The New Jersey School Boards Association’s partnership with the U.S. Army was the topic of both a recent interview and a meeting at NJSBA headquarters with Army representatives.
On Jan. 31, NJSBA hosted a meeting with Brig. Gen. Kevin Vereen, deputy commander of general operations for Major General Jeffrey J. Snow, commander of U.S. Army recruiting nationwide, and Lt. Col. Keith Bryant, commander of the Army’s Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion, along with other representatives of the Army.
General Vereen characterized the partnership between NJSBA and the U.S. Army as the most unique in the country. He described it as “an awesome experience for the Army, New Jersey’s students and the education community.” As he travels around the country, Vereen intends to discuss what is happening in New Jersey in the hope that it can be replicated in other states.
“One of NJSBA’s most important relationships involves the U.S. Army,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “As a result of this partnership, the Army has placed a STEAM education fellow on our staff for the past three years, which has enabled us to expand training and consultation for our members in the critical STEAM education areas.”
In a recent interview in Defense One, a newsletter covering national security, General Snow, who commands U.S. Army recruiting nationwide, praised another aspect of the partnership — New Jersey’s Military Opportunities Day and Month, an NJSBA-initiated event that is supported by the state’s major education organizations.
The effort began in 2016 with a proclamation from Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, designating September as “Military Opportunities Month.” The proclamation, issued again in 2017, urges schools to schedule a Military Opportunities Day in the fall, during which high school juniors and seniors could receive information about the educational and career opportunities available through the various branches of the military.