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From Combat to Coding

Hello there,

I’m Jameel, I was born and raised in Milwaukee, which is the largest city in Wisconsin. Joined the Army in 2003 after high school. After serving 11 years including two deployments to iraq, I receiving a medical retirement. During this time I met my future wife who lived in the Chicago area. After service I chose to pursue my dream of being a developer and began attending college.

I worked hard taking a super extra-heavy class load. During this time I even got married. But I still managed to graduate near the top of my class.

Three years later when I received my Bachelors degree, moved to Chicago where I lived and worked for 2 years. I Currently I reside in Wichita, Kansas, with my beautiful wife Zola, our son Jameel Jr and daughter Imani. I’m a family man, Front End Web Developer, Army combat veteran and so much more.

Table of contents

Military Service

My Start in the Army

Before graduating from high school in 2003, I wanted to go to college but was terrified of the cost. So I began thinking about joining the Army because of the 100% tuition covered advertisements on TV. My father served 23 years in the military, so I thought it would be cool to follow in his footsteps. I began speaking with an Army recruiter who frequented my high school. He assured me that I would get a nice bonus; college would be 100% paid for and I would never have to leave for war because that was only for infantry soldiers.

I was sold on 100% tuition covered! So I signed up. I knew I wanted a job in the technology field that would give me skills that could transfer to civilian life, so I chose to be an Automated Logistical Specialist. But before I could become a 92A I had to get through about 5 months of rigorous training.

After my Advanced Individual Training I joined my first unit, the headquarters of 1-121 a field artillery unit out of Milwaukee. In 2006 my unit was alerted a selected to go to war. Not only was I about to go to war, my unit would take on a convoy security escort mission in the red zone of Iraq.

My Time at War

I learned that in the Army National Guard you fill whatever position the Army needs. I went from being a computer nerd, to training to be a gunner on a yearlong convoy security escort mission. Training for our 350+ soldiers took about 4 months in Ft. McCoy following 6 months in Camp Shelby, MS. After all the training I officially became a gunner and a part-time driver.

Command informed us that we would be based just outside of Iraq, right on the border in Camp Navistar, Kuwait and We would be escorting convoys of around 35+ semi-trucks of goods to all of the bases throughout Iraq. The first thing I remember when stepping out of the plane in Kuwait was the hair dryer hot air blowing all over my body and not stopping. After a couple of days of rest it was time for on the job training.

On one of our very first missions in Iraq our base went into ‘blackout status’ with all contact to home being shut down. This could only mean one thing; one of our own was attacked. We found out later that a fellow soldier lost his life after being attacked with an IED. We would soon realize that being hit by IEDs was a huge problem for us that unfortunately, happened too often.

After coming home and few months, it was time to go back to training for war. My next deployment I took a promotion a joined a new unit, the 108 Forward Support Company. Of-course we were all re-trained as Detainee Operation Guards and we were headed to Iraq. Even though the detainee operations was not a combat mission, it was still a rough one, and in some ways event more than the first one. A couple months after we arrived in Taji, Iraq, we would soon find out that a platoon sergeant lost his life. Throughout both times in Iraq, I would have traveled to most of the F.O.Bs (Forward Operating Bases) in Iraq and managed to make it back home in one piece.

Those We Lost

My Time of Peace

After two yearlong deployments, I returned home for 3 months then it was off to Fort Bliss to be a Special Trainer (also known as Observer Controller-Trainer- OC-T) for soldiers deploying for Detainee Operations missions to Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. I ended up getting hurt for the third time in my military career, when training soldiers how to conduct forced cell extractions, but I still finished my mob. After a year of training and preparing thousands of soldiers to go overseas, it was back home for me.

At home with the 32nd MP co in Milwaukee I became the senior sergeant in the motor pool section. So I stepped into the leadership position as the acting motor pool sergeant. When I first got to the unit, the section of over 10 soldiers was a complete mess with no true leader. After creating a vehicle maintenance process, taking over office space ( which was being used as storage space for junk ), mentoring my team, I received an award for turning the section around and passing the units first section inspection.

But I couldn’t ignore the fact that I was still in pain and not sleeping as much as I should. So I finally went to the VA to see what was wrong. Turns out I wasn’t sleeping because of PTSD and my knees and shoulder were just beat up from accidents while deployed. After dealing with two sore knees and a shoulder that clicks every time I rotate it and receiving countless awards and commendations, I finally called it a career and medically retired in 2014.


Bachelors of Arts

Associates of Science

Always Learning

Once I got out of the military I went back to school to do the one thing I wanted to do my entire life, I wanted to become a developer and learn how to code. So in 2012 I started on my associates at ITT Technical Institute to learn the basics of graphic design. After a couple years I got my associates with highest honors. With the basic knowledge of graphic design I felt like I was ready to begin learning advanced coding.

In 2014 I began classes at the Art Institute of Wisconsin for a Web Design and Interactive Media BA. I knew it would be a challenge to take on as many as 5 classes a semester, but I wanted to finish at a certain time. Even with a heavy class load, it only took two years to complete my program while maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

Since graduating in 2016 I've taken about 10 continuing education courses to keep up with the pace of the industry.