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News Release


Release No: 505-97
September 23, 1997


Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Sara Lister, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Department of Education Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs W. Wilson Goode, and Maj. Gen. Mark R. Hamilton, commanding general of the United States Army Recruiting Command announced today a program that will be offered this fall to more than 22,000 high schools around the country. Called TAKE CHARGE!, the program will help high school students take command of their educational and career goals by staying in school, staying off drugs and planning their lives.

"The success and effectiveness of the Army and the entire Department of Defense is linked to the education of America's youth. The TAKE CHARGE! program with its focus on staying in school and staying off drugs, continues a long-time partnership with education that is essential to our national interests," Hamilton said.

In conjunction with the announcement, Hamilton signed the Department of Education's Community Promise. The document, also signed by Secretary of Education Richard Riley, commits the Army's support to student development in the community. The promise emphasizes the organization-family-school-community partnership.

The U.S. Army and its personnel continuously encourage youth to stay in school, stay off drugs and plan for life. For the first time, the Army Recruiting Command's TAKE CHARGE! program combines the messages from its 1990 Stay in School/Stay off Drugs program with the Planning for Life program. Army Recruiting Command's Planning for Life program began in 1994 to encourage schools to implement and maintain career planning programs. Planning for Life recognizes educators for outstanding career planning programs in their schools.

TAKE CHARGE! program materials have been developed and will be offered to schools throughout the nation. They can be obtained from local Army Recruiting offices, or by contacting the Army Recruiting Command's public affairs office. The TAKE CHARGE! video presents the viewer with a discussion session on teen issues and features a celebrity introduction and closing by Dan O'Brien, 1996 Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist. A discussion guide accompanies the video to assist presenters in stimulating student discussions on the issues in the video. There's also a mentorship packet that serves as a reference guide for recruiters on the program and offers tips on role modeling, mentoring and issues facing today's teenagers. An educator's briefing is available to promote the program to educators. Several other additional materials featuring the TAKE CHARGE! logo and reinforcing the program's messages are also available.

Inquiries concerning TAKE CHARGE! may be directed to United States Army Recruiting Command public affairs office, Col. Karen Maguire, (502) 626-1041, or S. Douglas Smith, (502) 626-0164.

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