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Lessons in Leadership for Cobb Youth

  • Published
  • By by Maj. Stephani Schafer
  • 94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, GA -- The 94th Airlift Wing and Clay Air National Guard Center co-sponsored a military leadership evening for the 2023 Cobb Youth Leadership Class, March 20.

Cobb Youth Leadership is a program under the umbrella of the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association that provides opportunities for high school juniors to develop skills through interactive participation in their local government, education and business sectors. Experiences like these at Dobbins ARB give students an opportunity to learn about venues with which they may not have much experience, such as the military.

The evening kicked off with opening remarks from Maj. Gen. Tom Carden, Adjutant General of the Georgia Department of Defense, Col. Carl Magnusson, 94th AW commander, and Pam Younker, Cobb Chamber member and Community Development Officer for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the year-long sponsor of the Cobb Youth Leadership Program.

“I want you to understand the immense honor and opportunity it is for you to learn from the men and women in uniform this evening,” said Younker. “I have had the pleasure of working with the Dobbins community for nearly ten years. These are some of the best leaders I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from and I hope your class is able to enjoy the night and learn more about what our military community and leaders do for us every day.”

After opening remarks, students broke into small groups. The first group participated in a question-and-answer session on leadership, with representatives from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The second group toured a C-130H to learn about its mission and capabilities as well as about the Airmen who work on and with the aircraft every day.

Later in the evening, students rotated between stations provided by the Georgia National Guard to learn about leadership opportunities available to military members. Stations included parachute riggers, the Counter Drug Task Force and Civil Support Team, which includes response to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive emergencies. Representatives from Army and Air National Guard recruiting were also on-hand to talk about both full- and part-time military career development opportunities for students. 

“I’ve working with CYL for a number of years now and this is the most engaged I’ve seen the students,” said Katie Guice, CYL Program Director. “In recent years, we’ve had to rearrange elements of this program evening due to health-related protocols, and it was great to have participation from both the 94th AW and the Clay National Guard Center again this year. We look forward to our military leadership event every year.”