ZIELONA GORA, Poland- After setting up a display table with medical and combat equipment, Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, waited to interact with a group of eager Polish high school students in Zielona Gora, Poland April 20, 2017.
The soldiers participated in a career fair for students from the surrounding area, showcasing some of the capabilities of the U.S. Army. The event allowed soldiers to interact with faculty and students from the area to strengthen the relationships in the surrounding community.
To kick off the career fair, tailored for students attending uniformed schools, the equivalent of The Department of Defense's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp, Cpt. Michael A. Aldaya, Commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Bn., 29th FA Reg., 3rd ABCT, 4th ID, and Elzbieta Anna Polak, Marshall of the Lubuskie Province, welcomed and thanked everyone who attended the event.
Following the official opening and a short film about 3rd Bn., 29th FA Reg., 3rd ABCT, a group on enthusiastic students bombarded the American display table.
Each student had the opportunity to try on combat gear, learn about different medical equipment, to ask questions about general U.S. Army operations or just to take pictures with an American Soldier.
Today I was really excited about having a chance to meet American Soldiers for the first time and it was a great experience, said Damian Galanty, a student attending one of uniformed schools in Lubuskie. Once I graduate from high school, I plan on joining the Polish Army so being able to get advice from American Soldiers will help me later on in life.
I was impressed with the American Soldiers and how proud they are of their nationality; the way each Soldier presented themselves, demonstrated how much they love their country. That was the most impressive thing to me, said Galanty, who couldn't stop smiling when he spoke about U.S. Soldiers.
The 3rd Bn., 29th FA Reg., is on a nine-month deployment, rotating through the European theater in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. This U.S. led effort in Eastern Europe demonstrates the U.S. commitment to strengthening the defensive and deterrent capabilities of the NATO Alliance.
Staff Sgt. Kacie Reed, Medical Platoon Sergeant, 3rd Bn., 29th FA Reg., 3rd ABCT, 4th ID, discussed what it means to her and her Soldiers to get the opportunity to step outside of the training environment and interact with the local community.
"I think it is very important for us to participate in community relation events like this because it shows not only are we here to deter aggression but we're also here to build a relationship with our NATO allies' communities," said Reed.
Reed also took the opportunity to highlight how successful she viewed the career fair for both the soldiers, and the students and educators at the event.
"Today's event went really well," Reed said. "I saw a lot of my Soldiers interacting with future Polish Soldiers and it was really good for them to get the opportunity to show our equipment, talk to them about the similarities and differences our countries have, and how we can continue to build on our relationship."
U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51st country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnership and enhance global security.