SAN DIEGO, Calif. –
Kellie Fenison, 16, of Alpine California scored a 92 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery but did not know the types of opportunities that would open up to her until she met with Recruiters at Granite Hills High School September 22, 2023, during the State-Declared “Army Recruiting Month” in Southern California.
Fenison discussed her options with Soldiers representing the Intelligence, Field Artillery, Explosive Ordnance, Medical and Aviation branches during the “Meet Your Army” career fair the Army hosted at her school and learned she could have a career in any of those fields. This fair was one of 70 similar events at High Schools throughout Southern California, showcasing more than 150 career pathways to students who may have never considered military service.
“The intelligence field is interesting to me”, said Fenison, as she toured the career fair with her friend, Khaley Kaesser, 17, of El Cajon, California. “There are so many paths to a college or a career here, and I’m surprised to see all the Soldiers representing.”
Fenison and Kaesser attended one of nine distinct events hosted in one week in San Diego, starting with the U.S. Army Golden Knights jumping onto the deck of the USS Midway Museum, a floating aircraft carrier docked in San Diego September 18. The week culminated with the Miramar Air, where Soldiers from aviation, engineering, missile batteries, medical and dozens of other fields mingled with students on field trips.
The events were marked by the California State Senate and Assembly with a six-week period called “Army Recruiting Month” in Southern California and the County of San Diego Marked September 18-24 as “Army Recruiting Week” in San Diego. These proclamations were presented by California State Assemblymembers Tasha Boerner and Chris Ward on board the Midway.
Southern California Army Recruiting Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Matthew Upperman received the declarations on the deck of the Midway and spoke to Future Soldiers assembled at the event, who took their oath of enlistment as part of the ceremony.
“You are making the right choice for your futures,” said Upperman. “Joining the United States Army will give you the tools you need to build a career, get a full education and be competitive in today’s world, all while knowing you are serving your country and doing what is right.”
During Army Recruiting Week in San Diego, more than 10,000 San Diegans showed interest in Army Careers and interacted with Soldiers. In addition to the Midway and Miramar events, U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Southern California hosted a “Meet Your Army” Career fair at the Van Deman Reserve Center. This event alone brought in more than 500 San Diego Students, bussed to the Center by San Diego Unified School District.
“A lot of students don’t know what to do, don’t seem to have a plan at all,” said Capt. Haley Steele, who traveled from the Army Software Factory in Austin Texas to talk about careers in coding and software design with San Diegans at the Van Deman Center. “I think its so important for Soldiers to get out and tell their stories like this, because when you do connect with students, you see them start to process the possibilities we offer. It really opens up their eyes and shows them a new way to look at military service.”