By Nicole Rodman, CCDC C5ISR CenterApril 15, 2019
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (April 11, 2019) -- Army Sgt. Omar Bailey reacted with surprise when he heard the news.
Bailey is the first Soldier from the Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command, or CCDC, to re-enlist since the command transitioned into the recently-stood-up Army Futures Command.
"It's neat being the first," Bailey said. "It was a little surprising to hear," he continued, adding that re-enlistments within CCDC and AFC will "become more commonplace" as time goes on.
CCDC Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Stanley expressed excitement for the milestone.
"This re-enlistment represents a first for our command under AFC and we look forward to celebrating more as additional Soldiers are offered the choice of staying and serving," Stanley noted.
"By continuing his service and committing his time to our country, the Army retains his acquired knowledge and skills which will be used to improve capabilities that will end up in the hands of fellow Soldiers," he added.
Bailey arrived at Aberdeen Proving Ground in February 2019 for a one-year term. He is an enlisted advisor with CCDC's Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, or C5ISR, Center.
The CCDC C5ISR Center is the Army's primary integrator of C5ISR technologies and systems, researching, developing and maturing capabilities that support all six Army Modernization priorities and enable information dominance and tactical overmatch for the joint warfighter.
While he is new to the C5ISR Center, Bailey has been in the Army for seven years.
Bailey was born in Texas and grew up in West Virginia. Graduating from high school in 2000, he tried his hand at a variety of positions before contemplating a military career.
"It felt like something was missing about what I wanted to do with my life," he said.
He talked to many friends and family members, including his grandfather, who had served in the Army.
Time passed and still he felt drawn to the military, but he was told by some that he was "too old and too out of shape." He used those doubts as motivation.
At nearly 30 - his birthday fell on the last day of basic training - Bailey thought he would be much older than his fellow recruits.
"The myth is that everybody joins right out of high school at 18 or 19, but we had people from all walks of life, all ages, all types of experience and background," he added.
From basic training, he was stationed at Fort Gordon, Ga., where he spent more than a year learning his military occupation specialty as a Satellite Communications Systems Operator-Maintainer.
He was deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, for a year, followed by a four-year term at Camp Roberts in central California. While there, he worked in the camp's regional hub node and spent a year learning the Army ropes at headquarters.
Bailey was stationed at Camp Carroll in Daegu, South Korea, before arriving at Aberdeen Proving Ground to support the C5ISR Center's Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, or S&TCD.
When asked why he has decided to re-enlist, he cited his 16-year-old son, Connor, and his interest in his work and military history. He also noted that the Army has offered him new experiences and the chance to see the world.
Bailey also mentioned his grandfather, who, during the Korean War, was a signal Soldier in the same part of South Korea that he served. Sixty years later, his grandson followed in his footsteps as a Signal Soldier in South Korea.
"I never would have gone to Korea if the Army hadn't sent me there, "he said. "It is interesting that I picked the same path my grandfather did, and I didn't even know it at the time," he added. "I had no idea he had been Signal."
Bailey was surrounded by family for his re-enlistment ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground on April 10 as Michael Monteleone, director of S&TCD, administered the oath.
"Today's ceremony signifies an important and historic day in the Combat Capabilities Development Command," Monteleone told the audience, pointing to the event as the first re-enlistment ceremony under CCDC.
Monteleone thanked Bailey's family, including his parents and wife, who were on hand, as well as his son Connor.
"Thank you very much for lending us your daddy," Monteleone said. "We have very important work for him to do here."
Bailey's parents, Darrell and Pansy, traveled from Charleston, West Virginia, for the occasion.
"This is the first event we've been able to come to," Pansy explained, noting that other ceremonies had been too far away to attend.
"There are no words," Darrell said, his voice thick with emotion. "One way or another, I was going to be here."
Both parents expressed pride at their son's accomplishments and commitment to serve.
"To see what he did; he's seen the world. It means the world to me," Darrell said. "I'm awful proud of him."
Bailey's wife, Katy, also reflected on her husband's accomplishments.
"I'm really proud of him," she said.
Now re-committed to the Army, Bailey is preparing for a change in specialty. Next February, he will move to Fort Huachuca, Ariz. to train as a Counterintelligence Agent.
His new role will allow him to use his information technology skills and passion for cybersecurity to detect, assess and counter threats to the United States.
C5ISR Senior Enlisted Advisor Sgt. 1st Class David Worthington praised Bailey, though he noted, with a laugh, that he "wishes he would stay a Signal Soldier."
"We're glad to have him for the limited time," he added.
Following his training, Bailey will come back to Aberdeen before being reassigned. For now, he is enjoying his time at the C5ISR Center and S&TCD.
"So far it's been one of the best assignments I've had," he said, adding, "There's always something new going on."
He and his wife are getting settled into their on-post apartment and re-adjusting to the East Coast weather.
Bailey is hoping to experience everything the area has to offer while he is here.
"I'm looking forward to trying some of the seafood everyone talks about," he said with a smile, adding, "the crab cakes Maryland is famous for."
The C5ISR Center is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.