Touching Base--Volume 4 Issue 3

September 2011 — Volume 4 Issue 3

"We're close to getting 100 teachers' colleges to commit to putting into their curriculum lessons that help military children. The teachers there are also finding out about who's in their classrooms. ... "
Jill Biden
"Mothers in Arms,"
AARP The Magazine
September/October 2011

Back-to-School Bus Tour Visits the Great Lakes Region

On Sept. 7, Secretary Duncan and senior ED staff headed to the Great Lakes Region for a Back-to-School Bus Tour. Arne made stops in Pittsburgh; Erie, Pa.; Cleveland; Toledo, Ohio; Detroit; Merrillville, Ind.; Milwaukee; and Chicago. The theme of the tour was "Education and the Economy: Investing in Our Future." Arne met with educators and talked with students, parents, administrators, and community stakeholders. For additional details on Secretary Duncan's back-to-school bus tour stops, go to

Under Secretary Presides at Navy Recruit Graduation

Serving as the reviewing officer, Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter spoke at the recruit graduation, held Sept. 9, at Naval Station Great Lakes, in Illinois, to honor the new recruits for their achievements and commitment to protecting our nation and to inspire their future progress. Under Secretary Kanter toured parts of the installation, the Navy's only basic training boot camp, including the Navy's newest and most elaborate recruit trainer, Battle Stations 21 of the Recruit Training Command. She also learned about how the Navy's basic training program prepares recruits for a variety of careers in the Navy. More information on the Naval Station Great Lakes and Battle Stations 21 is available at and, respectively.

Deputy Secretary Speaks at Marine Corps Foundation Ceremony

Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller provided remarks at the Marine Corps 2011 Scholarship Announcement Ceremony and Reception on Sept 13. Hosted by the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and held at the Library of Congress, the ceremony not only recognized the 2011-12 scholarship recipients, but also featured speeches by Librarian of Congress James Billington and the Commandant of the Marine Corps James Amos. This year, the Foundation awarded more than $4.5 million in higher education scholarships to Marine Corps sons and daughters—an investment in education that the president has stressed repeatedly as critical to win the future. Since 1962, the Scholarship Foundation has awarded a total of more than 25,000 scholarships worth over $60 million, making it the oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military families. For more information on the Foundation, visit

ED Focuses on Unique Life Challenges of Those in the Military

On July 20, Army Lieutenant General Rick Lynch, Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management and the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, provided a briefing and a question-and-answer period for senior ED leaders on the challenges facing military service members, their families, and veterans. This briefing, held at the Department's headquarters building in Washington, D.C., focused on the rationale that underpins the Secretary of Education's military priority for discretionary grant programs. As one of America's highest-ranking military officers, LTG Lynch brought to life the reasons that President Obama has established military families as one of his administration's top priorities. This meeting was part of the Department's efforts to operationalize the Secretary of Education's commitments to military families, which were reflected in the White House report, Strengthening Our Military Families, released on Jan. 24, 2011. For more information about the report, visit:

OSDFS Annual Conference Hosts Discussion on Children of Multiple-Deployment Parents

The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) 2011 annual conference featured a panel discussion entitled "Military Children: My Parent Has Been Deployed, What About Me?" at the Gaylord National Hotel, National Harbor, Md., on Aug. 10. Charles Boyer, ED's special advisor for military families, moderated the discussion intended to begin a cross-system dialogue among attendees about the 2 million American children whose parents have experienced multiple deployments. Panel members were Lieutenant Colonel Lanita Taylor, Joint Force Headquarters, District of Columbia National Guard, director of the State Family Program; Mona Johnson, director of School Behavioral Health, U.S. Army Medical Command Office of Child, Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health; and Joan Barrett, program manager for Contracts, Grants, and Related Projects, the Military Child Education Coalition. Because schools strive to be consistent, supportive, "safe spots" for students, it is imperative that education professionals be aware of the potential stressors these children face and the resources available for assistance. The call to action from the OSDFS Institute recommended a coherent and consistent approach to the identification of military-connected students, outreach by the Department of Education to educators, and a follow-up symposium focused on identifying gaps in the services provided to military families that are experiencing the effects of deployments. To review presentations from the OSDFS 2011 conference, link to:.

ED Deputy Chief of Staff Provides Remarks at Tuskegee Airmen Event

Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Strategy Tyra Mariani, of the Office of the Secretary of Education, was a guest speaker at the Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated (TAI) National Service Awards ceremony on Aug. 4, 2011, at the National Gaylord Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. The ceremony honored the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Tuskegee Airmen, when African-Americans and other disadvantaged ethnic groups laid a foundation of proof that all citizens, given the opportunity, can perform in an exceptional manner and with distinction. Other distinguished guests included Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-Md.) and Major General Harold L. Mitchell, deputy inspector general of the Air Force. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces, five of whom were present for the ceremony. Despite many adversities, especially racial segregation, they trained and flew with honor and character, with more than 900 African-American men serving and defending their country during World War II, at a time when blacks faced open discrimination. After President Harry S. Truman ended segregation in the military with Executive Order 9981 in 1948, the veteran Tuskegee Airmen found themselves in high demand throughout the newly formed U.S. Air Force. TAI is an organization dedicated to motivating and inspiring young Americans to become active participants in society and promote the nation's democratic process. The organization also encourages youths to consider careers in aviation and the aerospace industry. More information about the contributions and challenges of the Tuskegee Airmen can be found at:

OII Hosts Meeting on Marine Corps JROTC Program

Carmen Cole, operations manager for the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC), provided a briefing to Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) staff regarding the JROTC program's initiatives and purpose, on Aug. 11, at the Department's headquarters in Washington, D.C. JROTC''s purpose is to strengthen the values of citizenship, service to the nation, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment for students in grades 9-12. Among a variety of topics, the conversation addressed the questions of whether one JROTC program could serve a consortium of smaller schools, the feasibility of supplementing the program with online courses, and if private school and homeschooled students could join a local high school's JROTC program. For more information about the Marine Corps JROTC, please visit:

Contacts:Carrie Jasper, writer and editor; Charles Boyer, special advisor for military families; Cynthia Hearn Dorfman, advisor; Kathy Facon, Linda Cuffey, Rachel Breslin, Heather Foster, Eric Waldo, Kirsten Webb, contributors.
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Last Modified: 12/19/2011