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News | April 10, 2024

International Military Students Tour Texas


International Military Students (IMS) attending the Sergeants Major Academy (SMG-A) Class 74 on Fort Bliss, Texas are drawn from 59 partner countries around the world. The time they spend on Fort Bliss attending the academy and learning about leadership is limited. Because time is limited, the IMS Office tries to go above and beyond the standard classroom education and introduce them to how the United States military and government operate. This also gives them a chance to better connect with their American counterparts while experiencing the culture.

To promote this goal the students are taken on numerous outings throughout their year at the SGM-A. From April 3-6, the IMS class members rode buses halfway across the state to visit several noteworthy sites around Texas. The class spent a day in Austin, the state capitol of Texas, where they toured the capitol building and learned about the history of the state and how state legislators work. They also visited the University of Texas campus where they learned about the Reserve Officers' Training Corps and were introduced to the officer recruitment and training process of the U.S. Military.
The 69 students from 59 partner nations had varying opinions but unanimously enjoyed the experience and sites they had a chance to visit. “It was a great trip,” said Sgt. Maj. Haaka Moana Rogers from New Zealand.  “It is always nice to get out and see some more of the state, it is amazing how big and diverse Texas is, especially coming from a smaller country like New Zealand.”

On the third day of the trip the IMS group visited the Defense Language Institute (DLI) English Language Center on Lackland Air Force Base on the outskirts of San Antonio. While on the base they visited classrooms where foreign military students and some U.S. recruits were learning English and were given information on how students from their home countries can attend classes at the center and training available to them.

“The trip was very well organized and planned, there was always something to do,” said Sgt. Maj. Marius Cristian Dudau from Romania. “The DLI was also interesting to visit, it made me think we could use something like that in Romania to better prepare our Soldiers to work with the U.S. and other allies.”

Later that day they visited the historic Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. The site of the 1836 siege that played an important role in the independence of Texas and its eventual entrance into the United States. They had a chance to see a small-scale reenactment on how the 1836 defenders fought and what types of equipment they used during the infamous battle.

After the days scheduled activities ended; the students had a chance to explore downtown San Antonio including the River Walk area. The students had previously attended local baseball games and a line dancing class to better experience U.S. culture.