Doug Shults, the work-based learning coordinator at The Dalton Academy, was recently invited to meet with a diverse group of educators and US Army officials to discuss how the education community can encourage military enlistments among high school students.
The Educator Roundtable Discussion took place in Atlanta in November. Among the attendees was General James C. McConville — Chief of Staff of the US Army.
During this forum, Army senior leaders connected with education professionals and community education leaders. Shults’ background in workforce development and workforce education, as well as his passion for developing young leaders, made him an ideal candidate to participate in the discussion.
“They were looking to see how the Army can improve their presence in the education process in Georgia,” Shults said. “They’ve noticed a change in the number of students taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). One of the things we discussed was visibility.”
Shults believes active involvement in school activities from local military recruiters will encourage students to see the opportunities and benefits they have to offer. The group recommended recruiters come to speak about the educational benefits afforded to military service members at school career events.
“When students can see what is available, it opens up so many opportunities for them,” Shults said.
According to Education Services Specialist for the US Army Teresa Taylor, “The roundtable discussion forged new relationships with professionals and strengthened existing relationships at the state level. It informed local educators of current Army initiatives and recruiting campaigns to broaden understanding and visualization of recruiting efforts while allowing local educators an opportunity for open dialogue with Army Senior Leaders.”
At The Dalton Academy, Shults works as a liaison between community stakeholders, administration, and students. He also serves on the board for the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education (GACTE) and the Georgia Work-Based Learning Board.
Moving forward, Shults hopes this experience will encourage military recruiters to invest time in education and foster relationships with students, allowing them to better understand the array of career and educational opportunities offered by the military.
“If you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backwards,” Shults said. “Without direction or momentum, you’re not doing what you’re here to do. If you don’t look at opportunities for our students, you’re missing the game.”