By Matthew Langston
Leader’s Training Course
Sarah Ritterhouse is used to getting dressed up with makeup and fingernail polish to try and stand out from everyone around her. At the Leader’s Training Course, she blends in.
“You have to look exactly like everyone around you in the Army,” Ritterhouse said. “In modeling, you definitely don’t want to look the same as the person next to you.”
The Foxtrot Company Cadet, 20, began modeling at age 14. Her father ran into a modeling agent on an airplane and requested the agent’s contact information. After meeting with Agentia Talent out of Chattanooga, Tenn., Ritterhouse was signed by the company and started her career.
Ritterhouse began modeling for print, being in multiple ads for clothing and different products. She also did a small amount of runway modeling before getting into the acting side of the spectrum.
A friend from a talent agency contacted Ritterhouse and told her about scenes for an upcoming movie — “42,” about the life of baseball legend Jackie Robinson — being filmed at Engel Stadium in Chattanooga. The casting agency put out an ad looking for background extras, which Ritterhouse decided to follow up with and answered the ad.
“I sent them my resume and sent them a couple of pictures,” the student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga said. “I got the call back.”
After spending time modeling and acting, she decided to pursue a different goal – the military. With her husband, Kristopher, being a sergeant in the Army, she was supported to join. Although she wanted to enlist, her husband talked her into taking the officer route.
She decided to move from Italy, where her husband is stationed, to attend LTC. She wants to learn more about the military and to become a leader by understanding the material.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself and my weaknesses,” she said. “I’ve learned how to pick up other people’s weaknesses and then help them.”
Although geared toward the military, Ritterhouse still plays a role in acting by working as an assistant marketing director and assistant technical officer for The Academy of Mutual Interest in Motion Pictures. The company’s goal is to raise awareness and encourage quality filmmaking, with members including independent filmmakers and various actors and actresses.
William Wright, lifestyles editor of the Cleveland (Tenn.) Daily Banner and founder of the company, said Sarah has never relied on her looks to be successful. He said with her positive attitude, she would be an asset to any company for which she has worked.
“She is outgoing, articulate, intelligent, independent and strong,” he said. “I admire her resilience and determination to succeed.”
Wright said Ritterhouse has no fear of what may be waiting around the corner in her life, and she can adapt to many different situations. He said those traits can help her in the Army.
“Sarah has a strong desire for a secure future — the kind that the Army could provide better than modeling,” he said.
Ritterhouse said she still receives offers to model, but is now focused on school and ROTC. She said her family would rather her pursue modeling than the Army, but they support whatever makes her happy.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the military,” said Ritterhouse, who hopes to eventually branch combat arms. “I enjoyed acting and modeling a lot, but at the end of the day, I feel like I could be more passionate about the military.”