Story by Burrell Parmer on 07/18/2018Navy Awareness is an important element in recruiting America's best and brightest for naval service. To assist the recruiting effort in Central and South Texas, nine educators and counselors, along with support personnel from Navy Recruiting District (NRD) San Antonio, visited naval commands in support of an Educators Orientation Visit (EOV) July 10 - 13.
The EOV is a Navy Recruiting Command program with a main focus of showing educators the various facets of the Navy and the many career paths available to students.
According to Jozabad Palacios of Mission, Texas, an assistant principal with McAllen High School in McAllen, he had minimum knowledge of the Navy.
"Before my visit to the naval units in San Diego, I had no knowledge of any specific duties or actions of which the U.S. Navy was responsible for," said Palacios. "As an administrator at a large 6A high school, I have a duty to the students and the community to keep them well informed of higher education and other opportunities to include the military service."
The highlight of Palacios' trip was visiting Naval Medical Center San Diego.
"The amount of education and training these individuals possess exceeded my expectations," said Palacio. "Furthermore, seeing the operational aspect of it all provided more of a realization that there is no other place that compares to real-world training provided by the Navy."
Additionally, the group visited the Damage Control/Firefighting School at Naval Base San Diego, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron SEVEN FIVE (HSM-75) at Naval Air Station North Island, BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) Training and Assault Craft Unit ONE (ACU-1) at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, and the Los Angeles-class submarine, USS Annapolis (SSN-760) at Naval Base Point Loma.
The highlight of the EOV for Michael Moore of Chicago, a health science teacher at Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, was listening to the stories of the Sailors and support personnel about their careers and lives in the Navy.
"Everyone had unique stories, career paths, and interests," said Moore. "It was extremely beneficial for me as an educator because I can speak to a student from a different perspective now. And can recommend additional options outside of what I previously counseled students about."
Participants showed interest in learning more about the Navy and to ensure that Navy career information is available in their schools.
Juan Rodriguez, the Education Services specialist for NRD San Antonio stated that the NRD's return on investment has always proven fruitful.
"Each year, we have had counselors join or apply for both officer and enlisted programs, both active and reserve components," said Rodriguez, a retired master chief navy counselor. "It provides educators and other youth influencers the opportunity to better understand America's Navy as opposed to just formulating a made-up concept of who we are."
Palacios stated that more teachers and counselors should attend the EOV.
"Having a general knowledge of what Sailors are tasked with will help them provide detailed information for a student should they be asked," said Palacios. "Educators, counselors, and administrators should to take advantage of this opportunity for the experience will definitely change the perception that they may have of our military."