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NEWS | April 28, 2023

Va. Beach high schoolers experience National Guard for a day

By Staff Sgt. Lisa M. Sadler | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.  --  Recruiters from the Virginia Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion held an all-day outing for more than 30 students from the Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center's public safety class April 6, 2023, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The field trip, organized by Staff Sgt. Damian Montaño, who recruits in the Virginia Beach area, allowed students to gain first-hand familiarization with the National Guard. During their visit, students worked through the Army Combat Fitness Test, walked through an obstacle course, and tested their marksmanship skills with the Engagement Skills Trainer, or EST.
"I like to give the kids a taste of the National Guard," Montaño said. "We let them see what we do and they develop an appreciation. I've had several enlistments from prior field trips."
The class includes juniors and seniors from several Virginia Beach-area high schools and 2023 marked the third year Montaño has invited the students to SMR. Previously, Montaño broke the day into two parts, with juniors visiting in the morning and seniors visiting in the afternoon. This year, Montaño altered the plan and invited all students to stay for the day, allowing more time for them to experience what the National Guard has to offer.  
Food service specialists assigned to the Virginia Beach-based 529th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 329th Regional Support Group provided a cooking demonstration for the students and whipped up a lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs.
"This year, we were able to field-feed the students and utilize our cooks," Montaño said. "The field trip allowed the cooks to break out their equipment and participate in the experience, something they don't get to do often. I think they enjoyed it."
Montaño was pleased with the outcome of this year’s event, which also included alumni from the Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center who helped support the field trip.

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