Breanna Castro was always interested in becoming a Soldier. Growing up, she read many books, which sparked her interest in traveling and exploring the world around her.
“I wasn’t wealthy or anything like that, so I always dreamed that [the military] would provide me that ability to have a good life [and] a good home,” Castro said.
Originally from Puerto Rico and Antigua, Castro became the first in her family to join the U.S. Army Reserve when she turned 19 years old.
Through the military, she was also able to become the first in her family to pursue a college degree. Currently, Castro is studying to become a cyber security expert. The Army Reserve gives her the ability to balance work, life, and pursue educational opportunities.
“It didn’t take much for me to acclimate [in the Army Reserve],” she said. “It was very structured. Nobody in my family had ever graduated from college. I knew that the Army Reserve could give me that opportunity as well.”
Castro finds the strength to push forward in her career from her daughter. She said she inspires her to work hard to make a good life for both of them. In the Army Reserve, Castro has the flexibility to have a civilian job, which gives her extra time to spend with her kid.
“Sometimes [when] I feel tired, and I feel like I can’t keep going, I think of her and think of why I’m doing what I’m doing,” she said. “She’s always been that motivating force for me. It’s like this immense, powerful movement.”
Along with putting her on a path to success, the Army Reserve has also given Castro a passion for exercise. When Breanna was in school, she didn’t play any sports, but now she said the Reserve has transformed her into someone who truly cares about fitness. She’s even trained to compete in bodybuilding contests.
“Now, I’m physically fit [for] any test we take,” she said. “I’m always scoring in the 90 percentile or higher. That comes with the training. Fitness is a huge part of my life now. I’m always competing above the level of my peers.”
Through her exercise regime, Castro is breaking stereotypes and proving to people that women are just as strong as men. It’s something she prides herself in. Breanna also takes pride knowing that through the examples she is setting for her daughter, she shows her what it takes to pursue her dreams.
“This is opening a lot of doors for my daughter,” she said. “I know that because of my success and the tone that I’ve set for our family, she now has the opportunities…available to her to also be successful.”
U.S. Army Reserve
Part-time service. Full-time success.