Israel Investment News

Israel Bussiness News

Equal opportunity course helps educate soldiers

By 2nd Lt. Patryk Korzeniewski
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – Four soldiers with the 565th Quartermaster Company, 749th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 224th Sustainment Brigade, 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), participated in an equal opportunity course Jan. 24-29 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Attending soldiers learned what the five protected classes were in the Army; race, color, gender, religion and national origin.
The class consisted of large and small group discussions and exercises. In one particular exercise, soldiers were given chips and told to trade them with one another.
These chips had a certain value and the goal was to have the highest value at the end of a trading session. After the trading ended, the soldiers were placed into groups depending on the value of their chips. Soldiers were then treated a certain way based on their group. The Square Group, who had the highest chip count, or the implied “upper class” were treated the best, followed by the Circle Group or “middle class” and the Triangle Group “lower class”, were treated the worst of the three groups.
The game provided insight as to how people may react to certain situations based on their social class. For example, in the Triangle Group, some understood what resources were available and was able to improve their situations. While others felt hopeless and believed their situations would never change. The Circle Group on the other hand fought to maintain a happy medium so that they would never fall below the poverty line. And the Square Group fought to maintain their status and often stacked the cards in their favor.
“I was really surprised I had won [distinguished graduate],” said Staff Sgt. Melvin Baezramos, hazardous material and fuel noncommissioned officer-in-charge with the 565th Qm. Company, 749th CSSB, and a Puerto Rico, native, the distinguished graduate for the Equal Opportunity Leaders course. “I had been losing on points but my presentation took me over the top. It was a good class, I learned a lot. There was a lot to do in one week’s time. I am not a big reader so this was a big change for me. The project was difficult, it was a lot to put together in a short amount of time but I had a lot of help.”
Sgt. 1st Class Frank Cash, operations non-commissioned officer with the 565th Qm. Company, 749th CSSB, and a Puerto Rico, native, said, “It was a really good exercise. We saw what it was like to be treated differently for something we had no control of.”
The completion of the class required an oral presentation to be given in front of the other classmates. Soldiers learned a lot about different cultures and people who made a difference breaking down barriers.
The presentation was not easy for everyone. One soldier had never used a computer before. When told how to find information on his topic by “Googling it,” the soldier said, “You don’t understand sarge, I don’t even know what Google is.” Thankfully, his battle buddies squared him away and he managed to put together a presentation.

Comments are currently closed.