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From Africa to the land of opportunity

By By Russell Toof Baltimore Recruiting Battalion

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FORT MEADE, Md. - Learning English on your own in three months is not a typical thing for someone born in the Republic Of Guinea and educated in France.

For U.S. Army Recruiter Staff Sgt. Mohamed Kaba, Baltimore Recruiting Battalion, he could not have imagined taking a different path in life.

Guinea is a small country in West Africa that gained its independence from France 60 years ago. The agriculture industry employs more than three-fourths of the nation's labor force and the literacy rate is one of the lowest in the world. Kaba was in the minority, moving to France and studying law. He concentrated on civil law, assisting families. He visited the U.S. for the first time in 2006 and moved permanently in 2007.

"Coming to the U.S. was a wakeup call. I'm thankful to France for my education, however the U.S. is a land of opportunity. People are more open-minded here," he said.

Kaba turned his sites towards the Army shortly after coming to America.

"The good thing about the U.S., and especially the Army, is it's a melting-pot. It doesn't matter your background, where you are from, your religion. If you want to be successful, the Army will give you the tools to make it happen," he said.

He wanted to be a Judge Advocate General officer, but he was not a citizen and could not hold a security clearance. He was, however, able to enlist.

"I started as a logistics specialist, but after six years of active duty, I wanted something bigger than just me," Kaba said.

Kaba volunteered for recruiting near the end of 2016 and became a recruiter in April 2017.

"I'm grateful to my family and especially my leadership for their support," he said.

Spending time with Kaba, you get a sense of how much he truly enjoys this line of work.

"They give me a government car with a gas card and an EZ-Pass, so I don't mind going out and finding recruits," he said with a big smile across his face. "Without my Future Soldiers, I wouldn't be where I am now. I thank them for the trust they put in me."