Army 2nd Lt. Kirstin Strobel, left; sister Jamie and their brother, Nicholas, an Air Force Academy cadet, have all reached the highest level in Scouting.

Army 2nd Lt. Kirstin Strobel, left; sister Jamie and their brother, Nicholas, an Air Force Academy cadet, have all reached the highest level in Scouting. (Courtesy of the Strobel family)

Scouting experience has given two Army brats a leg up in their military careers.

Army 2nd Lt. Kirstin Strobel and her younger brother, Air Force Academy Cadet 3rd Class Nicholas Strobel, made it to the top of the scouting world: Kirstin Strobel received her Girl Scout Gold Award and her brother made Eagle Scout.

Now they are applying some of their scouting skills to what they are doing in the military.

Both credit scouting for boosting their confidence, giving them leadership skills and other abilities they said can only help them in military service.

"I think just growing up in the military — that led me to the military. But I knew that being a Girl Scout would help me be a leader," Kirstin Strobel said. She said she learned to lead by being responsible for younger girls in the Girl Scouts.

Kirstin Strobel, who was commissioned in May 2008 by her father, Army Col. Lawrence Strobel, used those skills to direct ROTC cadets through a leadership course at Fort Knox, Ky. She is now in the process of becoming a medical services officer at Camp Humphreys, South Korea.

"The Girl Scouts really helped her see that she had the potential for leadership," said her mother, Robbin Strobel.

Nicholas Strobel said being outdoors in the Boy Scouts and learning survival skills have given him an advantage over his Air Force Academy peers. The academy sophomore plans to be an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot.

"Just being used to the outdoors has helped," he said. "A lot of skills they taught us during combat survival (at the academy) was a lot of the stuff I learned as a Boy Scout — how to set up a trap and building a fire. [Combat survival] was like an extreme Boy Scout camping trip for me."

He noted that some of his academy peers didn’t know how to navigate with a compass, but he had learned to do so as a Boy Scout.

The skills that the pair learned before ever putting on a military uniform are qualities that their father said he recognizes in many former scouts who serve under his command. Lawrence Strobel is commander of the Headquarters Support Group for Joint Force Command in Brunssum, Netherlands.

"They carry themselves that much better when they have to relate to folks," the colonel said about former scouts under his command.

"They know how to organize an effort to get something done, and I believe they learn that in the scouting program. At 10, 11 and 12 they are starting to work with other kids and be in charge of a task."

"A lot of the skills are the same skills we learn in the military."

The colonel’s youngest son, Sebastian, 13, is also working toward his Eagle Scout award. He has aspirations of attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and flying helicopters for the Army. The Strobels’ other daughter, Jamie, is a senior at Brunssum AFNORTH International School and has also earned her Gold Scout award, but does not plan to join the military.

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