Good Neighbor Program connects future leaders and mentors
USAG DAEGU, Korea – Officers assigned to the 25th Transportation Battalion, Materiel Support Command Korea, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, participated in a Good Neighbor Program event with local university students and staff Nov. 21.
The daylong event at Daekyeung University, Gyeongsan, Korea, was coordinated to extend measurable goodwill through mentorship and cultural exchange, and to grow future military leaders of character at the institution.
As the day began, the battalion’s officers met with the founder of Daekyeung University, Dr. Jinsan Yoo, university staff members and students, and discussed the significance of cultural exchanges through the GNP.
“I hope this program continues to grow and I want to extend it out to, not just my leaders and Soldiers, but also involve family members and dependents,” said Lt. Col. Patrick B. Almond, the 25th Trans. Bn. Commander. “What Daekyeung University offers, are things that will allow our family members to perhaps get into the workforce here in Korea.”
Soldiers were later given a tour of the campus to see firsthand how students learn about their field of study. The tour involved visiting a coffee research laboratory, a winery, and a runway for future models. These learning areas are part of a program called “ExpUP Station” providing students hands-on training opportunities in their specialized industry.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the students here to be able to interact with United States military personnel, in that it gets them exposed to what a real Soldier is like,” said Robert Wipf, assistant professor of the university’s international affairs department. “I would love for the students to be able to visit the U.S. Army base and further find ways on how we can work together in the future.”
After the tour, the group ate lunch together at the university’s 42nd Street Restaurant, where students majoring in hotel culinary arts cooked and served up specialized dishes. After eating, the group moved to a classroom where Almond gave a speech to cadets majoring in military studies.
“Most of you will probably work somewhere international, so the more you can learn here, the more you will understand the differences of the people you may encounter,” said Almond. “As you commission in the ROK Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marines, I charge you with embracing cultural differences and building upon this great partnership. Do it for the sake of peace and prosperity for future generations.”
As the event ended, both Soldiers, university staff and students said farewell to one another. Participants of the event helped continue the development of the GNP by promoting meaningful community relations and activities for the continued growth of the Republic of Korea and U.S. alliance.