DVIDS – News – A Soldier’s Story: From a Kenyan refugee camp to 2nd Lt Vermont National Guard


For Second Lieutenant Abdimaik Hashi, newly enlisted in the Vermont National Guard, the path to commissioning as an officer began in 2016 when he enlisted in the Minnesota Army National Guard. . As a 19K armored crew member, Hashi first drove M1 main battle tanks with A Company, 1st Combined Arms Battalion-194th Armor Regiment.

Hashi was not always in the United States, the first eight years of his life were spent in a refugee camp in Kenya with his mother and two older sisters.

In 1992, unrest and conflict forced Hashi’s mother to flee her home in Kismayo, Somalia, with her daughters.

For more than two months, they marched from Somalia to Kenya, eventually landing in a refugee camp established by the United Nations. Born in the camp, Hashi and his family were transferred to Kentucky by the US Refugee Resettlement Program when he was just 8 years old.

Hashi explained that “at first being in the United States was difficult, especially when you don’t know the language and you don’t have a community that can support you.

Eventually, he would move with his family to Greeley, Colorado.

“I remember going to Greeley Central High School where I was learning to improve my English skills in reading, writing and speaking, it was not easy to adjust to all of this.”

After high school, Hashi said he offered to work at a local factory rather than pursue a college education to help the family financially.

“I still haven’t heard from my mother, just a laugh, when I was young she would always tell me, ‘Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter.'”

Hashi’s family moved again, this time to Minnesota where he attended St. Cloud State University, before enrolling in the State National Guard.

Hashi admitted that he had no plans to enter the service, “I never thought of the military as a career, in 2016 I was going to college, it was very difficult financially, I met with a National Guard recruiter, Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Schneider, and after learning that the guard had tuition assistance programs, I decided to enroll.

Hashi completed basic and advanced armor crew training at Fort Benning, Ga. In the end, he returned to Minnesota and transferred to St. John’s University.

“In Minnesota at the time they were getting help with tuition and because I had taken basic and advanced training I qualified for state and government education benefits. federal.”

Hashi explained, “It was an ROTC scholarship that paid for my accommodation and tuition, it is a very expensive private school and there was no way I could afford it any other way.”

While continuing to practice with the Minnesota National Guard, Hashi’s status changed: “I spent three years as an oil tanker before I realized I wanted to take the officer path.”

Due to his ROTC scholarship, Hashi returned his Pfc. rank as a cadet with the Army ROTC Fighting Saints Battalion, where his job shifted from enlistment duties to “following the company commander while learning to lead a platoon”.

On May 15, 2021, Hashi received his commission, General Paul M. Nakasone swore in his class, a St. John’s University alumnus and commander of the National Security Agency, US Cyber ​​Command and chief of the Central Security Service.

Choosing to join the VTNG as a Transportation Officer, Hashi said, “Two weeks after graduating I started my road trip to Vermont, only visited the state twice. before, after which I saw no reason to stay in Minnesota. “

Hashi is temporarily helping the state’s resilience coordinator develop plans for holistic fitness programs in addition to supporting drug and addiction testing programs.

Ordered to attend the Basic Officer Leadership Course next May at Fort Lee, Va., The US Army Logistics Training Center, Hashi said, “I am very pleased with the logistics. , I plan to stay in the career field. ”

Until then, he will continue his weekend exercises with Task Force Patriot, a rear detachment. Hashi will join his unit, Company G. 186th Brigade Support Battalion, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Mountain), upon their return from overseas deployment.

Date taken: 08/17/2021
Date posted: 17.08.2021 16:54
Story ID: 403232
Site: COLCHESTER, Vermont, United States

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