The inaugural IPS Military Options Fair, currently being rescheduled, will provide students from six IPS high schools and academies with access to career opportunities in the United States military, including Military Active Duty, Military Reserve and the National Guard in all branches of service.

“We want all the branches there so the students can receive a full, balanced view of the different opportunities,” said Jerry Hadley, IPS director of army instruction (JROTC). “While many of the branches offer the same career fields, they all have their own specific culture and mission.”

The fair will showcase careers, skill and leadership development, and job placement with the different military branches. Presentations, hands-on activities, physical fitness challenges, and JROTC performances are a part of the day’s events at the National Guard 38th Infantry Division Armory.

The district will also host monthly Military Nights for parent engagement at all four high schools. The goal is to guide IPS parents as they support their students in the area of Enlistment and the many opportunities provided within service.

At any time, students can also visit their school’s Future Center or talk with one of the JROTC instructors at their school. Either resource could help link the student up with the representatives from the different branches of the military. Students can gather as much information as possible about career fields that they are interested in before making any decision.

All of these initiatives culminate into one of the pillars of graduation for IPS high school students: Enlistment. Students should be prepared for either Enrollment, Enlistment, or Employment as they transition into their postsecondary development.

When asked about the safety of military service, Flora Jones, IPS postsecondary readiness director said, “This is a frequently asked question… the answer is always ‘Yes.’ The military provides many career options that students may pursue in the areas of business management, culinary, mechanics, engineering, cybersecurity, construction, public relations, and many other fields that may or may not be in the field of infantry.”

It is the goal of the IPS Postsecondary Readiness Team to provide opportunities for all students to become globally competitive in every aspect of the military so that they can make informed decisions regarding their area of interest within the various branches.

“They will work alongside some of the fittest, intelligent and focused individuals that are protecting all of our individual freedoms,” said Hadley. “It is an opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than yourself.”