USA: COMSUBGRU 2 Sailor Speaks with Students

COMSUBGRU 2 Sailor Speaks with Students

More than 100 students at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School in New London traded an hour of classroom instruction for time well spent with an acoustic intelligence (ACINT) specialist, as part of the school’s ongoing STEM efforts, Feb. 26.

Master Chief Sonar Technician (Submarines) (SS) Xavier Harris, an ACINT specialist, discussed his experiences, his career and how his education has prepared him with the middle school students.

“I think it was really awesome to talk with the students today,” said Harris, about the questions he received from the students during his visit. “I had a similar upbringing as many of the students I met today, and I would have probably asked similar questions, which is great.”

In addition to discussing STEM, Harris’ visit to Bennie Dover Jackson was also a part of the school’s Black History Month celebration events. Harris is one of three black ACINT specialists serving in the Navy, making his visit to Bennie Dover a real treat for the students, according to Erica Watson, an 8th grade science teacher at the middle school.

“I was very excited to have Master Chief Harris here as an African-American representing a minority of the military and as an African-American male who has worked very hard to get to be where he is,” said Watson. “He works in the field of STEM, which makes his visit even more important.”

Watson added that Harris’ visit also provides her students with living examples of success to motivate her students to succeed regardless of their backgrounds.

Harris’ visit to Bennie Dover was also an ongoing effort by Commander, Submarine Group 2 and various other Naval Submarine Base New London-assigned commands to continue to reach out to students through their STEM school-based curriculum.

“I think it’s good for them to hear from someone who sees an obstacle as an opportunity rather than a roadblock,” added Harris.

The ACINT program was created 1962, of which 231 Sailors have qualified in this specialty. Today, according to Harris, 49 specialists are currently serving in the program.

Naval Today Staff, February 28, 2013; Image: Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School