by Jessica Taylor, Features Editor
Balancing academic work while being an active member of the United States Army is a task that Nicholls State University Mass Communications student Jennifer Marts has mastered.
Protecting our country is one of the things that make the women of South Louisiana so special.
The defense of our nation is not solely a male’s job; it is a shared responsibility.
“Women have served in the defense of this land years before our United States was born. They have contributed their talents, skills and courage to this endeavor for more than two centuries with an astounding record of achievement,” says Retired Chief of Staff, Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, in a “Women in the Army” website.
Marts, 23-year-old journalism major from Larose, has been a member of the United States Army since 2015. She serves in the US Army as a truck driver.
Marts’ decision to enlist was not based on any specific person. Instead, she felt that it was the right thing for her.
“It was something I had been thinking about for a while, and I just went for it because I knew it would make me happy,” Marts says. “I got to a point in my life where I wanted to do something to influence me mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I found that within the army.”
Marts says her background is one of the major things that allows her to feel she will be successful in the army. Coming from a large family, she’s taken the team mentality into the army.
“Southern Louisiana women are close-knit and that’s something I’ve taken into the army because we all come together and work as a team,” Marts says. “The other women and I understand we aren’t different from each other. We’ve all had our struggles, but we’ve been successful because of our work ethic and teamwork.”
Marts first started attending Nicholls in 2011, but had some setbacks along the way. She returned to school in 2015 and soon after decided to enlist in the Army.
“The school as well as the department has been behind me and was willing to accommodate so I could also finish school,” Marts says.
For this current deployment, Jennifer will not only be taking another break from school, but she is also setting aside her love of fashion and modeling. She has walked in New Orleans Fashion Week and writes for the New Orleans based fashion magazine MOI.
Marts’ eating habits also set her apart, not only in South Louisiana but also within the Army. Marts is vegan, which is not very common for a person who was born and raised in South Louisiana. With all the crawfish, etouffee, and jambalaya, being a vegan in the bayou region is not easy, and it is even more difficult in the army.
“The military has been able to accommodate and it’s made everything much easier,” Marts says.
Marts is currently deployed.
“I’m very anxious and excited for this amazing opportunity. I didn’t think it would come this fast, but I’m 100 percent okay with that.”