A Look at America’s Newest Generation of Fighting Men and Women
(America's Military) Pfc. Jason Schmidt is America's Military for March 13.

Name: Pfc. Jason Schmidt

Unit: Fort Wainwright, Alaska Culinary Arts Team

Age: 32

MOS: 92G – food service specialist

Time in service: one year

Hometown: Frackville, Pa.

Background: Pfc. Jason Schmidt, this week’s subject for “America’s Military,” is not assigned to any unit at Fort Lee. He came to Fort Lee to participate and compete in the 33rd U.S. Army Culinary Arts Competition which ends Friday, March 14. He approached the competition with an openness to learn and determination to do his best. “I just came here to prove myself,” he said.

How would you describe yourself: “Pretty outgoing, friendly, a hard worker and sometimes a little stubborn and driven.”

Family: parents, Daniel W. and Barbara Schmidt

Pastime: “I like to fish, hunt and ski. I also like working on automobiles and a good book once in awhile.”

One life-changing event: “The first job I got fired from. It made me reexamine my life. Sometimes you have to work smarter, not harder.”

Worst fear: “I have to say that when you give 110 percent (to something) and it totally falls apart, no matter what you do.”

The person you most admire: “My father. I never aspired to be just like him, but there are qualities that I admire. I like his outlook. One day, he’d show frustration and the next day, he’d bounce back.”

The celebrity or historical figure to would want to be: “I don’t really aspire to be someone else.”

My biggest regret: “I would say not getting my head screwed on straight a little sooner.”

Why I joined the Army: “I wanted a change, despite the fact it (the Army) was little regimented, and I wanted to work toward retirement and benefits. It’s a bit more comfortable to know that if you commit yourself, you reap the benefits.”

If I wasn’t in the Army: “I’d be cooking somewhere.”

What would you do for your fellow Soldiers: “I would give everyone a four-day week.”

What makes a good leader: “The best ones don’t expect anything out of you that they can’t accomplish themselves.”

What makes a good Soldier: “Someone who treats others as they would want to be treated, who puts others first.”

Best thing about being a Soldier: “The sense of brotherhood you get by being in the ranks.”

Values: “Respect, self-worth and courage.”

Motivations: “The sense of duty and responsibility. My father and sister was in the military. Why shouldn’t I be accountable?”

Goals: “To lose 10 pounds and make the next (pay) grade, and get advanced culinary training.”

Compiled by T. Anthony Bell

Editor’s note: America’s Military is a weekly column featuring military members who are committed to their profession and serve with pride. If you know a military member deserving of this recognition, call (804) 734-7190 or e-mail terrance.bell@lee.army.mil