Three internship programs are helping U.S. military personnel understand the crucial contributions to national defense made by organizations like the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
One, which dates back to 1996, is the Military Academic Research Associates program, in which 30 cadets, midshipmen and military academy faculty members participate annually for four to six weeks. In 2001, the ROTC Internship program began, with 10 to 14 cadets interning for 12 weeks during the summer. The most recent program, the Newly Commissioned Officer Program, began in 2015 with two second lieutenants interning for two to three months. This year, the program hosted six newly commissioned officers.
To recruit from the military academies, representatives from Lawrence Livermore, Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory visit the military academies during the fall semester to provide information on the opportunities at their labs. ROTC participants from universities apply between October and February.
One notable accomplishment of this program is simply the education that interns receive. Through their time with Lawrence Livermore, they learn about the technology and processes that go into making products used in the line of duty. A soldier who served two tours in Iraq was in the Lawrence Livermore ROTC internship, where he and the Bay Area laboratory’s engineers developed ways to destroy or stop improvised explosive devices. “Sometimes as a soldier, you don’t get to see the research and development that goes on behind the scenes before the final product,” he said on the Optimas application. “It’s comforting to know that so many scientists and engineers have put so much emphasis into ensuring the technology works. It’s probably the most important project there is for military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
With more than 400 cadets going through the internship programs, Lawrence Livermore created a strong following of supporters and a group that’s well informed for their positions as faculty members at the Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy (West Point) and the U.S. Naval Academy, which also increasingly request that Lawrence Livermore employees give educational technical talks.
For its military internship efforts, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory takes home the Gold 2016 Optimas Award for Recruiting.