NEW ORLEANS, La. --
Marines and community leaders gathered together for a local educators conference at the National World War II Memorial in New Orleans, La., Nov. 14, 2011.
The conference covered many topics of interest to include Marine Corps recruiting; however, this event but focused primarily on diversity within the Officer Corps.
“It’s a significant event because it has never really been done here before, we are the trailblazers for this kind of event,” said 1st Lt. Adesina Aladetohun, officer selection officer for Louisiana and Southwest Mississippi.
Attendees were provided with information packets and were served a southern style lunch before listening to several speakers.
Speakers, varying in age and rank, shared their personal experiences in the Marine Corps and explained attendees the opportunities available to eligible applicants.
Major General Ronald L. Bailey, Commanding General of First Marine Division, was in attendance as the keynote speaker and urged the community leaders to reach out to their students and explain the advantages of being a Marine.
“The time now is for you to make a difference,” said Bailey. “I need each and every one of you to make a difference in the life of some young woman or man, take the time to tell them about what life as a Marine is about.”
At the end of the conference the floor was opened to a panel of Marines for a Q-And-A session.
Many of the attendees’ were curious about the military lifestyle or were trying to alleviate any negative perceptions they may have had.
The Q-And-A inspired attendees to take center stage and share their personal experiences and advice for reaching out to students and local youth.
“This was a first class event and I really appreciate this opportunity,” said Carolyn Thomas, officer of career services director for Xavier University of Louisiana. “It was a reaffirmation of what I already knew about the Marine Corps but I guess now I can focus more on the other opportunities within the Marine Corps. I knew about the training and I knew of course you had to prepare for war, but I didn’t know how many great opportunities existed in the Marine Corps as a career.”
Although there are currently no similar events scheduled, Aladetohun said more workshops will most likely arise in the near future.