TUCSON, Ariz. – There was nothing ordinary about Staff Sgt. Christina Kring’s globetrotting upbringing.
From an early age Kring found herself living in such disparate locations as Ecuador and Greece, experiencing a lifestyle unlike most people her age.
After an eventful childhood Kring decided to enrich her life further and enlist in the U.S. Army, something she has been doing successfully for a decade.
As a recruiter for Catalina Recruiting Station, Tucson Recruiting Company, Kring is helping bring some of her life experience to those looking to better their own lives during Army National Hiring Days, May 10-June 14.
Kring was born in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and came from a multicultural family that saw her grow up overseas for many years.
“My mother is Ecuadorian Chinese and my Father is from Greece. I moved to Ecuador when I was three until I was around 13 … from there I went to Greece until I was roughly 16,” Kring said. “After that I came back to the United States and finished high school at Kent’s Hill School, which is a boarding facility in Maine.”
Living in these countries allowed Kring the opportunity to explore cultures with distinctive landmarks and geographical marvels.
“Growing up I moved around a lot because of my parents; my father traveled a lot from Greece to Ecuador for business,” she said. “While I lived in Ecuador I experienced a lot, from climbing the volcanoes Cotopaxi, Pichincha and Illiniza, to sailing in the Galapagos.”
“When I turned 13 I moved to Greece to live with my Uncle Stelios for a bit. I wanted to explore the other half of my culture that I belong to but mainly to continue what I loved to do – fencing,” Kring continued.
Kring competed internationally in fencing and enjoyed traveling for her desired sport. However she felt displaced, as though she didn’t belong to either of her cultures.
“My mother’s side said I was American/ Greek and my father’s side would say I was American/ Hispanic. Eventually I figured out that I didn’t fit in with either culture and came back to the U.S., where I finally felt like I belonged,” Kring explained. “If you asked me about my experiences as a youngster, I would say that I traveled a lot. My parents believed that it was important to be a person of the world and to be cultured, which is why they allowed my traveling for fencing.”
It was at the age of 20 that Kring started considering a military career, influenced in part by her grandfather.
“I always liked the military mainly because of my grandfather. He was an officer in the Ecuadorian Air Force, and was in the first class of Ecuadorian pilots to graduate from an American flight school,” Kring said. “I remember him telling me that he was once based in Tucson at Davis Monthan Air Base for class.”
It was in 2011 while attending Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., when Kring decided to enlist, ignoring the advice of those around her and forging her own path in life.
“My recruiting experience like everything else was unique. I had been thinking about the Army since I was young, however my grandfather was opposed and said that women don’t make it in the Army,” Kring explained. “I decided that I wanted to join anyway, so I went to my local recruiter and enlisted. I told my grandfather after I signed my contract. I didn’t want my father and grandfather to stop me from doing the things I knew I wanted to do, even though they were against me joining.”
Kring enlisted as a human resource specialist, realizing this job would help her in civilian life upon departing the Army. From there she embarked on her career, which to this point she said has been fulfilling and rewarding.
“When I first joined, I was extremely introverted. My Army experiences have been essential in molding me as a person,” she continued. “It’s helped me not only gain my own inner voice, but taught me my worth as an individual.”
“There is always something to aspire to and room to grow – if there’s a will there’s a way. I want to show my daughters that you can be a mom and still make your dreams come true,” Kring added. “I want my girls to crave equality and act on it. To do this I have to show them with my own actions. This is what the Army has given me; the ability and strength to do this.”
Kring was assigned to recruiting detail at the start of 2021 and is eager to help those who need encouragement to meet their potential.
“Recruiting has definitely been a different experience. My interactions with different people have started to give me a new perspective on how to recruit,” Kring said. “I plan to learn and adapt to help the organization that has built me to the woman I am today.”
Upon completion of recruiting duty, Kring said she looks forward to returning to her duties in human resources, seeing a bright future for herself.
“I’ve been able to experience running my own shop and would like to experience the difference between the levels of operation,” Kring said. “Working with staff sometimes gives you a different perspective of what is actually happening in a unit and I love being able to see the bigger picture.”