After six years, General Electric Healthcare graduates the 100th Army Reserve Soldier through the Military Externship Program, a partnership between GE, 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support), and the 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support).
The externship for biomedical equipment specialists with the 68A military occupational speciality (MOS), is a non-degree or additional skill identifier (ASI) producing program that is 10-months long.
"This GE externship partnership represents the wave of the future," said Brigadier General Jonathan Woodson, Deputy Commanding General for the 3d MCDS located in Forest Park, Ga. "It's about strategic partnerships, public and private, U.S. Army Reserve, and corporations that generate skilled forces that will help serve the nation and preserve lives."
Woodson added that the externship "also gives young men and women an opportunity to build skills that they can immediately transfer to great careers in the civilian sector. So this is clearly a win-win-win situation," he said.
3d MCDS graduates were Sgt. Ryan Carignan and Spc. Greg Malihot both with the 327th Medical Logistics Company in Newport, R.I., and Spc. Lawrence Bynum from the 384th Medical Logistics Company at Gillem Enclave, Ga.
"I feel this program is very vital to an Army Reservist in a lot of different ways," stated Spc. Lawrence Bynum, who serves as a 68A as his MOS. "It keeps your skills sharp, introduces you to new pieces of equipment, and new techniques."
Diane French, Director of Services at General Electric Healthcare in the Chicago region who manages biomedical and field engineers in the medical device industry stated, "We love externs that we get from the military," she said. "One, they're disciplined, they understand compliance, quality. They understand process."
Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, Rebecca Kleefisch addressed the graduates, attendees, and honored guests during the ceremony. "What you get with an Army Reservist, is someone with deep dedication," she stated. "Soft skills that come in droves, someone who understands the chain of command, chain of supply; someone who understands that you show up, every time, on time, actually five minutes ahead of time."
"These things may seem really small, but at the end of the day, you've chosen stars to invest in," stated Lt. Governor Kleefisch. "And for that, I am really proud."
Maj. Gen. Daniel Dire, Commanding General for the 807th MCDS in Salt Lake City, Utah, was the U.S. Army Representative during the ceremony where he also addressed the graduates.
Dire stated, "My prediction for the graduates is that in 10, 15, or 20 years down the road, you will be senior leaders of medical units in the Army Reserve. Some of you will be command sergeant majors."
The externship program aligns with GE's commitment to strengthening America's global competitiveness by building a more highly skilled workforce.
GE also focuses on supporting the integration of the nation's veterans into the industry.
"This program is evolving, it is creating the essential skills that are necessary," said Brig. Gen. Woodson. "The leaders of this program, both on the GE side and on the military side have much to be proud of."
Externs train at or near their home of record with GE service and field engineers in U.S. locations where GE maintains a presence.
The program is open to any duty military occupational speciality qualified (DMOSQ) 68A in the Army Reserve and occasionally requires a soldier to relocate to a viable location.
Soldiers apply to their respective headquarters and are vetted and selected by a combination of Army and GE professionals.
"This program develops strategic partnerships that benefit the nation. The graduates today have done a tremendous job in representing the Army Reserve," concluded Brig. Gen. Woodson, Deputy Commanding General for the 3d MCDS.
3rd Medical Command Deployment Support is a senior deployable medical command and control headquarters, providing support to U.S. Army Africa and U.S. Army Central areas of operation. The division provides support and technical supervision for more than 7,500 soldiers and civilians located in 21 states and Puerto Rico to prepare and provide trained soldiers and units to conduct missions in the most capable, combat ready and lethal U.S. Army Reserve force in American history. Capabilities include health care specialists, X-ray technicians, ophthalmology, nurses, physician assistants, physicians, dentists, surgeons, veterinarians, and biomedical equipment specialists.