BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan-- Staff Sgt. Josh Abbatoye, while deployed with 1st Medical Brigade, made the ultimate commitment to the United States Army, and re-enlisted indefinitely on March 11.

Abbatoye, an Acton, Calif. Native, raised his right hand and recited the Oath of Enlistment administered by Capt. Alissa Byrne, battle captain for Task Force MED-Afghanistan, in front of a crowd of fellow service members. "I chose Capt. Byrne because she is an awesome mentor. I have learned a lot from her as a person and as a staff noncommissioned officer," said Abbatoye.

In today's Army Retention Program, policy changes take place almost daily and not everyone may be given the chance to remain on active duty. "To be able to re-enlist at this time means that one has proven to be a highly, qualified soldier that deserves to remain with the Army team," said Charolette Harvey, retention NCO for Task Force MED-A. "Staff Sgt. Abbatoye is one soldier that has been given the opportunity to continue his service to his nation by re-enlisting under the Indefinite Re-enlistment Program."

Abbatoye enlisted in the Army in Oct. 1998 and is a thirteen-year veteran. After six years as a tanker, Abbatoye reclassified chemical due to his interest in the field. He has shown dedication to duty with two prior deployments and currently serving his third in Afghanistan, with 1st Medical Brigade, based out of Fort Hood, Texas.

"Staff Sgt. Abbatoye is a good example of the type of soldier the Army needs to retain. He is a driven soldier who will only serve the Army well," Byrne said. "I have seen too many good NCOs end their careers in the Army, I'm very proud to know that a NCO like Abbatoye has chosen to stay in and make this a career."

Due to being deployed, Abbatoye's family could not attend the ceremony. "To my wife, Janelle, my daughter Zoey and my two sons Ryan and Zander, I think about you guys every day and I love and miss you so much." Abbatoye said.