SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Ten educators from around Navy Recruiting District (NRD) St. Louis toured Navy facilities Aug. 12-15 as part of an Educator Orientation Visit (EOV) to the San Diego area.
The tour is designed to give educators a glimpse of life in the Navy so that they may be better prepared to discuss military opportunities with their students.
It also works as a Navy awareness means, ensuring that those involved in education see first hand the training, equipment and facilities accessible to those in the military.
"In the Midwest we don't have a lot of Navy," said Kenneth Eaton, superintendent of Mount City school districts. "I had no idea about the technical side. It makes sense once you see it that everything is technical, everything is electronic, and everything is manned by people who have to understand that thing or have a base knowledge. Even the jobs of the young guys who first come in that are in highly technical, highly skilled fields."
The tour began with a trip aboard USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) where the educators toured the living spaces, galley and the bridge while talking to Sailors about their experiences in the Navy. Over the course of the week the educators visited two more ships, USS Dewey (DDG 105) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), asking Sailors about education and future plans.
"Near the end of every tour we ask the educators what impressed them most of all? The number one answer has consistently been, 'the Sailors and officers'" said Jon Dickson, NRD St. Louis Education Specialists. "I think this is very powerful. It's then that the educator truly understands what it takes to be a member of the world's greatest Navy."
In addition to the ships, the educators were able to visit the Fleet and Family Support Center and find out what benefits are available for the Sailors as well as the family. Tours of the NROTC command at the University of San Diego and a meet and greet with a Navy SEAL and cruise in a harbor boat rounded out the experience.
"The Educator Orientation Tour is absolutely one of the more powerful ways he Navy can show itself off," said Dickson. "These educators who attend the EOV will have a much better understanding of what the Navy can offer and can have significant impact on fellow educators, students, and even parents."
During the tour the educators learned about Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 the "Red Lions" by watching a brief video about their last deployment and taking a tour of a helicopter and the flight line. The EOV wrapped up with a visit to Naval Medical Center San Diego where the educators got to see robotic medical training dealing with lost limbs.
"In a time of declining budgets, programs such as the EOV and the Educator to Sea program still pay off in a big way," said Dickson. "These educators become lifelong friends of the Navy and can wield significant influence in their schools, communities, and beyond."
Navy Recruiting District St. Louis is responsible for more than 200,000 square miles, encompassing Missouri, Kansas, Central and Southern Illinois, and a portion of Kentucky. More than 250 officers, enlisted, and civilian staff operate 54 recruiting stations, two Navy Officer Recruiting Stations and the headquarters. Additionally, two Military Entrance Processing Stations; one at the headquarters in St. Louis and one in Kansas City, Mo., handle applicants' processing, classification, and physical examination.
For more news from Navy Recruiting District St. Louis, visit www.navy.mil/local/nrdsl/.