MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
One of the area’s top educators has been selected for the 2010 Joint Civilian Orientation Conference. JCOC is a week-long outreach program sponsored by the Department of Defense.
Dr. Lawrence T. Walters, superintendent, Lee County, Ga., schools, is one of only 30 leaders from around the country to be chosen for JCOC conference 79, hosted by the United States Special Operations Command.
A principle goal of the program is to increase understanding of the mission of the Department of Defense and the U.S. defense posture and capabilities by increasing public exposure to, and understanding of, military personnel, facilities, equipment and programs.
According to the Web site, www.jcoc.dod.mil, JCOC, which began in 1948, is a secretary of defense- sponsored program for America’s leaders interested in expanding their knowledge of the military and national defense.
JCOC alumni are encouraged to share their experiences with their circles of influence when they return home.
Nominated by Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Walters and other participants will begin with briefings by DoD military and civilian leadership, then join each branch of the armed forces in the field observing military exercises and participating in training.
“Doctor Walters is a leader in this community with an awesome responsibility of overseeing the education of many of our Marines’ children. The more he knows about how we as military personnel work and live, the better he will understand the impact our turbulent lifestyle has on our children. JCOC will help him better understand the military child,” Williams said.
Walters has been school superintendent since 2003 and says he knows several people who work for the Marine Corps as active duty or civilian personnel.
He was also one of the community leaders who took part in the first annual “Marine for a Day” in 2009 at MCLB Albany.
“I am very impressed with the mission, structure, order and efficiency of the base. Some of the equipment I observed being worked on at the maintenance center is equipment I had only seen on television or in magazines. It was very impressive to see what happens with it on the base and also very fulfilling as a taxpayer to see that once it is repaired here, it is sent back out to be used again,” Walters said.
Walters admits that he is unsure of what to expect on his trip because, due to security reasons, he was not told much except to report to a particular location in Tampa, Fla.
He said his wife has it on her calendar at home and it simply reads: “Larry’s trip to JCOC - destination unknown.”
“I am very honored to be selected for this opportunity. When I look at the list of the other participants who are from all different walks of life and different parts of the country, I am humbled,” he said. “There are a few other educators, but mostly business people, television personalities and business owners.
“I’ve been looking forward to this trip for many months and I expect to see and do some things, and meet people, who in my everyday life, I would never see or come into contact with,” he said.
Walters added that he looks forward to seeing the immensity of all the military services and will share the details of his journey when he returns.
He admits that as he looks back over his life, he believes he could have been happy with a career in the military, but since he didn’t, he will enjoy the opportunity of a lifetime he has been given with JCOC.