Soldiers from the 18th Field Artillery Brigade (FA Bde.) visited 71st Classical Middle School for a career fair, March 22. The career fair brought in members of the community to talk to the students about various job and career options for the future.

Sgt. 1st Class Merry Zadra and 1st Lt. Krystal Casimir were on hand to speak to the students about what the Army could offer them. Their message for the day centered around the students using the Army as a vehicle to create a career.

“Everyone sees Soldiers and think ‘oh that’s just a Soldier.’ They don’t look at a Soldier and see a marine biologist or a mechanic,” said Zadra, career counselor, 18th FA Bde. “There are so many jobs. We just want to let them know there are options. Anything you want to do outside, you can do in the Army.”

Casimir, an adjutant general officer, agreed.

“It’s not just going to war,” she said. “We want to put our story out there.”

Casimir and Zadra handed out Army pins, lanyards, T-shirts and water bottles to the students. Special Operations Recruiting Battalion (SORB) provided compression sleeves to hand out as well. While handing out items to the students, Casimir and Zadra talked to them about what being in the Army meant.

“What do you think we do in the Army?” Casimir asked students.

“Kill bad guys,” one student answered.

“Protect us and the U.S.,” answered another.

Zadra told the students there was more to the Army than going after bad guys.

“The wonderful thing about the Army is that there is so much you can do,” she said. Zadra had joined with dreams to be an airborne ranger.

At the time, women weren’t allowed in the U.S. Army Ranger School, so she focused instead on becoming a combat medic. Through the Army, she was able to go to college and now holds three degrees. She grew up not thinking that college was going to be an option for her.

“When I got to basic, it was the first time I had a bed,” she said. “So for me, it was like, ‘you’re going to pay me to go to college and give me a bed?”

Casimir grew up in a military Family, and had thought about going to college. She ended up going to senior military college.

“It was the greatest thing I could have done because it taught me how to be an adult and go straight into a career,” she said. “It gave me a whole life plan … There are so many opportunities the Army offers.”