2018-10-12 / Front Page

Battalion invests time with students

Maj. Marvin Gipson
707th Military Intelligence Battalion


Cadets from Evans High School’s JROTC program finish a 1.5-mile run event during the Raider Challenge. The Raider Challenge, held on Sept. 21 at Evan High School in Evans, Ga., consisted of the run, an obstacle course and a cross country rescue. Maj. Marvin Gipson / 707th Military Intelligence Battalion Cadets from Evans High School’s JROTC program finish a 1.5-mile run event during the Raider Challenge. The Raider Challenge, held on Sept. 21 at Evan High School in Evans, Ga., consisted of the run, an obstacle course and a cross country rescue. Maj. Marvin Gipson / 707th Military Intelligence Battalion Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” The value of giving one’s time, inherent gifts and competencies to individuals, organizations and schools further strengthens our community partnerships.

The Soldiers of 707th Military Intelligence Battalion, 706th Military Intelligence Group, have established relationships with many community partners in the Central Savannah River Area and are always seeking opportunities to build new partnerships.

For example, Hephzibah High School, along with its feeder grade school in Augusta, Georgia, has a formal established relationship with the 707th MI Bn. through Fort Gordon’s Adopt-a-School Program.


Retired Maj. Mike Daversa, left, senior Army instructor for Evans High School’s JROTC program, and Maj. Marvin Gipson, 707th Military Intelligence Battalion’s operations officer, pose for a photo during the Raider Challenge. The event consisted of an obstacle course, a 1.5-mile run, and a cross country rescue and was held on Sept. 21 at Evans High School in Evans, Georgia. Maj. Marvin Gipson / 707th Military Intelligence Battalion Retired Maj. Mike Daversa, left, senior Army instructor for Evans High School’s JROTC program, and Maj. Marvin Gipson, 707th Military Intelligence Battalion’s operations officer, pose for a photo during the Raider Challenge. The event consisted of an obstacle course, a 1.5-mile run, and a cross country rescue and was held on Sept. 21 at Evans High School in Evans, Georgia. Maj. Marvin Gipson / 707th Military Intelligence Battalion This program teams battalion-size military units with local schools and selects designated Soldiers to work with principals, teachers and children.

Soldiers who participate in the program also assist the school with math tutoring, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery training, mentorship and development, and support to the school’s Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps program.

The battalion also supports other community schools. On Sept. 11, Soldiers assisted Brookwood Elementary School in Grovetown, Ga., with their Academic Parent-Teacher Teams program. School instructors queried parents on their level of interest in having interpreter support during each of the meetings. Out of the 800 students at the school, at least 40 needed some type of language assistance in either Spanish, Vietnamese or Korean.

The program consists of three meetings per year. During the first meeting this year, four volunteers from the 707th MI Bn. assisted with Spanish speaking interpretation. First Lt. Max Arreola, Staff Sgt. Ezekiel Benavidez, Sgt. Harold Jaramillo, and Sgt. Melanie Sonby assisted in explaining the importance of sight words to the parents of second graders. The volunteers also provided details on games and activities parents can do at home with their student to reinforce work done in the classroom. The school’s goal is to generate opportunities for linguists to employ interpretation and translation skills, building relationships across the community while providing language maintenance for our Soldiers.

As we seek opportunities to build new relationships, the battalion reached out to Evans High School in an effort to expand their volunteer network. Located just North of Augusta in Evans, Ga., the school serves a population of approximately 150 JROTC students. The Soldier and student teaming fosters a mentor/mentee relationship, develops young Soldiers, and promotes military partnerships within the community. Our organization is uniquely postured to support this community partner as the school has a focused emphasis on science, technology, engineering, math, and cybersecurity.

“The benefit is an ongoing bond with the JROTC program and the guidance and mentorship we provide them. Many of the students may have an interest in joining the service in the future, and we provide assistance with their future goals that helps to drive their success,” said Staff Sgt. Xavier Hawes, 707th MI Bn., when he was asked to describe some of the benefits the 707th gains from partnering with Evans High School.

During the unit’s first opportunity to mentor, assess and motivate the Evans High School JROTC students, 12 members of the 706th MI Group participated in the Raider Challenge at Evans High School on Sept. 21. The event consisted of an obstacle course, a 1.5 mile run, and a cross country rescue.

The battalion’s relationship with the school is the result of an effort between the battalion training and operations Maj. Marvin A. Gipson and retired Maj. Michael S. Daversa, senior Army instructor for Evans High School. The relationship exposes JROTC students to the “non-traditional” Army and allows them to gain exposure to linguists and others who provide mission support to our nation’s cyber security. Both Gipson and Daversa agree the bond between the school and the unit has the potential to grow beyond expectations.

Although the unit’s mission is demanding, it’s exceptional to see Soldiers engaged with something outside their usual busy work schedules. With this commitment to selfless service, it’s no wonder Soldiers of the 706th MI Group and 707th MI Bn. continue to set the standard when it comes to volunteer participation.

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