On 25-28 OCT, U.S. Army Accessions Command executed the third annual “Strong Students, Strong Futures, Strong Nation” education and community leaders’ conference at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, hosted by Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley. The event brought the Army together with 83 representatives encompassing 36 states and 25 leading education, business, technical and career training, and national civilian service partner organizations, including the Association for Career and Technical Education, the National Education Association, LULAC, Great Minds in STEM, 100 Black Men of America, HOSA, HACU, FFA, Skills USA, DECA, Hispanic Foundation, Phase 4 Learning Center, and NASBE. In addition, 10 members of our Grassroots Advisory Boards (most with respected education credentials) attended from across the country.
At Fort Leavenworth, attendees were introduced to the Army’s leadership development continuum, including the following:
- An overview of how the Army invests in career development
- Outcomes of professional military education
- Discussions of ILE, West Point and SAMS curricula
- Observations of how the Army uses technology for education – virtual ride, distance learning, classroom technology and gaming simulation
- A thorough discussion of ethics and values as an anchor for Army leaders
- Resilience and comprehensive soldier fitness
The goals were to familiarize attendees with Army approaches to leadership development, to reinforce the Army’s commitment to education, to introduce new perspectives and knowledge about Army service, to dispel myths, and to generate dialogue and forge resolve about mutual activities in support of our Nation’s students. Partners and youth organizations also shared best practices on how they develop leadership among young people.
Open dialogue and honest communication during activities like the education conference are paramount to the successful partnership between the Army and the Nation’s education community.