Soldier Serves To Unlock Potential
by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mary S. Katzenberger
November 5, 2021
U.S. Army Spc. Yacob I. Warsame does not fold in the
face of adversity.
“When I was younger … I approached a
challenge and thought it was unbearable, but when I joined the Army
I had a big challenge ahead of me and it allowed me to step back
from the challenge and actually attack it with an open mind, with a
great perseverance, and great resilience,” the signal support
systems specialist said.
October 10, 2021 - U.S. Army Spc. Yacob I. Warsame
(left), a signal support systems specialist assigned to 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, stands with Roger Disbrow, the morale, welfare, and recreation director, after placing second in the Army Ten-Miler Shadow Run at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The Denver, Colo., native, currently deployed in support of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command Operational Command Post, said the Army has helped him unlock his potential. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Mary S. Katzenberger)
Warsame, 21, is currently assigned
to the Fort Bragg, North Carolina, based 3rd Expeditionary
Sustainment Command, and has been deployed here since August
supporting the 1st Theater Sustainment Command’s Operational Command
Post. 1st TSC is responsible for sustainment operations throughout
the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.
Colorado, native took a few moments away from his work ensuring that
automation systems and networks are up and running to talk about why
Faith and Challenges
Like many athletically-inclined youths, Warsame hoped to land an athletic
scholarship after he graduated from high school. The avid runner
wanted to run track while earning a degree in computer programming.
When the hoped for opportunity did not materialize, Warsame
decided to join the military, because he saw it as an opportunity to
gain technical computer skills before studying the subject in
college. He said his parents, Ismail and Raxmn Warsame, were
thrilled by his choice.
“They were actually excited for me to
join because they wanted me to do something that would help me
progress in life,” he said. “They wanted me to be uncomfortable to
Warsame enlisted on Aug. 16, 2019, and shipped
out of Colorado in October to attend basic training at Fort Benning,
Georgia. He said he expected the physical trials that lay ahead of
him, but not the mental challenges that came to pass.
the Soldier was away from home for the first time in his life, his
mother passed away. Warsame said he relied on his Muslim faith to
“In my religion we believe that death is promised
to everybody, so that kept me level-headed,” he said. “I didn’t
think it was going to be so soon—I thought I was going to see her
after basic—but I believe she was ready to go because she was
peaceful, It was her time to go.”
After basic training
Warsame was able to see his father and four siblings over block
“That helped me,” Warsame said. “I sat down with my
father and my family and we came together when she died, and it
boosted me a little bit, and it gave me more drive to be better.”
He said that boost propelled him through advanced individual
training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and that the drive to achieve
served him well while attempting Army Ranger Assessment and
Selection at Fort Benning, Georgia, immediately following AIT.
“That challenge really hit me like a bus, because I really
didn’t know what I was getting into at first,” Warsame said. “The
first four weeks … they basically just beat you down, they want to
see who is going to quit, who is going to stay and persevere through
The Soldier said he quickly adapted to the
physical and mental challenges of the selection process. He laughs
as he recalls his biggest challenge ended up being land navigation.
Warsame said he kept trying, but only failed to find three out
of four points during a retest. He was recycled and had the option
to rest for a month, but decided to jump right back in. He ended up
passing land navigation and getting close to graduating.
Soldier was ultimately one of 50 Soldiers dropped on a single day
for possessing contraband—the cadre discovered ibuprofen in his
personal belongings during a health and welfare inspection. Warsame
is not bitter, though. He said he understands now that the code of
ethics in that course is just really high.
“Even though I got
dropped, it felt great,” Warsame said. “I want to go back [and] I
know if I went back next week I’d be able to pass that course.”
Warsame said the experience of failing and then trying again
helped him tap into inner-resources he did not think he possessed.
“I found out that I have more potential than I was willing to
give myself,” he said. “The military … showed me that you can be
uncomfortable and be comfortable … and you can push yourself to
places that you didn’t think [you could go].
“It helped me
unlock my potential,” Warsame continued.
They Need Us
When Warsame looks to the future, he sees himself becoming
Ranger-qualified, and earning his Special Forces tab. In the
meantime, he continues to push himself to achieve new goals.
On October 10, 2021 ... Warsame placed second overall in the Army
Ten-Miler Shadow Run here with a time of one hour, six minutes, and
The Soldier said he is excited about his role as
a signal support systems specialist.
“If [sustainers] are not
able to use their workstations, how are they going to be able to
work,” Warsame said. “Their computer systems are their weapon
And, Warsame is excited about being part of
something greater than himself.
“When I first got here I
didn’t see how important we are but [the 3rd ESC] actually support
all of the theater with sustainment,” he continued. “We’re actually
supporting a lot of people who need help—they need us.”
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