News Release| Veterans Affairs; Cal State L.A.

July 17, 2012

Cal State L.A.’s Office of Veterans Affairs coordinator named member of the U.S. Army Los Angeles Community Advisory Board

Laura Shigemitsu to help provide Army opportunities for students, open doors for potential officers  

Los Angeles, CA — Cal State L.A.’s Veterans Affairs Coordinator Laura Shigemitsu has been named a member of the U.S. Army Los Angeles Community Advisory Board to, among other duties, provide opportunities for students interested in serving their country while in college, and help link veterans who have graduated to Officer Candidate School. 

Comprised of civic leaders and members of the entertainment, business and education communities, the advisory board is dedicated to ensuring the Army continues to attract high quality soldiers from the region into its ranks.

Part of what I assist with on the board is letting Cal State L.A. and other students know about opportunities that will enable them to simultaneously be in the military and in college, such as the Army Reserve options for ROTC, Green to Gold, and the Mustang programs,” said Shigemitsu.

Besides new recruits, the Army also seeks to attract veterans who are college graduates back into its ranks to enroll in Officer Candidate School. This enables them to return to the military and serve without being enlisted personnel.   

“The current recruiting push is to find more educated recruits for the military,” said Shigemitsu. “Many recruit battalions are working to bring back those previously enlisted as officers to help shape the changes to the military as it moves out of a combat-focused mission to a peacetime-focused mission.”

Shigemitsu and her fellow board members coordinate with the U.S. Army Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion to host and support events, media outreach and other strategies to ensure the Army’s story is told, and that potential recruits become aware of the benefits and opportunities Army service has to offer.

The battalion, headquartered in Encino, commands five companies comprised of 32 total recruiting stations, spreading as far south as Long Beach, and north into the San Joaquin Valley.

Army recruiters are facing their greatest challenge since the Army converted to an all-volunteer force 35 years ago. They need to continuously attract quality men and women to service if the Army is to meet the growing international demands placed on all branches of the military.

“We are excited to welcome Laura Shigemitsu to our advisory board. Our efforts to recruit men and women to serve part-time in the U.S. Army Reserves in both the enlisted and officer ranks makes Laura a perfect fit for our team,” said Lt. Col. Rob Blankenship, commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Los Angeles. “Our programs offer great part-time jobs for students while providing additional educational benefits to the students of Cal State L.A.”

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 225,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.