Each Soldier is unique, and everyone joins for a different reason. Though many are similar, no two stories are the same. Of all the possible scenarios out there, who would’ve thought participating in a visual arts activity would lead to a commission in the military?

U.S. Army All-American Marching Band alumnus 2nd Lt. Sarah Herrero knew she wanted to join the U.S. Army after being a member in the group’s Color Guard in 2009.

The USAAAMB performs the halftime show for the Army All-American Bowl, and is made up of the nation’s top high school senior band and color guard members.

“My mom served as an Army officer, and I would see her picture on the shelf and think in the back of my mind if that was something I could do,” said Herrero.

But it wasn’t until after participating in the USAAAMB and interacting with the Soldiers, that she decided to pursue the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps while attending Texas Tech University.

“It was my experience here, meeting the Soldiers and seeing where the Army is today, that piqued my interest,” said Herrero.

Herrero first returned as a mentor when she was a cadet in ROTC. Mentorship is about shaping those who come after you.

“My hope is that (through) my interaction with them, they can see that whatever they want to do in life, there’s a role for that in the Army if that’s a path they want to choose,” said Herrero.

Her favorite part about going back is sharing her experience and hoping that something she says or does can inspire the students to also ask themselves, “Is that something I can do? Is that maybe a place I will fit?”

She currently serves as a mobility officer with the 329th Movement Control Team, 330th Transportation Battalion, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command. Although not as local as before, Herrero always makes an effort to return and mentor the new generation of All-Americans just as those who guided her.

Her support during the event lines up with building the professional bench, one of the Lines of Effort for Brig. Gen. Christopher Sharpsten, the 3rd ESC commanding general. Even if the future leaders choose to take a different route, Herrero’s mentorship will help create the leaders of tomorrow.