Special Operations Command South hosted 128 parents and their children at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida on February 2, 2017 during Miami-Dade County’s “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.”
While the rest of the nation is set to participate in the annual event in April, hundreds of students across South Florida shadowed their parents or guardians to get a better understanding of what they do on a daily basis.
According to letters sent home, the event is designed to help children in the ages of 8-18 learn the array of job possibilities, and educate them about the realities of work, while giving students an opportunity to expand learning from the classroom into the work environment.
“Today, we want to give you a look into what it is your parents do every day to prepare and in support of Special Operations Forces working throughout Central and South America, and the Caribbean,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Scott Guilbeault, SOCSOUTH’s chief of staff, while welcoming students to the command.
During the first part of the day, school-aged children between 2nd and 12th grades followed their parents through four stations where they climbed inside a Humvee and zodiac boat, tried-on protective gear, talked to one another using military radios, and learned about equipment medical Soldiers use to save lives.
“Playing in the airplane was the most fun,” said Abby, 10, referring to a CASA C-212 mockup where she got a chance to experience how U.S. Army paratroopers rehearse before jumping out of an airplane during airborne operations.
While the first part of the day focused on what Service Members do at the tactical level, the second part of the day gave students an opportunity to work alongside their parents to plan and prepare for a mission.
Together they checked and prepared equipment for a deployment, assessed satellite imagery, and devel
oped plans, combining what they had learned at each of the previous stations, before briefing SOCSOUTH Commander U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Collin P. Green.
Having students and their parents’ work side-by-side was one of the event’s goals, said Tynisa Eleby, SOCSOUTH’s family support coordinator and a lead event organizer. Teamwork is important in the work place, and it is important that students learn this and the importance of responsibility involved in a job and career early on in their lives.
The command is comprised of military members from all four services working together, said Guilbeault. That teamwork is essential for the command in its support of SOF missions throughout the region.
On average, SOCSOUTH members support about 30 missions each day that promote regional security and stability for U.S. Southern Command in 31 countries and 16 territories in USSOUTHCOM’s area of responsibility.