Fort Leonard Wood’s Truman Army Education and Personnel Testing Center is hosting a week of events in celebration of American Education Week, which concludes Friday.
According to Vanessa Arzabala, a guidance counselor at the center and the event organizer, the goal of the week was to “broaden people’s definition of the word, ‘education.’”
“Education is not just going to college or university,” Arzabala said. “There are other aspects, like finance — how to build a budget — there’s learning about physical and mental health. We’re just celebrating learning this week.”
Arzabala said attendees throughout the week — including service members, civilians, retirees and family members — had opportunities to learn about some of the multitude of education, workforce development and holistic health and fitness programs offered here, including the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account Scholarship Program, the Thrift Savings Plan, the Veterans Upward Bound Program, the College Level Examination Program, Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support Subject Standardized Tests and more.
Additionally, experts were on hand each day to provide helpful resume writing tips, tax-filing information and warrant officer briefings, Arzabala added, and nursing students from Lincoln University — one of the schools with a physical presence on the installation — provided blood pressure checks and lunchtime briefings on topics, including stress, nutrition and self-care.
“We tried to think of everything people here might want to learn about or catch up on,” Arzabala said.
One of the attendees at Tuesday’s briefing on micronutrition — part of the center’s “lunch and learn” series, as it’s called — was Sgt. 1st Class John Marquis, this year’s Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Drill Sergeant of the Year.
Marquis, who, as the DSOY, is charged with heading up special programs for drill sergeants here and advocating for their needs, said he thinks it’s important to provide more opportunities for service members to learn about topics that can improve their health or the health of their subordinates.
“This was the first time I’ve had a class that was telling me more about vitamins, what the sources are and how much I should be taking,” Marquis said. “These resources can help drill sergeants immensely, not only with their own nutrition, but how they can help brief the trainees and make sure they understand their vitamin intake and the healthy choices they should be making when they’re eating.”
Marquis said he is currently completing a bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise science, and he noted the importance of what he called, “being a life-long learner.”
“Be a person who always looks to improve,” he said. “Sometimes, it doesn’t correlate with what you’re doing in the Army, but it’s still improving yourself — and those new skills might come in handy when you’re leading others. Education also shows that you’re able to stick to a plan and be disciplined enough to attend your classes and do the things you need to do to get that done. Those are skills you develop through school and the education center.”
Arzabala said she hopes American Education Week was eye-opening for the Fort Leonard Wood community, with regards to educational opportunities offered here.
“We just want people to know we are here and have the resources if you have questions about going back to school, or you want to learn more about the workshops we offer — or if you just have questions, we’re here to help,” she said.
The week of classes concludes Friday, with a noon warrant officer briefing, followed by a substitute teacher workshop at 1 p.m. Call 573.596.0172 for more information on the programs offered through the Truman Army Education and Personnel Testing Center.
|FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO, US
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