News: Lessons from the field
Story by Christen Reyenga
FORT GORDON, Ga. – U.S. Army officer Capt. Jake Weber has made his mark in baseball with his recent induction into the North Carolina State University Baseball Hall of Fame, and now he hopes to bring the lessons he learned on the baseball field to his new role as a company commander at Fort Gordon, Ga.
Growing up in Wappingers Falls, N.Y., Weber’s love for baseball started at just seven-years-old. From there, his athletic abilities grew through strength and determination and landed him a coveted spot on the USA Junior National Baseball Team following his high school graduation. As a team member, Weber was given the opportunity to play with several of the best baseball players in his peer group and experience the game on the fields of some of Major League Baseball’s most famous ballparks. Although MLB teams scouted Weber upon graduation, he was determined to play the game in the collegiate arena while he earned his degree at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. Weber went on to leave his mark at N.C. State through countless honors, including Freshman All-American, First Team All-ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) and Academic All-American.
Weber’s successes at N.C. State led him into a seven-year baseball career where he spent time playing in the Minor League with the Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Anaheim Angels and New York Yankees.
Following his stint as a professional baseball player, Weber took a cue from his wife, then a dental student through the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program, and began researching the Army’s Officer Candidate School (OCS).
“I was a little lost on what I wanted to do in my life following baseball,” said Weber. “I saw that the Army would provide new career opportunities, and I also recognized the many similarities between the Army and sports. I saw a fit for me in the Army where I could use the leadership and teamwork skills I learned playing baseball.”
Weber has now been in the Army for six years, and in April he transitioned from his role as an operations officer with the San Antonio Recruiting Battalion to the new company commander of the 442nd Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon. Weber manages a command that is responsible for warrant officer and signal function training courses. The courses range from providing soldiers hands-on experience with signal equipment, such as high-speed satellites, to offering leadership training to soldiers who will one day serve as the subject matter experts for their units in regards to planning, building and maintaining network communications.
Weber hopes to bring a strong sense of teamwork to his new role; something he has found to be the foundation of both his time on the baseball field and his time as a soldier.
“Teamwork is a huge similarity between baseball and the Army. Any given day, you can have multiple players impact the outcome of the game. One player cannot win the game by themselves. Each player must execute their position successfully in order for the team to win.”
With his recent hall of fame induction, Weber looks back fondly on his time playing baseball, but his new goal is to grow his career as an Army officer.
“College academics and baseball helped me grow as a person, which enabled me to transition well into professional baseball and later into the Army. My wife and I are dual military, and our goal is to make the Army a career. We both enjoy the camaraderie and the benefits the Army offers us and our two children.”