Kentucky Guardsmen motivate, inspire during school visit

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By Capt. Andi Hahn, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade Public Affairs Officer

Photos taken by Ashley Henderson

Kentucky National Guard Soldiers from the 198th Military Police Battalion, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, visited students at Brooks Elementary School March 18 to motivate and inspire them prior to taking their Computer Assisted Testing Service exams.

BULLITT COUNTY, Ky.—Kentucky National Guard Soldiers from the 198th Military Police Battalion, 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade paid a motivational visit to students at Brooks Elementary School in Shepherdsville, Ky. March 18.

1st Lt. Andreas Shabaan, 2nd Lt. Christopher McGhee and Spc. Shain Jones were invited to the school to inspire the young students to work hard, take pride in their efforts and never give up accomplishing their goals.

“We really emphasized the importance of always giving their best efforts in everything they do and never, ever quit,” said McGhee.  “We were able to use examples from our military, civilian and education experiences to motivate the students to always do their best.”

The visit was part of an annual event at the school called “Boot Camp for Testing” where students and teachers dress in camouflage clothes and put an Army spin on motivating them.  The overall goal was to get the students prepared for their  Computer Assisted Testing Service exams while the Kentucky Guardsmen provided the inspiration. The students even received certain military “rank” based on their grades and are awarded badges if they score proficient on the open response questions.

1st Lt. Andreas Shabaan, Kentucky National Guard, gives a motivational speech to students at Brooks Elementary School during their “Boot Camp Testing” event prior to their Computer Assisted Testing Service exams March 18.

Earleen Tudor, instructional coach at Brooks Elementary, said this was the second year the school put on their version of boot camp.  It was the first year Kentucky Guardsmen got involved thanks in large part to Maj. Tim Starke, a husband of one of the teachers and member of the 149th MEB.

“The students really respect the Guardsmen and what they do for our country,” Tudor said.  “They were excited about doing their best on the practice test to prepare for the big state test.”

Tudor said the day was huge success and plans to continue this event every year with Kentucky Guardsmen involved.

McGhee said it was a great experience, especially for him because he is a former full-time teacher in the area of practical living.

“I felt honored that I could pass information on to young students to motivate and encourage them to always give their best efforts in everything,” he said.  “I love talking with young people and would absolutely do this again.

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