Phenix City Campus teams with Maxwell’s Air War College to present Hap Arnold Leadership Forum for Russell County High School students

Army Lt. Col. Heather Olmo addresses students during the Hap Arnold Leadership Forum at the Phenix City Campus on April 25.

Army Lt. Col. Heather Olmo addresses students during the Hap Arnold Leadership Forum at the Phenix City Campus on April 25.

Junior ROTC students from Russell County High School recently got a glimpse of military life and gained some valuable leadership lessons as Troy University’s Phenix Campus teamed with the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base to present the Hap Arnold Leadership Forum.  

The April 25 event marked the second time TROY’s Phenix City Campus had hosted the leadership forum, which was led by Dr. Elizabeth Woodworth, Associate Professor of Strategic Communication at the Air War College.

The program, which is designed to strengthen ties between Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base and the community, is named in honor of Gen. Henry H. “Hap” Arnold, a pioneer airman who was taught to fly by the Wright brothers. Arnold is the only person in history to achieve a 5-star rank in both the Army and the Air Force.

Students had the opportunity to speak with officers currently attending the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base to discuss opportunities available through military service.

Near the beginning of each academic year, Air War College students are selected for the program based on their professional acumen and proven leaderships. These panelists will share their first-hand experience with values-based leadership throughout their career.

On Thursday, students were able to hear from a panel of officers who spoke about their experiences and how they had overcome challenges, both in their personal lives as well as their professional careers. The panel consisted of Air Force Lt. Col. Jonathan Izworski, Army Lt. Col. Heather Olmo (Col. Select), and Air Force Lt. Col. John Pohlen and was moderated by Air Force Lt. Col. Ben Wood, all of whom are current Air War College students.

Following the presentations, the students had the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists before breaking off to engage other military officers in one-on-one conversations. Students also heard a presentation about the opportunities available to them through Troy University’s ROTC program.

“It is very important that the JRTOC upperclassmen who are considering a career in the military obtain an understanding of life as a military officer,” said Vanda Zavala, Coordinator of Student and Business Development at the Phenix City Campus. “Once the panel of officers shared their unique stories and experiences, the upperclassmen were able to ask questions and have one-on-one conversations with officers from the Air Force and Army. They also had a great opportunity to speak with officers of various branches from different countries and hear about their experiences as well. Government employees were also on hand to speak with those who considered working as a government employee. We are so grateful for this partnership and for the willingness of the officers to share and interact with these students.”

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