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Behind the Uniform Feature: Pfc. Arianna Burrell

Story by: U.S. Army National Guard Spc. Christina Chang

Photos by: U.S. Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Sarah M. McClanahan; Courtesy Photos

EASTON, Md. —Visitors to the Easton COVID-19 testing site could often see Pfc. Burrell’s eyes crinkling with a smile behind her face-mask, as she stood at their vehicles giving out health screenings through sun or rain.

“It’s been a fun experience because I have never been on orders before,” said Pfc. Arianna Burrell, a culinary specialist with the H Company, 128th Brigade Support Battalion, Maryland Army National Guard, adding that it was her first official mission. “And I’m happy to finally be able to experience it.” 

Born and raised in Baltimore, Burrell said she enjoyed being able to serve her local community. 

“All my careers that I had before joining the Army were helping people,” she said. “I like seeing people smile. I like to make peoples’ day happier.”

Despite her current positive outlook on her military career, Burrell admitted that she was initially scared of joining the military. Despite this fear, her uncle was a strong influence in her life and the ultimate inspiration for her decision to commit to the MDARNG. He has been a member of the Guard for all of her life. 

Burrell first enlisted back in January 2021. Now, in the beginning of 2022, she was a member of the field feeding section of H Company. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Philip Rismiller, the section chief of field feeding H Co., was one of her direct supervisors. 

“She is someone who I think is very resilient,” Rismiller praised. “She’s got this attention to detail. She wants to do the right thing all the time. I just see so much potential in her.” 

Burrell said she was also eager to move forward in her military career. 

“I want to keep moving up, and keep it up, and keep moving up,” Burrell said. “I’m never settling for less.”   

She said she was interested in commissioning as an officer, and considered joining the ROTC program at Morgan State University to both earn her degree and gain the necessary training. 

“The people that I surrounded myself with, and my drill sergeants, and my lieutenants and everything, they all encouraged me to be the person that I am today,” Burrell said. “My family, most of all, encourages me.” 

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