Murray. “Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education is becoming even more important than it is today.”

    In Stillwater, the Army’s STEM Trailer hosted a futuristic, interactive experience as part of the Meet Your Army initiative. STEM is integrated in everything that the Army does. The Army STEM Experience was developed through a partnership between the Army Marketing and Research Group and Army Game Studio, to showcase the use of science and technology in today’s Army.

    “As our young people go through elementary, middle and high school and think about their future and their careers, I think that if they are familiar and feel comfortable this may be a job opportunity for them to pursue,” said Margret Simpson, Wilson Arts Integration School principal.



    Date Taken: 09.24.2018
    Date Posted: 09.25.2018 14:11
    Story ID: 294268
    Location: NORMAN, OK, US 

    Web Views: 109
    Downloads: 0