An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Team Scott hosts Showcase event

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Solomon Cook
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

More than 450 students from high schools across Missouri and Illinois visited Scott Air Force Base Sept. 28, 2023, during the Fall Scott Showcase.  Held inside Hangar 1 and the flightline, the event gave high school students and teachers the opportunity to interact with servicemembers and to learn about the variety of career options in the Armed Forces.

“We were really excited about the planes we got to walkthrough,” said Bailey Schaumburg, Jennings High School substitute teacher.

In addition to the KC-135, C-40, and C-21 static aircraft on display, units brought out tools and other pieces of heavy equipment to educate the students about their career fields.  The 375th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department demonstrated their Air Force firefighting mission with a fire truck. As the students gathered around the engine, they donned fire protection equipment, sat in the vehicle and got to turn on the lights and sirens.

“It's been great,” said Airman Paul Hunhoff, a 375th CES firefighter, who was thrilled to talk about the opportunities the Air Force has provided him.  “The students have been taking pictures, learning about the equipment, and asking us questions.”

Selected for his number one career choice, Hunhoff with evident joy and job satisfaction, said, “We love sharing our knowledge and interacting with the community.” 

In a memo sent to Air Force leaders on Jan. 23, 2023, then Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., wrote, “Young people aspire to be what they see. When the public meets our amazing Airmen, sees their exciting missions, and understands the value of military service, it can be life changing.” 

In his call to action to better connect today’s youth with the military, he further wrote, “…When I meet Airmen, I often ask why they joined the Air Force; their stories have one commonality – inspiration starts with a nudge from an influencer or an experience.  I would not have joined the Air Force if not for my father, a career Army officer. I would not have become a pilot if not for the T-37 incentive ride at ROTC Summer Camp. As young Americans are approaching major life decisions, we need to show them how military service will have a lifelong impact on them and our Nation.”

Following his orders to act, the Fall Scott Showcase gave the high schools students a chance to meet servicemembers, from a joint and total force perspective and from all ranks, one-on-one to hear their personal military stories and to ask questions.

Tech. Sgt. Elyse Stamey, an enlisted accessions recruiter with the Air Force’s 345th Recruiting Squadron, said, “They appreciate that true, real feedback of being a human with them first and foremost. It is important to tell them simple things like, ‘this is what my job looks like,’ ‘you're going to have good days and bad days, but, you have that everywhere.’ Basically, we are giving it to them straight.”

The 345th Air Force Recruiting Squadron was joined at the event by U.S. Air Force Special Warfare Recruiting, U.S. Navy Recruiting, U.S. Army Recruiting, and U.S. Coast Guard Recruiting to help the students understand how to join the military and the process to enlist or commission.

“We are looking to spread the word about the benefits and opportunities that go into joining the Air Force and Space Force,” said Stamey. “It is very important to educate these young leaders about the different career paths that they can take. Recruiters are at ground zero and we show them steps, A through Z, to accomplish their goals.”

Echoing Stamey’s comment, Schaumberg said, “Something that I say to students all the time is it’s important to have options and to consider the different avenues you can choose when you graduate.”

The Fall Scott Showcase featured units not only from the 375th Air Mobility Wing but also representative from U.S. Transportation Command - Defense Intelligence Agency, Military Surface Deployment Distribution Command, U.S. Air Force Band of Mid America, the Cyberspace Capabilities Center, the 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing, Civil Air Patrol, and a handful of federal agencies like the National Park Service and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Air Force veteran Capt. Grace Tiscareno Sato, also known as Captain Mama, also participated as a special guest and shared her Air Force journey as a KC-135 navigator with the students.