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Faces of Fort Cavazos: Mamoud Kamara

Faces of Fort Cavazos: Mamoud Kamara
Posted at 4:47 PM, Oct 04, 2023

KILLEEN, Texas — The U.S. military is full of people with different backgrounds, and many of them grew up in different countries.

These are people like Mamoud Kamara, cadet with the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Texas A&M Central Texas.

He is on his way to becoming a United States Army Officer now, but his story begins thousands of miles away in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

”The moment I was born, it was rough,” Kamara said.

“That was the time that we had our civil war, our 11-year civil war. It started in 1991 and I was born in 1994.”

Kamara grew up in a war-torn area, but managed to excel in school and was given the opportunity of a lifetime while perusing higher education.

”My friend came to me and said Mamoud, we have a program called the Diversity Visa Program,” Kamara said.

“It's a program that if you get selected, you’ll go to America and go as a permanent resident. I said 'Okay, that’s good',".

He was eventually selected and luckily, he had a cousin that agreed to sponsor him, but it came with one minor condition.

”He said 'Mamoud, when you get your visa and you come to the states, I want you to join the United States Army'," Kamara said.

“I said, 'Okay'. He said, 'Because, if you join the Army, the Army will be able to pay for your school,'."

Kamara found a passion to serve and worked his way from a junior enlisted soldier to a future officer in the ROTC program at A&M Central Texas.

A choice his ROTC commander says helps the Army as much as it helps Kamara.

”I think he’s going to bring his experience and humble background. Which, will allow him to have a lot of empathy with his soldiers for sure,” said Kamara’s ROTC Commander, Maj. Kyle Surridge.

"He brings a positivity. He always has a smile on his face. That, coupled with his compassion and his empathy he’s going to have with soldiers, I think is going to make him a terrific leader.”

He is serving in a military far from where he grew up and has a message for the mother he had to leave behind.

”Thanks to God, everything is going well. I will continue to make her proud, continue to make the family proud, and continue to make my wife proud,” Kamara said.

"Also, I'm trying to bring you here in the United States. Hopefully everything works through, and we’ll be together.”

Mamoud Kamara is proud U.S. citizen from West Africa who grew up in a time of war — that experience is what he says will make him a better leader as an officer in the United States Army.