Fort Bliss, TX (KDBC) — The 4th Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, “Pistoleros” hosted Career Day for more than 80 students from Indian Ridge Middle School in the 7th and 8th grade through the Advancement via the Individual Determination program on Biggs Army Airfield, April 30.
The Pistoleros have been a sponsor to IRMS for the last six months with Career Day being the partnership’s first major event. Soldiers of the 4-501st have previously engaged with the students at the school as tutors, as well as acting as the principle for a day.
The AVID program’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. The students have completed many community service projects this year to learn the importance of giving back to the community, from making Christmas shoe boxes for children, to making soap for the elderly.
“The students also took several field trips, like this field trip to the CAB, to learn about themselves and what opportunities are available to them,” said Tina Quinones, AVID program coordinator. “With information that can help in making college bound goals, our students do not see college as a dream, but as an expectation.”
Upon arrival at the CAB headquarters, the students watched videos with content on Army Basic Training, Air Assault Course and Aviation Operations. In addition, a representative from the installations education center gave classroom instruction on the Army’s variety of college programs.
At lunchtime the children were escorted to the CAB’s dining facility where they had first choice at the facility’s fine cuisine. Following lunch, the group reassembled at the CAB’s barracks where they were given a glance at the dorm-style barracks rooms by the CAB’s First Sergeants Barracks Program noncommissioned officers.
The students ended their tour in the 4th Battalion hanger, where they were given the opportunity to get up-close and personal with the AH-64 Apache helicopter, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, Light Medium Tactical Vehicle and High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle displays. They were also allowed to enter each display and ask questions of the pilots and operators about the aerial and land vehicles.
“It was a privilege to have been able to reach out to young minds and truly show them what it is like to be an Army Aviator,” said 2nd Lt. Willard K. Hill, pilot for Company A, 2-501st, CAB.