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Oct 5 2020

Private First Class Sonja Berkmann

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Curious - Creative- Rational

I am a very curious person. That is the reason I joined the German Bundeswehr for one year. Whenever it comes to a situation where I wonder, “What could it be like?” I always want to know what it literally feels like. That combined with my creative way of thinking, keeps my mind wide open for any kind of new experiences. Still, when trying new things I am very rational in making my decisions and I think about my actions twice before actually doing it.

What makes your home country special for you?

Nature - Culture - Music

I live in the very south of Germany, close to the mountains. That is perfect for me because I really like hiking. Being on top of a mountain always gives you an awesome view and somehow frees your mind.

The region where I live looks like you would imagine Germany in a typical cliché. Normally, you would expect such beautiful landscapes on postcards. A lot of cattle, green slopes and small picturesque villages. There are many “Volksfeste” throughout the year, where people are wearing their traditional German costumes “Dirndl und Lederhosn”. It is always fun celebrating together in a setting like this.

Music is my passion. I am playing several musical instruments myself and really enjoy listening to many different kinds of music. In Germany, there are so many inspiring composers and musicians from different eras of time.

What is your Impression of Ulm in three words?

Big - Historical - Food Diversity

I know Ulm is not the biggest city in the world. Still, compared to my hometown it offers so much more opportunities. I love to walk through the old town, enjoying the atmosphere of all the historical buildings. In addition, there are so many lovely restaurants with an awesome variety of food.

How would you describe JSEC in three words?

Exciting - Complex - Dynamic

Of course, as an enlisted soldier I am not involved in all the top-secret decisions made in JSEC. However, it is still very exciting to see the multinational cooperation and the ongoing developments, even though I am just a very small cogwheel in the gearbox.

Most things that happen in JSEC are part of a very complex system and it took a while for me to understand those parts of the system relevant for my daily work.

JSEC is growing very fast. There is always something going on.

What makes JSEC special to you?

Creative - Diverse - Multinational

Even as an enlisted soldier, I am not just here to follow simple orders. Right from the start, I was tasked to produce my own content and my ideas and products were well perceived. Even though being much younger than the rest of the team and having way less experience in the public affairs business, they instantly integrated me as a “full size” editor. I like it when I can actually use my creativity.

The diversity of the people working at JSEC is amazing. There are so many different characters with different backgrounds and different military heritage. Even in my daily routine, I meet people from all over the world and everyone has different stories to tell.

…everyone has a different story to tell.

Story by Joint Support and Enabling Command Public Affairs Office


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