September 20, 2010
She got a tattoo recently that says, "Focus, Honor, Strength & Dedication." While that may not be the first thing Christa Nicole Martini wants you to know about her, her tattoo pretty much sums up what she's all about.
At barely 5'2" inches tall, Martini is not only a center on her all-girls football team the Indiana Speed, she's also an accomplished musician, singer, and about to become a Soldier and officer in the Army. "The words I had inked on me signify the mindset I've had to adhere to, to accomplish the things I have." In 27 years, Martini has compiled quite the resume.
The Lawrenceburg, Indiana, native is a 2001 high school graduate of Oldenberg Academy. She went on to double major and graduate from Marian College in 2005, with a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance and History. "I love learning and that's why joining the Army just seemed like the right thing to do to continue expanding my knowledge base," says Martini.
Her parents weren't initially excited about her plans to wear a Kevlar helmet, though. "When I first expressed interest in joining the military when I was in still in college, my mom was pretty adamant about me just focusing on school," she says, adding, "I think, too, she didn't want anything to happen to me while serving my country with a war going on."
So she shelved her plans to join the ranks, finished school and donned a football helmet instead. If she couldn't engage the enemy on the battlefield then she'd do it on the playing field. Martini said, "It takes a certain type of woman to play football, and just because it's a women's league, doesn't mean it's any softer than the men's league."
Martini and her teammates all wear the same gear as male players and adhere to the same NFL rules. It's a tough game, but she says her teammates are like family. "We have professional women, single moms and we all support each other." The Women's Football League boasts 40 teams nationwide, and Martini was even selected to represent the Indiana Speed on the All-Pro All-American Team during the April through August season.
Then there's Martini's singing career. She recorded a CD of songs she wrote herself and is well known around the city of Indianapolis. Her voice is soulful, yet powerful in a way that says, "I am strong." And, it's exactly that sentiment that finally led Martini into the Indy North Army Recruiting Station. "The desire to join the Army was so strong I just couldn't ignore it anymore."
Martini spoke to numerous military recruiters after graduating college, but was told she was too overweight to meet the entrance standards. "I wanted this so badly, I did what I had to do." She underwent a major life change last year and lost 75 pounds. By the time she walked into the Indianapolis North Recruiting Station, she was ready both physically and mentally.
Her recruiters, Staff Sergeants Elizebeth Beyer and Joshua Vance, took Martini to task and helped her prepare to join the ranks. "As an Army Reservist, she'll be in the 282nd Adjutant General Corps and go to Basic Combat Training as an E-4," says Vance. After BCT, Martini heads to Officer Candidate School. Vance adds, "We're all really proud of her. She scored a 265 on her physical fitness test out of a possible 300 points and will make an excellent Army officer."
Martini will continue scoring touchdowns, but they'll be in her Army career. She'll also continue her singing career, but add the Army Song to her repertoire. And soon-to-be Lieutenant Martini will never forget to adhere to the words of her newly inked tattoo; Focus, Honor, Strength & Dedication. Maybe one day she'll even add the words Army Strong.
Listen to Christa's CD at: http://mattsommers.com/artists/54-christa_martini