The US Army has promoted a woman of Nigerian descent Amanda Azubuike from Lieutenant Colonel to Brigadier General.
She was promoted to the rank at a military base in Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA in a ceremony held recently.
Following her promotion, an excited Amanda shared her story, giving a peep into her journey.
“I recognise the gravity of this moment. I recognise the responsibility, the expectations, as well as the scrutiny that comes with this promotion,” she said after her decoration which was streamed on the Army ROTC YouTube channel.
“I also recognise the power of representation and the importance of diversity. I’m privileged to have benefitted from trailblazers and I’m committed to doing my part to leave a better path for those coming behind me.
“I’m honoured to be selected to serve at this level and feel fortunate to serve in my current position. I believe I can contribute here in a meaningful way.
“I joined the US military before I was even a US citizen. But I always knew this country was great, that it was worth fighting for. And that it is truly the land of opportunity. I’m very proud of my heritage, and my ethnic roots but I’m equally as proud to be an American.”
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Also speaking at the event, the Commanding General of the US Army Futures Command James Rainey hailed Amanda and others who were promoted, describing the position as belonging to exceptional officers.
“Amanda inspires me. Ever since I met her and started working for her, she is inspirational and I get energy from her,” he said.
“This is the greatest country in the world and you don’t have the right to be happy but you have the right to pursue it. Amanda and her family, if you don’t know them or their stories, that is what they are all about – pursuing happiness.”
Born in the UK to a Nigerian father and Zimbabwean mother, Amanda enrolled in the US Army in 1994, becoming an aviator after passing the Army Aviation Basic Course.
Amanda studied Mass Communication/Media Studies at the University of Central Arkansas between 1989 – 1993 and also has a Master of Professional Studies, Public Relations/Corporate Communications from Georgetown University.