Killeen High School Student Learns About Army Life

Story by: Marvin Robinson II
Courtesy of 13th SC(E) Public Affairs Office

This is a special contribution for the 13th SC(E) Public Affairs office by Marvin Robinson, a junior at Killeen High School.  Marvin provides this first person narrative of his experiences touring Fort Hood while trailing a military journalist and a motor pool shop foreman.

FORT HOOD, Texas — Groundhog Job Shadow is an academically motivating activity designed to give kids the unique opportunity of an up-close look at the world of work and provide the answer to the commonly asked question, “Why do I have to learn this?”

As part of a nation-wide program, I arrived at the Killeen Conference and Civic Center 9 A.M. Jan. 30, and was introduced to my two groundhogs, Sgt. Jose Gutierrez, a motor pool shop foreman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Medical Brigade, and Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, a Public Affairs Noncommissioned Officer with HHC, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

Most of the other students were only given one mentor, but I was blessed with two. Amazingly, the career fields of my two mentors matched up perfectly with my career interests.

The first thing we did was briefly visit the HHC, 1st Med. Bde. Motor pool, where I got a quick run-through of what motor sergeants do.

After visiting the motor pool, we went over to 1st Cavalry Division headquarters to witness the change of command of Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade.

The performance of the Cav. Band was the best I’ve ever seen, and including the horses in the ceremony really highlighted the history of the storied division.

The structure and standards exhibited by the Soldiers saluting, and moving in synchronization made me want to enlist on the spot.

After the ceremony, we returned to the motor pool for some hands on mechanic work.

My mentor really showed the importance of teamwork while working on a wrecker with Sgt. Jonathan Bower, another motor sergeant with HHC, 1st MB, and Spc. Brandon Alston, a generator mechanic in his squad.

The mechanics’ work enabled me to try out being a public affairs NCO. Gibson handed me his camera, and I took a bunch of pictures, trying to make sure to get shots depicting action and showing the eyes of the subjects.

After working in the motor pool, I went to lunch with a bunch of the Groundhog Job Shadow participants and mentors.

Most of the mentors were from HHC, 1st MB. One of the mentors I spoke with at lunch was Sgt. Richard Mendiola, the preventive medicine noncommissioned officer in charge for HHC.

Some of the students at lunch included my classmate from Killeen High School and fellow Junior ROTC NCO, Indiah Wilson.

Junior ROTC was strongly represented at lunch that day with James McGuire, a sophomore from Shoemaker High School, and Justin Sweet, a junior, also from Shoemaker.

After lunch, I toured the 13th SC(E) headquarters building, and even got to see the commanding officer’s office.

I spoke with a few officers who really opened my mind to future careers.

One thing that reminded me of the hard work it takes to become a military officer was a conversation I had with Maj. Jay Adams, the public affairs officer for the 13th SC(E), who used to be an enlisted Soldier.

I know I have a long way to go, and a lot of work to get there, but being able to shadow Soldiers for a day definitely inspired me.


Marvin at Change of Command Ceremony
Marvin at Change of Command Ceremony

Mechanics demonstrate for Ground Hog Shadow Day student
Mechanics demonstrate for Ground Hog Shadow Day student