U.S. ARMY -- More than 500 high school students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands completed the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) this spring. Support for testing was provided by Soldiers from U.S. Army Pacific Command.
Visiting U.S. Army Master Sgt. John Phillips and Staff Sgt. Gary Likiak, proctored the ASVAB test for students on Majuro in January. Students on U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll and multiple Ebeye schools completed testing in April.
The team received test administration training through Honolulu Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). Quarantine and coordination made testing this year possible with a special trip to the RMI.
“We are doing this to make it work, despite COVID,” said Phillips.
On Ebeye, school personnel facilitated testing with coordination from Honolulu MEPS, U.S. Embassy Majuro and the U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll (USAG-KA) Directorate of Host Nation Activities.
On Kwajalein Atoll, more than 130 students representing six public and private high schools completed testing, representing Father Hacker High School, the Seventh-day Adventist School, Ebeye Gem Christian School, Jabro School, Assembly of God Calvary School and the Kwajalein High Schools on Guegeegue and USAG-KA, respectively.
“The Ebeye Gem Christian School students were on Spring Break,” said Phillips. “As a result, the school was happy to share one of their classrooms.”
Scores will be returned to Honolulu MEPS for processing. Students can expect hard copies of test scores to be returned before the end of their school year, Phillips said. The scores will be valid for two years, allowing students to use their score to apply for careers in the U.S. military and have a greater understanding of their own aptitudes in a variety of areas.
Additional ASVAB learning tools are available online.
“We encourage students to use the ASVAB program.com website,” Phillips said. “There, they can review additional online tools and explore careers.”
Phillips said he and Likiak enjoyed their stay on the atoll.
“It’s been very rewarding providing this opportunity for the seniors who are just weeks away from graduation and the next phase of their lives,” he said.
Phillips shared one moment at Kwajalein High School-Guegeegue (KHS). Following testing, the KHS ninth grade ukulele band, which had been in rehearsals, gathered to play for the team to thank them for their visit.
Before arriving on Kwajalein, the team studied Marshallese in a course at Majuro’s College of the Marshall Islands. The course proved useful during their Ebeye visit, as Likiak is often spoken to in Marshallese.
“The Marshallese he meets are surprised to learn he is from Kosrae, in the Federated States of Micronesia, and speaks only a little Marshallese,” Phillips said, of Likiak. “There are a lot of Kosraeans in the Marshall Islands, so a lot of Marshallese know people in common with Gary.”