Army Education News

U.S. Army Continues Decades of Support to DECA Students

Jun 27, 2017

Together in their mission to support high-achieving students and prepare emerging leaders, the U.S. Army and DECA continued their partnership through DECA’s annual International Career Development Conference (ICDC) early this spring. The Army has supported ICDC for over 18 years, and the conference brings nearly 16,000 high school students, advisors and business personnel together for competitions, leadership workshops and career advancement and training opportunities. 

During this year’s event, conference attendees engaged with Army representatives over the course of four days. The Army’s participation started on the first morning of the conference as the sponsor of the DECA Dash 5K Run/Walk. Students were led through warm-up exercises and stretches by Soldiers before running around Angel Stadium. 

Sergeant First Class Philip Dentis pushes DECA students involved in the DECA Dash 5K to keep up with him as he runs.

During the conference, Army personnel had the opportunity to speak to a group of 400 student officers from DECA-chartered associations located around the country. These highly driven students listened as Major Michael Doyle, Professor of Military Science (PMS) at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif., discussed the importance of continuing to establish themselves as leaders. Major Doyle spoke to the many forms and styles leadership can take while also emphasizing the importance of continuing education, no matter what field the students in the room ultimately pursue. At the conclusion of his remarks, Major Doyle pointed out that DECA and the Army both develop leaders for life, in and out of uniform. 

Major Michael Doyle shares thoughts on leadership to an audience of DECA student officers at a luncheon at the International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Through the Executive Mentor Program, U.S. Army leaders were part of a group of 30 corporate executives who offered information about their personal career path and education growth to groups of DECA students. Leaders discussed some of the obstacles they encountered while pursuing their careers and shared stories and key takeaways from their first jobs.

During the conference, the Army also hosted an interactive exhibit area with elements that tested attendees’ mental agility and critical thinking. The exhibit also offered opportunities for students and advisors to learn about careers in the Army and education resources available to all students regardless of the post-secondary path they choose.

In addition to these elements of the conference, the Army attended the Grand Awards Ceremony where Lieutenant Colonel Shannon V. Stambersky, Professor of Military Science (PMS), University of California Los Angeles and Lieutenant Colonel Justin M. Chezem, PMS, University of Southern California presented U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) college scholarships totaling $593,406 to four students. These students are a small representation of the talented youth from around the country that have already demonstrated a great aptitude for leadership and have committed to serving our great nation.

Lieutenant Colonel Justin Chezem and Lieutenant Colonel Shannon Stambersky present Army ROTC scholarship checks to four students at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

The Army continues to be one of the largest investors in education on a national level and demonstrates support of leadership development and continued learning by partnering with national organizations like DECA to promote growth opportunities. 

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