“Essayons!” – the motto of the Army’s Engineer Regiment could be heard resonating throughout Operations Group headquarters as the Fort Irwin’s Martin H. Cesana chapter of the Army Engineer Association concluded their Feb. 5 meeting with a spirited rendition of the Engineer Song.
Fort Irwin’s engineer community routinely meets under the auspices of the local chapter of AEA to facilitate cohesion, interaction, and networking within the Engineers total family. At Fort Irwin, that “family” includes the Sidewinder Team Observer Coach/Trainers, the 58th Combat Engineer Company of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Resident Office, and the Department of the Army civilians serving in Fort Irwin’s Department of Public Works.
This recent meeting of the AEA served three purposes: to elect and install a slate of chapter officers; to discuss the promotion of AEA scholarship opportunities to the Fort Irwin community as a part of National Engineers Week, which runs from Feb. 17-23, and; to conduct an engineer professional development session.
Indicative of the dynamic backgrounds of Army engineers at Fort Irwin, the Cesana Chapter installed a slate of officers from three different organizations. The Los Angeles District’s Lt. Col. Ed Apostol will serve as the Chapter president for this next year. Other elected officers included Maj. Heather Levy from Sidewinder Team, OPS GRP, who will serve as a vice president along with Capt. James Mooney and 1st Lt. Sean Wharem from the 58th CEC. These officers will serve throughout the next year as the chapter seeks to continue to grow while serving as a venue for collaboration and professional development – all in support of Fort Irwin’s important training mission.
An important and valuable benefit of membership in AEA is the opportunity to apply for academic scholarships. These annual national-level scholarships are awarded in a number of categories to include: junior officers and warrant officers, junior enlisted Soldiers (staff sergeant and below), junior Department of the Army civilians (GS-9 and below), Family members of AEA members, and a new $2,500 scholarship opportunity for a deserving Army Engineer who received combat wounds in either Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. Interested individuals should contact Capt. Paul White at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://armyengineer.com to learn more about AEA membership and the scholarship opportunities.
February’s AEA meeting included a presentation by National Training Center’s senior engineer and maneuver support trainer, Lt. Col. Jason Kirk. Kirk provided the assembled commissioned and non-commissioned officers with an update from the Engineer Regimental Command Council’s recent session addressing the future of engineers in the Army of 2020 as well as important counter-IED training updates from Fort Leonard Wood’s Counter Explosives Hazards Center. The group also discussed the importance of continued collaboration between OPS GRP trainers and the 11th ACR’s “enemy” engineer force especially in support of the new Decisive Action Training Environment’s expanded training objectives.
Nested well with February’s nation-wide National Engineers Week observance, Fort Irwin’s Army Engineers look forward to kicking off another year of embracing and living the “Essayons [Let us Try]” motto across the training grounds and construction sites that make the NTC the Army’s pre-eminent combat training center.