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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

The life and times of a Muslim Aggie Cadet

Adel+Hussain
Photo by Provided
Adel Hussain

One of my earliest memories was my dad taking me to watch the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium. Having lived in Texas my entire life, I was born and bred to love the Cowboys, know how to barbecue a good brisket and shoot a .44 rifle. However, I also had a second identity — one that involved praying five times a day, reading the Quran and fasting during the month of Ramadan. As a Bengali-American I have lived as a member of two communities which have greatly impacted the way I have experience the world. My dad would always talk to be about ideal of the American Dream and how and how I could be anything that I wanted as long as I had the willpower to do so. I never truly understood what he was talking about until I went to college.
As a senior in high school, I visited Texas A&M and spent the night with the Corps of Cadets. I felt instantly drawn to the organization due to its camaraderie, professionalism and values, which closely mirrored the same Islamic values I grew up with. This inspired me to join the Army due to my desire to use my language and cultural skills to help the nation. Within that year, I enlisted in the Army Reserves and became the first member of my Islamic community to have joined the Army. As a cadet, my goal has been to help educate other cadets on Islam and dispel stereotypes.
This hasn’t been easy. College has taught me many life lessons which have often comes with a dose of hard truth. However, every time I got upset over a failure I thought back to my dad’s stories of his struggles as a young immigrant and how he overcame his failures through his tenacity and willpower. The stories of my dad’s success motivate me despite my challenges. In time I gained the respect of my upperclassmen and peers. Eventually I rose up the ranks and became an outfit First Sergeant. As a First Sergeant, I made it a priority to create a training environment that was inclusive to cadets of all faiths and backgrounds.
As I move on to my senior year in the Corps I look back at my time at Texas A&M, as one that involved a lot of personal growth. By May of 2016, I’ll have a degree, a commission with the U.S. Army, and a nearly endless amount of stories to tell my kids for hours. However, in my opinion, my greatest achievement here has been seeing a new generation of Aggie cadets grow under my leadership and assume leadership positions of their own to pass their experience on to another generation. These forward thinking cadets are willing to embrace people from different backgrounds. Truly the American Dream is alive and well.

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