TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – It’s Navy Week in Tampa and the United States Navy is talking one-on-one with students across the bay area in search of our country’s future military force.
“We have the ceremonial guard out here doing demonstrations. We have the SEAL teams out here. We have the pull up bar for the Nimitz experience so the kids get to compete against each other,” said Chief Petty Officer Latonya Perossier, Diversity Program Manager with the U.S. Navy.
In a week long Tampa blitz, national Navy leaders, including U.S. Navy SEALS and the Blue Angels, stopped by Thomas Jefferson High School Friday in search of high-ability students who have what it takes to excel in our nation’s military.
“We bring officers from all over the Navy and get them to talk about what they do in the Navy and how they joined and why they joined. And kids can kind of relate,” said CPO Perossier.
“Me personally, and I know a lot of cadets in this program, don’t really know what they’re going to do after high school and so having those doors open for them is a tremendous opportunity,” said senior at Jefferson High, Kylee Gray.
From nuclear engineering to I.T. and health care, officials are seeking students they can offer scholarship opportunities to join.
But the main attraction here was the Nimitz – a mobile 18-wheeler virtual reality experience. Simulating a high-speed rescue of Navy SEALS under fire, students are suddenly launched into real time VR, replicating actual sensations of the piloting mission.
“I don’t get tired because I know that I’m giving something that no one gave to me. I didn’t have this information,” said CPO Perossier.
“You might not be looking to go into the military, but having that support system and having that family, especially I high school where you’re really figuring yourself out.. it’s really fundamental for that and your future,” said Gray.
U.S. Navy leaders will also perform a sailor reef dive and robotics demo at the Florida Aquarium and participate in the Tampa Bay Air Fest.