Urkunde
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – REGENSBURG, Germany -- Ann-Kathrin Hartmann, a recently graduated apprentice and now workforce management specialist with U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, holds up her certificate showing her to be the top performing apprentice in the foreign language correspondent in English program. The Regensburg, Germany chamber of industry and commerce recognized her and other top-performing apprentices throughout the Upper Palatinate during a ceremony April 28, 2023 at the city's soccer stadium. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Bavaria Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Bryan Gatchell) VIEW ORIGINAL
Staatsminister
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – REGENSBURG, Germany – Albert Füracker, the Bavarian minister of state for finance and homeland, speaks to an audience of apprentices and their mentors at a ceremony celebrating top-achieving apprentices throughout the Upper Palatinate. Ann-Kathrin Hartmann, a recently graduated apprentice of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, achieved the highest grade for her field in the Upper Palatinate, and the Regensburg, Germany chamber of industry and commerce recognized her and others April 28, 2023 at the city’s soccer stadium. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Bavaria Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Bryan Gatchell) VIEW ORIGINAL
Top achievement
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – REGENSBURG, Germany -- Albert Füracker, left, the Bavarian minister of state for finance and homeland, and Dr. Jürgen Helmes, right, the managing director of the Regensburg, Germany chamber of industry and commerce, congratulate Ann-Kathrin Hartmann, workforce management specialist at U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, on her achievements as an apprentice at the garrison. Hartmann was the top-scoring certified foreign language correspondent in English, a distinction she earned at the same time she was apprenticing as an office management clerk, and the Regensburg chamber of commerce and industry recognized her and other top performing apprentices at a ceremony at the city's soccer stadium. (U.S. Army photo by Bryan Gatchell, USAG Bavaria Public Affairs) (Photo Credit: Bryan Gatchell) VIEW ORIGINAL

REGENSBURG, Germany – An apprentice of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria achieved the highest grade for her field in the Upper Palatinate, and the Regensburg, Germany chamber of industry and commerce recognized her and other top performers’ achievement April 28, 2023 at the city’s soccer stadium.

Ann-Kathrin Hartmann, who recently graduated from the garrison’s apprenticeship program and now helps run the program, was the top-scoring certified foreign language correspondent in English, a distinction she earned at the same time she was apprenticing as an office management clerk.

Now serving the garrison as a workforce management specialist with the Workforce Development program of the Directorate of Human Resources, Hartmann looks on apprenticing with the U.S. Army as one of the best of her life’s decisions, on which she “didn’t have to think twice.”

“Today, two and a half years later, I can say being part of the Army Family is a dream come true,” she said. “We work in an international team. That is enriching. It leads to outstanding achievement and success. And I really do enjoy that.

“This is my path,” Hartmann continued. “And I was right. I am extremely happy here and will stay here forever.”

At the ceremony, the chamber of industry and commerce honored apprentices from a diverse array of disciplines, including booksellers; cooks; mechanics specializing in automobiles; information technology specialists; draughtspeople; insurance and finance clerks; and many others.

This was not Hartmann’s first time as an apprentice; previously she had worked as a clerk in the automotive insurance industry. She decided to switch careers because of the opportunities the Army provided for self-development. As a bonus, she also felt her team valued her greatly.

“Here during the apprenticeship in the U.S. Army, I was treated like a full team member,” said Hartmann. “I was able to bring in my ideas. I was able to work on projects with my team. So I didn’t feel like I was just an apprentice, just an intern – no. Every day I felt like a real team member who was taken seriously. I had responsibilities.”

She spoke especially highly of her mentor Sebastian “Sean” Fries, a workforce management specialist and the operational excellence facilitator for the garrison.

“Sean, he has definitely played a major role in my success, because he has spent a lot of time to empower me, to help me with everything,” Hartmann said. “Even now he is still my mentor. He still plays a major role. He empowers me.”

Similarly, Fries spoke highly of Hartmann.

“Ann-Kathrin has been awesome,” he said. “She was always ready to learn new things. Ann-Kathrin wanted to be the subject matter expert and put hard work in trying to get there.”

Fries put his trust in Hartmann, mentoring her in such projects as the host nation supervisor program, which she developed. Fries would provide all the guidance he could, both of Army programs and of subtleties in the English language.

During her two and a half years, Hartmann spent what free time was available to her poring over her English language studies.

“I studied so hard,” she said. “I think I spent every weekend studying. I was known as the one who was sitting at home learning.”

“Sadly, she had to spend every single minute, hour, day and weekend studying,” said Fries. “But all of her hard work paid off at the end as we saw.”

Now with more free time, Hartmann has been able to enjoy her hobby: marksmanship. Even during the week the chamber of industry and commerce recognized her English language achievements, she placed first locally in the women’s division in the prone position, small-caliber competition.

After she graduated the apprenticeship program in January (see the story here), she stayed on with Workforce Development.

“She went from the apprenticeship program to being a full-fledged member of the team, and you didn’t notice any difference,” said Fries. “This is the Ann-Kathrin we’ve always known.”

The apprenticeship program for the garrison began in 1998 with Maintenance Activity Vilseck. So far, there have been more than 100 graduates of the program with 77 percent of the graduates gaining employment in the Grafenwoehr Military Community.

As the program moves forward, the garrison is looking to train more blue-collar apprentices, Fries said.

“We’re trying to develop the program and develop into a broader spectrum of trades,” Fries said. “We’re training our future at this garrison, and working toward training our blue-collar trades, while also looking at some different white-collar areas. We want to do more than just the office management apprentices.”

For Hartmann, she sees big things for herself in the running of the internship program:

“With regards to the future, I am looking forward to welcoming many, many new generations of apprentices. I am looking forward to young people sharing my passion for the U.S. Army, going the extra mile and succeeding, as they are the future of our host nation workforce.”