CHS student attends leadership forum |

CHS student attends leadership forum

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer

Travis Hall, a 16-year-old Carson High School student, visited Washington, D.C., in late February for five days with the National Youth Leadership Forum on defense, intelligence and diplomacy.

“I had to go buy a pinstriped suit, a sports jacket, nice shirts and slacks,” he said. “I have about four or five suits now.”

Hall visited the National War College, played the role of chairman chief of staff in a mock-emergency situation, and met students from other countries.

“Every day, we had classes on subjects like national defense, intelligence and diplomacy,” he said. “My favorite thing while I was there was when we went to the National War College.”

The government pays for military officers to go there for master’s degrees in diplomacy, he said.

“I would like to go there if I could become an officer in the military,” he said. “I’m considering going to the University of Minnesota, Duluth or University of North Dakota to play ice hockey. But you know the military is kind of a back-up plan right now.”

To participate in the forum, Hall was nominated by a commandant at West Point, who read comments Hall wrote in a Naval Junior ROTC survey at Carson High.

Hall stayed at the Best Western in Washington with about 400 other students participating in the forum. Also attending from Carson High was Michael Moltz. Both teens belong to Carson High’s NJROTC.

“You always hear in school that our government is a system of check and balances, but you never really understand how they work,” Hall said. “But they teach you (at the forum) that every branch of the government has to check with the other branches of the government before doing anything.”

While Hall found playing the mock-role of chairman joint chief of staffs stressful at times, he’d consider it as a future career.

“If I did go to the military route, the goal would be to become the chairman joint chief of staff, which is the highest ranking military in uniform,” he said. “He’s ‘the’ political military man.”

n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at or 881-1219.