Army Education News

National Multicultural Festivals Provide Platform for Americans to Get a Glimpse of Army Life

Aug 3, 2016

There is a popular misconception that the U.S. Army is an option of last resort for young people. In reality, the Army is a team of elite, highly-skilled professionals that provides cutting-edge training enabling Soldiers to prevail in complex environments. As a way to provide Americans a glimpse into Army life and to understand the qualities needed to become a part of the nation’s most versatile force, the Army established the Go Army Experience (GAE) program. GAE comprises interactive assets and local Soldiers at a variety of national events throughout the year, providing opportunities for attendees to speak candidly with Soldiers and experience some of the mental and physical agility required to be a Solider in the U.S. Army.

As part of the GAE, the Army attends several multicultural events and festivals across the country. As the face of the Nation, the Army reflects the inclusive culture and unique diversity that are hallmarks of the American way of life. The Army’s participation in these events is crucial in connecting with different communities and enables Soldiers to celebrate heritage and culture, while shaping the perceptions of the Army as a viable career path for young people in these communities. 

Staff Sergeant Moore discussed Army career opportunities with Fiesta Broadway attendees.

On April 24, GAE traveled to Los Angeles, California to participate in the popular multicultural festival, Fiesta Broadway. This event is one of the largest Hispanic festivals in the country and is a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. As the sounds of mariachi bands filled the streets, festival-goers at the Army zone experienced an aviation simulator, participated in fitness challenges, made personalized dog tags and learned about various tactical vehicles onsite.


Festival-goers participated in a squat challenge at Fiesta Broadway in Los Angeles

The Army Extreme Truck was a popular attraction at Fiesta Broadway. Attendees lined up to take photos with Soldiers next to the vehicle.

In addition to the interactive assets, local Soldiers also had the chance to speak to the crowd of nearly 300,000 Los Angeles residents. Spanish-speaking Soldiers spoke about the career opportunities offered by the Army and Soldiers from the Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion awarded UCLA ROTC cadet Michael McDermott a $33,000 scholarship.

Michael McDermott received a $33,000 UCLA Army ROTC scholarship

By the time the event wrapped, the Army had engaged with hundreds of festival attendees. Local Soldiers were able to share their unique Army stories, helping to dispel myths about Army service in the process. 

Other multicultural festivals on the GAE tour schedule include Calle Ocho in Miami, Florida, African American Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, Fiesta del Sol in Chicago, Illinois and People en Español in New York, New York. In addition to multicultural festivals, GAE interacts with guests at events for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) races, among other events.

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