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Artillery Sergeant Takes Aim at Education
Defend America News ^ | Staff Sgt. Nicholas Lutton

Posted on 06/12/2006 4:55:56 PM PDT by SandRat


U.S. Army  
Sgt. 1st Class Javier Molina

Artillery Sergeant Takes
Aim at Education

By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Lutton
345th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan, June 12, 2006 — On a day full of wind and dust here, education might be the furthest thing from most soldiers’ minds. However, for Sgt. 1st Class Javier A. Molina, a Salerno Education Center teacher, it is at the forefront of most of his work today.

“The soldiers are very excited about classes being held on the gun-line, “ said Molina, gunnery sergeant for 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment. “In field artillery, if we get an ‘incoming’ they can move quickly to their fighting positions. Because soldiers have to be close to the guns, I mainly focus on my guys. “

Molina, a native of Columbia, came to the United States in the early ‘90s.  He couldn’t speak English, but he knew people in New York City who had gone years without learning English.

“I told myself, I did not want to be like that, “ he said. “I was a teacher in Columbia and I already had a bachelor’s degree in economics from my country.  When I came to the U.S., I joined the U.S. Army to learn English. “

While in the Army, Molina has earned another bachelor’s degree in economics from Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y.  He’s currently working on his master’s degree in Organizational Development at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, Texas.

“I tell my guys, one day they are going to leave the Army, “ said Molina.  “They will leave by retirement, chapter, or choice. I’ve seen the key to success is in education.  I tell them a thief can break into your house and steal everything you own, except your education. “

More than 120 soldiers have taken at least one of his nine classes.  The majority of his students are just starting their college education.

Molina said he originally went to the education center to start work on his master’s degree.  When he saw a sign for “teachers needed “ he decided to apply.

He’s eligible to teach 34 different classes including military science and management classes.

“I think it’s great what he’s (Molina) done, “ said Staff Sgt. Asa J. Barry, 4-25th Field Artillery.  “We work 12 hours on and 12 hours off so it’s very hard for us to get up to the education center. The way he teaches and the examples he uses really help us.  It also really helps our career. “
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Javier A. Molina, 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment gunnery sergeant, lectures to soldiers taking college classes at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan, June 3. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Lutton

Barry, from Tulsa, Okla., has completed nine credit hours since he has been in Afghanistan. His goal is to get his bachelor’s degree in business management.

“I’m a golfer, “ said Barry.  “I am probably going to stay in the Army; but when I do get out I would like to become a club professional and a college degree will help me work on the business side of golf. “

Barry said although Molina gets paid to teach classes, he takes his personal time to tutor soldiers. “We (the soldiers) helped build the tent and desks where we have our classes, “ said Barry.  “Sergeant Molina took a lot of his personal time to help us build this up. “

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; aim; artillery; education; sergeant; takes

1 posted on 06/12/2006 4:55:58 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 91B; HiJinx; Spiff; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; Grampa Dave; ...

Hitting the text books

2 posted on 06/12/2006 4:56:24 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Cool story!

3 posted on 06/12/2006 5:08:48 PM PDT by tlj18
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