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    HRC employee reflects on Army service during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month



    Story by Daniela Vestal 

    U.S. Army Human Resources Command

    Born and raised in India, Deepak Jacobi joined his family and immigrated to the United States in 2000, when he was a young man fresh out of high school. Little did Jacobi know then how much farther he would go to eventually end up working for the Personnel Information Systems Directorate at U.S. Army Human Resources Command.

    “It took me a few years to fully assimilate,” Jacobi said. “My first few years were a lot of hard work, a lot of amazement – like I don’t believe this - I am living here. Then finally I think the one that still continues to amaze me to no end is to being a part of the military - both as a reservist and as a DOD civilian – it is an amazing career.”

    While working at an eyeglass store in a local New Jersey mall in 2013, Jacobi began speaking to a local Army recruiter about his options serving in the military - thinking at the time he could use a change of career.
    “When I joined the Army, I wanted to be in the IT career field,” said Jacobi. “I went to school with the intent of pursuing a career in IT but at the time of my enlistment, I did not have the opportunity based on the MOS slots that were available.”

    Jacobi entered the Army as an 11B – Infantryman. Infantryman may not have been Jacobi’s initial choice but the experience proved to be a valuable one.

    “I think one thing the 11B field taught me about is resiliency. It takes a very resilient person to be in a combat MOS. There is a lot of physical training and hardships. I think the hardships that you endure makes you very resilient,” he said. “I think that resilience has also helped me in the IT field – you may come across problems, but you are not going to immediately find answers, it is your resilience to the task that helps you stay persistent to find the answer you are looking for.”

    It was during his initial enlistment Jacobi was able to get his bachelor’s degree and obtain American citizenship.

    “It was hard to get my degree, I will not lie,” Jacobi said. “It boiled down to time management. You can choose to use the free time you have productively – towards things that might help you.”

    When his enlistment was up, Jacobi chose to continue his military service in the Army Reserve, although he does think about his active-duty service on occasion.

    “I do miss the camaraderie,” Jacobi said. “Active duty is a very disciplined environment. Being on the civilian side is not as rigid and I liked that structure that was there.”

    Now that Jacobi has spent some time as a Department of the Army civilian, he will be moving on to serve in the civilian corps’ he will move on to spend a year serving in Qatar working with the civilian expeditionary workforce before returning to HRC.

    As an Indian immigrant, Jacobi is one of the many members of the Army family that are celebrated during the month of May – Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

    “I think months like this give us the opportunity to know other people,” said Jacobi. “Various commemoration months are how I learned about other people and I think when you get to know your coworker – you know we are all working together as one army – your relate to them better. You get to know about them, their stories, their culture – I think it makes for overall an enriching experience for all of us.”



    Date Taken: 05.31.2022
    Date Posted: 05.31.2022 14:43
    Story ID: 421872
    Location: US

    Web Views: 76
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