A Sierra Leonean born, Lieutenant Colonel Ibrahim S. Kabbah was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army after serving in many roles as a Major for over 6 years.
Lieutenant Colonel Kabbah began his military career in the United States Army when he first enlisted into the U.S.
Army Reserves in February 1994 as a Combat Medical Specialist. Kabbah was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone. His mother is Hannah Turay and Father is Abubakarr Siddique Kabbah. Kabbah grew up with his grandparents, and his grandfather was OC Joseph Rahman Mansaray of the Sierra Leone Police. His grandmother whom raised him is Haja Emmah Mansaray who passed away this 2003 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Kabbah has close ties with his family in Sierra Leone and remembers his childhood fondly. Kabbah’s family has always been close and supportive of his career even with the distance.
Kabbah maintained the discipline that was instilled in him from a very early age. He was an active young man in sports, and academics when he was growing up in Sierra Leone. Lieutenant Colonel Ibrahim Kabbah attended Primary School at Saint Michaels Primary and later went to Secondary school at the Methodist Boys High School. Kabbah migrated to the United States in 1991.
He completed his High School in New York City. Upon graduation from High School he decided to join the United States Army. Kabbah first enlisted into the Army in 1994 as a Combat Medic. This is a job for Soldiers that takes care of the wounded during combat. Kabbah found that he is a natural in caring for others. As a Combat Medic he excelled in every position he held as a medic.
He decided to pursue his education and attended both Hofstra University Reserve Officer Training Corps to become and Officer, while attending the New York Institute of Technology School of Engineering. Lieutenant Colonel Kabbah decided instead to continue with his military service and decided to change jobs into a Logistics Operations and Transportation specialist.
Kabbah deployed to the war in Bosnia and once again retrained into a job as An Army Occupational Therapy Specialist. Kabbah served in Iraq as the team leader for the Combat Operations Stress team. He quickly rose to the Senior Enlisted rank of Sergeant First Class which is only two ranks to becoming a Sergeant Major the highest of the enlisted ranks. Kabbah was awarded with a high combat award known as the Bronze Star medal for his role in Iraq.
Lieutenant Colonel Kabbah attended the New York Institute and several other universities. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Healthcare Administration and a Master’s in Business Administration. Lieutenant Colonel Kabbah is pursuing his Doctoral of Healthcare Administration degree. Lieutenant Colonel Kabbah’s Officer Career began with recommendations for a Direct Commission and was promoted as a Second Lieutenant in 2007. This is a process wherein a person that has displayed a high level of competence, leadership traits and education in a field of expertise is nominated for promotion as an Army Officer.
He attended the Officer Cadet Course and graduated with distinguished marks and was nominated as the Commandant Select for his achievement at the academy. An award nomination for a model officer at the Cadet training earned him a nominated assignment. He held several other positions as he grew up the ranks towards becoming a Captain in the Army. He served as Officer in Charge at several departments.
Lieutenant Colonel Kabbah served in the war in Afghanistan where he received his second high combat award. The then Captain Kabbah was selected to Command a Company. Later in his career Kabbah was promoted to Major. As a major, Kabbah exemplified himself as a leader and was nominated for Lieutenant Colonel Position.
Currently Lieutenant Colonel Kabbah is currently a Liaison Officer. He has received several combat awards and achievements.
Lieutenant Colonel Kabbah attributes his success in the military to the foundation he learned from his developing years in his country of birth in Sierra Leone coupled with the support from his family.
Kabbah has been serving in the United States Army for almost 30 years and when asked how he did it, he said, “ God has always gave me the strength. It has been a long road. But I have a lot of support from many good people.” Kabbah loves his compatriots Sierra Leoneans and reflects fondly of the peace and tranquillity of the people in Sierra Leone. He mentioned that there is no place like home.
“I have always kept Sierra Leone in my heart and my goal is to continue to showcase what we are able to do when we do not give up on each other.”
This Sierra Leonean native has not only served in the military but also published in several professional works. Kabbah was depicted in the book, “Blood Brothers” by The New Time Reporter, Michael Weisskopf. He has also contributed to a book called, ‘Cared for the Amputee’ US Army Medical Journal. He had been highlighted by the Washington Post- Science advancements for his works.
This Sierra Leonean born American has contributed to several advances and now extend his experience through mentoring others.
Much like the combat areas he had served, Lieutenant Kabbah reflected on his childhood memories in Sierra Leone. He remembers the happy faces of the people. He remembered the quality of education. He spoke about his days at Saint Michaels Primary where he took the Selective Entrance Exams and his years at Methodist Boys High School and Ahmadiyya Islamic Secondary School in Kissy. This strong foundation is one of the reasons for his success in the United States Army.