FORT BLISS-- Spc. Boubacar Coulibaly, assigned to the 127th Aviation Support Battalion, was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lt. during a ceremony Jan 28 on Fort Bliss.

Coulibaly, a former petroleum lab specialist (92L), earned a direct commission and will continue to serve as an environmental engineer officer.

Coulibaly credits his success and accomplishments thanks to the help of his leadership and his own perseverance and hard work, both as a Soldier and as a student.

However, Coulibaly's hard work started before he entered the U.S Army. He attended Howard University and earned a master's degree in Chemical Engineering.

Coulibaly, who is from the Ivory Coast of West Africa, joined the Army after earning his degree. He also obtained American citizenship during his time in service.

With his civilian and military training complete, he is ready for his new responsibilities in the world of environmental engineering as a U.S. Army officer.

Coulibaly had some words of advice for his fellow Soldiers trying to follow a similar path.

You need to work really hard in your unit so you can get letters of recommendation from your commander, your first sergeant, and even your college professors, Coulibaly said. Soldiers need to work hard,

have a strong grade point average, and make good impressions.

Coulibaly's leaders, 1st Sgt. James Graves of A Company, 127th ASB, and Staff Sgt. Daniel Vickers, agreed that Coulibaly is a hardworking and professional individual.

He's always on top of the 92L issues and tasks management, said Vickers. He's very proactive when it comes to correlation samples and Millipore testing.

The soldier carried himself in a very professional manner, added Graves. Basically, one of the go-to soldiers in the 92L section, definitely very proactive. I would say he is going to be a valuable asset in the

new profession that he is going into. He's going to be a very valuable asset to his unit as well as to the United States Army.

Graves was happy to have Coulibaly promoted in front of his peers and leaders because he believes Coulibaly can serve as an example showing other soldiers the opportunities that are available to them.