Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Guam Service Members Participate at High School Career Day

By Oyaol Ngirairikl, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Service members spoke to students about careers available in the U.S. military during a career day event at Southern High School in Santa Rita, Guam, May 14.

Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Guam Army National Guard personnel discussed their personal experiences and responsibilities in the military with the public school students.

Service members also set up static displays, which included boats, Humvees and climbing walls, to give the kids some hands-on experience with military equipment.

Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Marinalyn Hale, of U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, said it was a great opportunity to relate with Guam's students. Hale is a graduate of Southern High, where she said she got her first real look at the Navy and the careers it had to offer at a similar career day event during her sophomore year. She said she hopes she can, in turn, help today's students get on a path to reach their life goals.

"I'm hoping the students here, being 16-, 17-, 18-years-old, understand that it's a big world out there and there are so many different opportunities, whether it be in the military or civilian sector," said Hale. "They just need to go out there and pursue what they love. Go out there and do something for themselves. Make themselves proud."

Hale said the Navy helped her fulfill her dream of working in the field of medicine and traveling. She has been stationed in Connecticut for three years, traveled to Germany and recently returned from a deployment to Kuwait.

"The Navy has taken me to so many different places that I never thought I could go, never thought I could see," said Hale. "A lot of the reason why I'm still serving my country now is because it makes me proud to look at what I've accomplished in such little time and to see the respect I get from my family and my peers."

Southern High's career day was one of the first community service events Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Gabriel Suarez, of Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 7, has volunteered for since arriving on Guam in March 2010.

Suarez and other members of MSRON 7's Junior Enlisted Association spoke to students about the command's mission and the tools they use to complete their assignments. The Sailors brought two Oswald patrol boats to the school. Students boarded the boats for a closer look.

Suarez said he appreciated the opportunity to interact with the students and make a difference.

"The relationship is great," said Suarez. "I'm really impressed, and I really enjoy the atmosphere out here."

Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class (EXW) Cote Laflamme, of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5, talked to students about the training and discipline he needs to be a contributing member of his command. He said the career day was his chance to help motivate high school students and offer them guidance in the face of a world full of opportunity, something a Navy recruiter helped him with shortly after he graduated from high school.

"In 2006 when I graduated high school, it seemed like the whole world was open, and I had no idea what to do," said Laflamme. "It's good to come out here and show them, 'Hey, you got options.'"

Staff Sgt. Ben Reeves, of the Air Force Recruiting Office on Guam, had a booth at the school. Reeves said he appreciated the chance to interact with the local community, while educating students about the opportunities in the Air Force.

"That's my favorite part - getting to know the neighbors, getting to know the different environment, the different cultures," said Reeves.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Herrera and other Guam Army National Guard Soldiers brought their rock wall and several weapons to demonstrate how they train. Herrera said the Guam Army National Guard takes advantage of any chance to help guide the next generation of leaders.

"The kids really are our future," said Herrera. "In a sense, we're here as one big community - us, the Navy, the Marines and everybody else, to give these kids more options in life."

Southern High Principal James Petite said service members did a great job of sharing their experiences with students.

"It's wonderful that everybody is out here helping out these kids," said Petite. "All these things we do for these kids is for one goal, and that's to help them get actively involved in the community, show them how to be productive citizens and to [ensure they] graduate."

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