Bengali chief warrant officer finds the American dream through serving

By Heather J. Hagan, U.S. Army Public AffairsMay 3, 2022

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Mohammed Badal in front of the White House in 2021.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Mohammed Badal in front of the White House in 2021. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON — People are the cornerstone of America’s Army. Chief Warrant Officer 5 Mohammed Badal, chief of the Contingency Construction Branch at the Office of the Chief of Engineers, is an illustration of the Army’s commitment to its people and nation.

“I experienced culture at the deepest level,” said Badal. “I have been living and breathing the Army culture for 25 years, where I found myself working, playing and doing the mission with all kinds of religious and diverse backgrounds that helped me grow.”

Badal credits the Army for his education and success in his career as a warrant officer. A native of Dhaka, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh, his emigration journey started when he was 19 years old through the Diversity Visa Program.

“I was looking for a career that gave me a sense of service,” said Badal. “The Army grounds you to the American dream. I want to encourage young people to come and stay in our great Army to obtain an education and skills in engineering.”

Warrant officers specialize in one of 48 technical areas, including intelligence, aviation and engineering. Badal is a graduate of Colorado Technical University, Colorado, where he earned an M.S. in project management. In his Army duties, he provides oversight of the Army Facilities Components System, supports engineering design, explores reduction of fossil fuel with alternative hybrid power solutions and works with localized materials and additive manufacturing — like 3D printing — to construct facilities.

“Talent management is a central tenet, and I would not be here without many leaders’ intentional investment in my future,” said Badal.

Warrant officers, who make up less than 3% of total Army personnel, train Soldiers, organize and advise on missions, and serve as the Army’s technical experts and trusted advisors. Today’s Army stands on the shoulders of remarkable innovators such as Badal.

“I have a strong foundation in engineering,” said Badal. “It is a creative space. I manage and provide subject matter expertise to tasks from program management oversight to policy and strategy.”

The culture of the Army represents family to Badal, which has created a sense of trust that deepened throughout the years, especially after an important life event, the birth of his son. He was serving at Victory Base in Iraq in 2009 as the project manager for building a level III hospital at Sather Air Base when his leaders gave him a pass to return home for the birth of his son.

“During my third deployment, my wife Kimberlee was pregnant,” said Badal. “We were tracking her due date around Thanksgiving. The hospital project I was working on was complete. I requested early release to come home for my son’s birth. On my way home, I received word about my wife in labor and I arrived two hours before his home birth on Nov. 19, 2009.”

His spouse, Kimberlee Belcher, who holds a doctorate in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in education policy from Indiana University, is the backbone of his family unit.

“My family makes sacrifices every day to support me,” said Badal.

Badal has two boys now, ages 9 and 12 years old. Badal’s journey has taught him that life, family and career are a process, and the U.S. Army can help anyone achieve their goals.