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FORT LEE, Va. -- Name:  Pvt. Malachi Coleman 

Unit: 217th Military Police Detachment

Military occupational specialty: 42A – human resource specialist

Age: 19

Time in service: seven months

Hometown: Greenville, S.C.

How you spend your free time: “I study my MOS as much as possible because there is a lot to learn about my job. I do have a PS4 (video game) in the room, and I play it when I can.”

Describe yourself: “Overall, I’m a happy person, and I enjoy talking and hanging out with people.”

What people don’t know about you: “I was a very different person in high school. I wasn’t a criminal, but I was just rolling with the wrong crowd and getting into all types of trouble.”

Worst fear: “To be completely honest, I’m terrified of chickens.”

One person you admire: “I admire very successful people. One in particular I’m thinking of is (the rapper and businessman) Jay-Z. He’s hustled for everything he has. Also (fellow hip hop artists), P-Diddy and Dr. Dre – just people who’ve hustled to get to where they are.”

The celebrity or historical figure you desire to meet: “I would say (the singer) Rhianna. She’s seems like a very down-to-earth person, and she is attractive.”

Dream car: “A 2019 Chevy Camaro. I have a 2011 Toyota Corolla now. I could’ve gotten the Camaro, but I didn’t want to be one of those Soldiers just out of basic training with a brand new car (and way too much debt). I did things smart.”

Favorite quote: “‘I’m here for a good time, not a long time.’ That’s (hip hop artist) Drake.”

Talk about your family life: “We weren’t rich, but we weren’t poor, either. My mom always made sure we had what we needed. I have three brothers and one sister. I’m the youngest.”

One life-changing event: “It goes back to when I was really, really young. I bought myself a PSP (a portable video game). It was the first thing I spent more than $3 on. I think at that point, something switched in my head – you work for money; work toward something and you’re able to make a purchase. No one can take it from you because you got it for yourself. Last year, I bought my first car. It’s a lesson that stuck with me.”

Why you joined the Army: “I would say for financial stability because I like not having to worry about not being able to get this or that; not that the Army is going to make you rich, but you’re not often going to go without.”

Now that you have money in your pocket … “I’d like to say I’m saving it all up to do something big, but I’m just living day to day.”

Has your ideas about the Army changed since joining? “I wouldn’t say so. I’ve enjoyed every second of it. I can’t see myself doing anything different.”

What you enjoy most about being in uniform: “The fact I’ve found a career straight out of high school. I’m doing something better than working at a sandwich place. It’s something I can be proud of.”

Why you chose your MOS: “I’ve always liked the idea of keeping things organized. I like seeing the whole picture and knowing everything that is going on. The work I do is very rewarding and satisfying to the things I already like doing.”

What it means to serve your country: “I enjoy the 42A work I do, but at the same time in the back of my mind, if something pops off and I have to do what I have to do, I’m ready for it. There are some people out there who do their jobs, but they’re not thinking, ‘There may be a time in which I have to step outside my comfort zone to something different.’ For me, that’s the biggest part of wearing the uniform.”

What makes a good Soldier? “Motivation – I think there are times you have to do things you don’t want to do. You can’t argue about it, and if you don’t do it, you won’t get far. You just have to do everything, and so it’s best to stay motivated about things and keep it moving.”

What makes a bad Soldier? “Taking shortcuts and the easy way out. Everybody thinks they can beat the system, but they can’t.”

What you would change if you were the Army Chief of Staff: “The age at which (people are allowed to) join the Army. Most people enlist straight out of high school, and most still have that high school mentality. In basic training and AIT, some of those people grow up and they get it, but a lot of them are not mature enough. They complain, don’t like being yelled at and don’t like being told what to do.”

Best thing about the Army: “I would say the PT. Doing it every day is a big thing for me because it keeps you from getting complacent.”

Worst thing about the Army: “The small things like not being able to walk and talk with your phone (while in uniform). I’m sure there’s a reason why you can’t do it, but …”

Future plans: “I’ll probably be working at something the rest of my life. I’m not sure what that’ll be, but I’m enjoying what I’m doing now. I’ll ride this out until the wheels fall off.”