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Sgt. 1st Class Bernardo (Bernie) Escarcega talks about his job
I am the chaplain assistant supporting the Wounded Warrior Mission at Joint Base Andrews. I also provide administration support for the Chaplain Office for the JFHQ-NCR/MDW.
I have always liked being a chaplain assistant. I enjoy meeting and helping soldiers and their families. Also, being very close to historic sites, like Arlington National Cemetery, Pentagon, the National Mall and all the dedicated memorials make me realize this is a very unique place.
What is your most memorable experience during your time here at JFHQ-NCR/MDW?
It would have to be the mission at Joint Base Andrews, welcoming the wounded soldiers coming in from down range. It’s a very eye opening experience.
You listed acting as a hobby. Have you been in anything we may have seen?
Honestly, I happened to get into acting by accident. Through networking, I found myself on the TV show Star Trek Voyager. I was on about 22 episodes or the last two seasons of the show. From there, I was able to join the Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity Association and American Federation and Television and Radio Artists. Since then I have been in several movies, TV shows and theater productions.
How did you get into the performing arts?
My first job in High School was working in a theater house. I was doing live musical performances and shows. So, since the age of 15 I have been working in entertainment. Gradually, I worked my way from behind the scenes to in front performing. My first musical production being on stage was “Desert Song” back in 1999 and I have been performing and singing ever since.
Is there anything that you have learned in your acting career that has helped you in the military or vice versa?
Well, I have to admit that the two go together hand in hand. I always claimed that Drill Sergeants where some of the best actors in the military and in the business. I don’t think I would have been able to portray an Ensign in the command group on Star Trek, if it wasn’t for my military background. I learned a lot from being in the military and like most life experiences you translate that over to whatever career you chose once you leave the service.