Amanda Azubuike, a British-Nigerian, has been promoted to brigadier-general in the United States army.
The promotion ceremony held at a military base in Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA.
Speaking after being decorated with the new rank, Azubuike, who is also a US citizen, detailed her journey from a high school student to becoming a brigadier-general.
“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.
“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.
Azubuike being decorated by her family members. Photo: Amanda Azubuike
“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.”
On his part, James Rainey, the commanding general of the US army futures command, said the position of brigadier-general is for exceptional officers.
He commended Amanda for her inspirational attitude, adding that she has been dutiful and he always draws energy from her.
“This is a really big deal. There are about 1.2 million men and women in uniform any given day and there are about 300 active-duty general officers. So, we say it’s a one percent promotion,” he said.
Rainey, commanding general of the US army futures command Photo: Amanda Azubuike
“Amanda inspires me. Ever since I met her and started working for her, she is inspirational and I get energy from her.
“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.”
Amanda is the daughter of a Nigerian father and a Zimbabwean mother, who met during their university studies in London.
According to Azubuike, her mother moved to the US shortly after her parent’s divorce “in search of better opportunities”.
Portrait of Azubuike before her promotion Photo: Amanda Azubuike
Azubike was first introduced to the US military army when she was in her penultimate year in high school. She enlisted in the army national guard before becoming a citizen in 1989.
After an 11-year career in military aviation, she continued her career in the army as a public affairs and relations officer.
She currently serves as a deputy commanding officer at the US army cadet command, and previously served as chief of staff/senior military advisor at the office of the secretary of defence.
Source: The Cable