A day in mom and dad’s shoes


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, April 29, 2008) – “That’s my boy, a future Green Beret,” said a proud father as students and parents shuffled into US Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School’s (USAJFKSWCS) Bank Hall auditorium on April 24, 2008.

The United States Army Special Operations Command Equal Employment Opportunity Special Emphasis Program Committee offered its very first “Take Your Child to Work Day.”

“The purpose of this program is education, gender equality, making our youth aware of the opportunities, so that our youth can reach for their dreams,” said Ms. Janice Willis, USASOC EEO Special Emphasis Program Representative for USAJFKSWCS. “As well, we strive for our workforce to mirror our diverse community and command.”

“Take Your Child to Work Day” is necessary because the youth are our future. We depend on them,” said Willis. “We need to instill these beliefs: a sense of character, responsibility, pride, attention to detail and education.”

Willis hoped students and parents alike could gain an everlasting memory from the day.

Youths, ages 10 to 17, went on a guided tour through USAJFKSWCS making stops at the Vertical Wind Tunnel, Rigger Facility, Armament Facility and Digital Training Center. They also attended the Tolson Youth Center career fair and received a briefing by student interns.

The day kicked off with a tour of Bank Hall, including the Special Forces Regimental Hall of Fame and a language lab.

“I liked the language lab because I am interested in learning different languages,” said Ashley Willis, 15, who is currently studying French in school.

Students toured the Vertical Wind Tunnel as well. Staring as the demonstrators spun in mid-air up and down the tunnel.

The next stop included the Army’s Rigger Facility where students witnessed the packing and operation of the parachutes.

At the Rigger Facility, participants went into a completely civilian sector that repaired parachutes and students made cut outs of their names and enjoyed refreshments.

Armament Facility showcased a multitude of the Army’s weapon system and a selection of foreign arms. Many of the students gathered closely to the instructor when the drawer of guns slid across and out to the instructor almost like a scene of the movie Matrix.

Math and science were reiterated when students witnessed how much of these skills went into making weapons.

“The Army is not what everyone thinks it is: going in the woods, crawling around with snakes and shooting guns, it is a lot more technical than your father or grandfather’s Army,” said Maj. Jerry Perkins, a group leader at the armament facility, operations officer, 1st Special Warfare Training Group(Airborne).

“It is important for the youth to understand that there are lots of different careers that affect the Army such as a mechanist, computer technicians, and software developers,” continued Maj. Perkins.

The Digital Training Center was many of the student’s favorite. Parents and students fired laser beams at a training simulation.

Matthew Mosketti, 11, was impressed with the realism of the weapons simulator. He said that he is interested in developing simulation games.

The girls enjoyed this facility the most as well. Anne Etteldorg, 17, a foreign exchange student picked this facility as her favorite. It also sparked her interest in engineering.

The military aspect was not the only focus. Civilian careers that support the Army were highlighted as well.

Civilians repaired parachutes, made guns, designed simulators and made the training simulations each student used.

“I want my son to see the different advantages that are in both the military and civilian sector hopefully trigger some type of idea for him to shoot toward,” said Sgt. 1st Class William Mosketti, noncommissioned officer in charge for operations.

The program achieved this because his son, Matthew Mosketti, was one of the most inquisitive, leading the pack at all of the stops.

As the bus rumbled back to Bank hall, parents and children reminisced about the first day at work together and the memory that Ms. Willis wanted everyone to leave with seemed to be achieved.


A student uses a parachute simulation machine at the Digital Training Center, April 24, on "Take our sons and daughters to work day." (US Army Photo by Cherish Washington USASOC PAO)


Mr. David L. Clark teaches the children about Colonel Aaron Bank. (US Army Photo by Cherish Washington USASOC PAO)