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By Tech. Sgt. Barb Harbison, Photos by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, N.J. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Public Affairs

When four buses arrived at the Joint Training and Training Development Center on May 14, 65 players with the New York Jets football team and six of their coaches, piled off. They spent the day discovering what Soldiers do training for war and working together themselves training in teamwork and communication.

As with the military, the football players work on leadership and communication skills. According to Jets Assistant Strength Coach Kyle Thorne, these players had just spent a mini-camp working on strength. This year the players had voted on four leaders, who had then drafted their team members onto their personal teams – talk about fantasy football!

As the various camps go on, competitions ensue, with teams getting points for their performance. The winning team will get perks. A barbecue at the end of this camp; special dinner, movie night, evening off during summer camp could be part of the winnings for the top team.

The visit to JT2DC had the NFL members training in the desert, firing weapons in the Engagement Skills Trainer and Virtual

Sgt. Lenny Johnson, left, a Premobilization Trainer at the Joint Training and Training Development Center prepares Jets rookie receiver Vic Hall for the Humvee rollover simulator.
Interactive Combat Environment as well as learning how to evacuate a Humvee after a rollover. Because the teams were in competition, a point system was assigned for time and accuracy in the various scenarios.

Linebacker Bart Scott, leader of Team Scott, said he developed a new level of respect for his father who had been a soldier in Vietnam.

"We practice all the time, like the military, to prepare for our jobs," he said. "But this is humbling. The military puts themselves on the line for their jobs."

Read Across America
Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran Spc. Stephanie Alvarez, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, reads to a group of elementary students during the Read Across America event on March 4. Five New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers and one New Jersey Air National Guard Airman participated this year at the event at the Triangle School, located at Hillsborough. Read Across America is a 13-year-old national initiative sponsored by the National Education Association to encourage young people to read and is held each year at more than three million schools nationwide. The one-day celebration coincides with the birthday of noted childrens' author, Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA.
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Volume 35 Number 1 Staff / Information
(c) 2010 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs