Cadets Expand View of Army Engineer Career
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Middle East District (TAM) recently hosted four ROTC cadets during a summer program designed to expose them to the Army Engineer career field.
The program allows cadets to shadow engineering officers and learn about potential career options available to them when they graduate and become officers.
In addition to learning more about being an officer and an engineer, cadets assigned to TAM also broadened their horizons with a visit to Qatar where they were able to visit several large construction projects and explore the city of Doha.
Sam Mossholder, a rising senior majoring in civil engineering at Bucknell, said although he was familiar with USACE, this program gave him a much better understanding of the scope of its mission.
“I didn’t realize the amount of foreign military sales construction USACE is doing,” said Mossholder. “I knew about the civil works mission, but this exposure gave me more understanding of what it does as a whole.”
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) is the U.S. Government’s program for transferring defense articles, services, and training to our international partners and international organizations. The FMS program is funded by administrative charges to foreign purchasers and is operated at no cost to taxpayers. In many cases, when an allied nation purchases U.S. equipment like F-16 fighter jets, they will contract with USACE to build related infrastructure as was the case with some of the construction the cadets saw in Qatar.
In addition to expanding their idea of USACE capabilities, the cadets also noted that it broadened their view of the Middle East and the world in general.
Joseph Pacholski, a civil engineering major at the University of South Carolina, said the trip to Qatar really opened his eyes.
“I hate to say it, but I probably had a very ‘Hollywood view’ of the Middle East. That and people think military deploys only to places like Iraq. Doha is extremely modern and talking to people over there I felt a lot of similarities in our cultures.”
Pei Ren, a mechanical engineering major at Syracuse, had a similar observation.
“The architecture in Qatar is beautiful,” she said.
She also noted that while they enjoyed seeing the country and the time they got to spend touring around Doha, one of the most valuable aspects of the trip to her was the time the cadets were able to spend with TAM’s engineers and program managers in both Qatar and Winchester.
“I didn’t expect to get so many leadership lessons, not just from the military officers but from the civilians as well. It was really valuable to see the way they led and how they interacted with those they worked with,” said Ren.
Tristan Arendt, an Engineering Science Major at the University of Virginia, agreed saying he found the most valuable part of the whole experience to be the interaction with TAM engineers, military officers and program managers.
“The ability to pick the brains of engineering officers about virtually anything was extremely helpful, especially having so many different types of engineers available to us. We were able to talk to those in our specific discipline but also other areas as well to give us a better perspective,” he said.
More information about the cadet engineering internship program can be found here: TAM Videos