FORT BELVOIR, Va. –
The new Army brand redefines "Be All You Can Be" for a new generation. The rebrand is aimed to illustrate how the Army can serve as an avenue for Americans to pursue lives grounded in purpose and passion. It is this rebrand that inspired the Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade's Command Sgt. Maj. Adewale Akerele to reflect on his career and share his thoughts on how the Army provided him the opportunity to be all he can be.
Akerele had this to say, "'Be All You Can Be!!!!' It's funny how history repeats itself but there is value in understanding the why. Being a pre-med student I originally wanted to join and support as a medic but unfortunately, they didn't offer any bonus due to the length of AIT. My recruiter said I have this job as a transportation management specialist (88N), you track all personnel, and equipment, and most importantly it pays the bonus you are seeking.
I loved the job and was considered pretty good at it. On one of our numerous missions/exercises, we encountered some IT issues and I asked our IT specialist (74B before it became 25B) if I could help. He pointed me at the manual, I fixed a couple of things and from that day on I became the IT guy for our Detachment. This eventually led me to change my major from pre-med to network and system administration.
A couple of years later, I was involuntarily transferred for deployment with my brigade. Why because an IT guy was needed to run the S6 (first time hearing about staff sections) shop. That was a fun deployment and I got to support ARCENT, 1st TSC, and others with my technical knowledge.
I got promoted to the 55th Sustainment Brigade and I was excited because I was thinking I could go back to just doing 1 role in the Army eventually. Unfortunately and fortunately, a now good buddy of mine looked at my records and pushed for me to join the S6 to support an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. During this deployment, I served as the first sergeant, supply sergeant, and also the S6 all at the same time and as a sergeant first class (E7). My buddy's famous words, you might as well get the 25B MOS because there is more need in that regard, and why you always end up in that role. I succumbed, and I officially got the MOS.
I got promoted again not too long after, and it was into an organization that supposedly did all sorts of signal and cyber 'things'. I became one of the first Reserve (17C) and additionally supported as the cyber operations NCO (S3) and helped in facilitating what training and operations should look like for the Army Reserve. Then, I got promoted again to sergeant major.
My first stint as Sergeant Major put me back with my original unit as a Transportation Specialist, while my current stint brought me back to Cyber Operations.
I honestly had no clue what I wanted out of the Army but I believe 'I have Been All I Can Be!!!'"