Although the topic is the military, it really could be about any subject area that we explore at University School through our field trips. On our Middle School trip to Georgia in January 2015, we visited Fort Gordon near Augusta. It primarily houses Signal units — dedicated to communication, military intelligence, and information management for the military.
As is the case with all of the topics we explore, our Learning Outside the Classroom program allows our students to see and experience for themselves activities related to our military. Instead of just reading books or sending cards and packages to soldiers, we believe visiting 1-2 military installations / museums / National Park sites a year allows our service members to know that our school and students are interested in them and want to know more about what they do. Then our students can make up their own minds, with first-hand evidence, about subjects related to the experiences they have had — science, military, historical, religious, political, etc. — through our LOTC program.
At Fort Gordon, students toured the base and the Signal Museum, learning the roots of the Signal Corps in the Civil War. What began with flag semaphore (communicating with flags) has now evolved to include cyber warfare (protecting America and fighting America’s enemies electronically). We also met with the Installation Support Detachment’s honor/color guard, and they taught each student how to fold the flag and how the colors are presented. It was a meaningful and rich experience!
Since 2007, University School students have had the following experiences: US Army Fort Jackson graduation, Graduation at Marine Corp’s Depot Parris Island (x2), D-Day Museum in New Orleans, SPAWAR and Joint Base Charleston, Fort James Jackson (Savannah), Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Castillo de San Marcos (St. Augustine), McEntire Joint S.C. National Guard Base (Eastover), Mighty Eighth Museum (Savannah), Patriots Point (x3), Fort Moultrie, S.C. Military Museum (Columbia), Fort Sumter (x3), Charleston Air Force Base (x3), Commemorative activities for the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Army’s Pre-positioned Stocks Afloat (keeping equipment on ships across the world in case it is needed), Arlington National Cemetery, Tour of the USS Truxtun (DDG-103), The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and all the major war memorials in D.C., National Park Service field expedition to Morris Island for a study of the Civil War battles raging around Fort Wagner, George Patton Waters – grandson of George Patton – presentation, Maj. Gen. James Livingston, USMC, Medal of Honor recipient – presentation, Alan Moskin – US WWII vet and concentration camp liberator – presentation, Colonel Mac Radcliffe, USMC, (retired) – presentation, Col. Scott Kindsvater, USAF, Commandant, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB – presentation, Lt. Col. Drew Schnyder, USAF, Flight Surgeon – presentation.