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    Navy Recruiters Volunteer to Serve on San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Military Affairs Committee

    Navy Recruiters Volunteer to Serve on San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Military Affairs Committee

    Photo By Allen Cordova | SAN ANTONIO- (July 6, 2013) Lt. Markel Zatarain rides the bull “Wipeout” during...... read more read more



    Story by Allen Cordova 

    Navy Talent Acquisition Group San Antonio

    SAN ANTONIO - In a remarkable display of dedication and community service, two Navy recruiters, Lt. Cmdr. Markel Zatarain and Machinist Mate (Nuclear) 1st Class Kailan Neff, have taken on additional roles as members of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Military Affairs Committee. Their commitment to both military service and the local community showcases their passion for both serving their country and giving back to their community.

    Zatarain, an officer recruiter, was born and raised in San Antonio. Neff, an enlisted recruiter, is from Arroyo Grande, Calif.

    Both serve at Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) San Antonio and became interested in rodeo early in life.

    “I was exposed to the rodeo from a young age,” Zatarain said a former bull rider. “My two cousins, who were older than me competed in rodeo. One rode bulls and bucking horses, the other competed in steer wrestling and team roping.”

    According to Neff, ever since she was little, she’s been around horses and rodeo.

    “My grandparents used to take me every year to our local rodeos,” Neff said who is a lieutenant in the True Women Drill Team. “I was in awe of the flag girls that would come out running with sponsor flags in their shiny beautiful chaps and I knew I wanted to be one of those girls someday.”

    Being part of the United States Navy with a deep interest in the rodeo, it made sense for them to join the Military Affairs Committee.

    The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Military Affairs Committee plays a crucial role in honoring and supporting the military and community. They are the military liaisons for one of Texas largest events and are responsible for: hosting Purple Heart recipients, buffalo soldiers, local and foreign military personnel in their rodeo suite, participating in the mounted color guard; escorting national anthem singers; and coordinating a joint service Oath of Enlistment ceremony. Through these various events and partnerships, the committee aims to show appreciation to service members and their families while fostering a strong connection between the military and civilian population.

    “I became involved in the Military Affairs Committee in 2018,” Zatarain said. “I was already on the Rodeo Ticket Committee but was unaware of the military one. Retired Navy Cdr. Dennis Hathaway was my recruiter into the military committee, which I was able to switch to as my primary.”

    According to Neff, she was introduced to Zatarain who got her involved with the group.

    “I joined the Military Affairs Committee in 2022 with the 2023 Stock Show and Rodeo being my first volunteer event and I loved it!” Neff said.

    Zatarain and Neff actively leverage their military experiences and leadership skills to make a positive impact on the committee and in the community. Their roles provide them with additional opportunities to engage with the community in meaningful ways beyond their official military duties. As recruiters, they understand the importance of connecting with people on a personal level and building relationships based on trust and mutual respect.

    NTAG San Antonio’s area of responsibility includes more than 30 Navy Recruiting Stations and Navy Officer Recruiting Stations spread throughout 144,000 square miles of Central and South Texas territory.

    If you are interested in the Navy, contact your local recruiter by calling 1-800-USA-NAVY, visiting, or follow us at, ,, .



    Date Taken: 03.19.2024
    Date Posted: 04.08.2024 21:58
    Story ID: 468083
    Location: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US
    Hometown: ARROYO GRANDE, CA, US
    Hometown: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US

    Web Views: 50
    Downloads: 0