LANSING, Mich.— Students from the Mecosta Osceola Career Center in Big Rapids, Mich., had a unique experience with local Michigan Army National Guard Soldiers and their equipment Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014.
The students are members of the diesel mechanics class and got up-close and personal with a variety of diesel engines assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment. The show and tell, led by Staff Sgt. Matthew Boyd, supply non-commissioned officer for Company D, was unique for the Soldiers too.
“This was a great opportunity for our recruiters to interact with a group of kids who already have an interest in a skill that we can use in the Michigan Army National Guard,” said Boyd.
The principal at Mecosta Osceola suggested that teachers consider taking advantage of local organizations that provide opportunities their students could benefit from, including the National Guard armory, right next door to the school.
“So many students ask questions because they see the equipment the National Guard is using. And many of them have contemplated joining, but don’t have the confidence,” said Toni King, diesel technology instructor at Mecosta Osceola. “Putting them in this relaxed setting, where they can ask questions, it gives the kids the boost they need to consider pursuing a career as a mechanic in the Guard.”
The partnership proved beneficial for the students who are used to being in a classroom environment.
“It’s been really nice. For my group, we just work on a Cummins [diesel engine] every day so it’s nice to get a look at something different,” said Alex Pratt, a diesel mechanic student. Pratt would like to go into mechanics and eventually own a shop of his own.
Plans were put into place to make this outing an annual occurrence.